Department of Justice SealDepartment of Justice
Friday, November 21, 2008
(202) 514-2007
TDD (202) 514-1888

Transcript of Press Briefing on the Condition of Attorney General Michael B. Mukasey

MS. TALAMONA:   Hi, thanks so much for being here. My name is Gina Talamona, I am a spokeswoman for the Department of Justice. The Attorney General had an uneventful night. He looks good and is very alert. The doctor’s are describing him as very fit. All the tests have been reassuring. There is no indication that he suffered a stroke or any heart-related incident. It really appears to have been a fainting spell. You know, he works long days, he is very active, it was a late-night speech under hot lights. So all indications are at this point it was basically a fainting spell. They are doing another round of routine tests this morning. He certainly wants to leave and get back to the office as soon as possible. In fact, he is more than ready. The Deputy Attorney General will be over here today at 10:00 to brief him on some Department issues. We are going to continue to update you as we receive additional information.


I am happy to take a couple of questions, if you have any.


QUESTION:    Any idea what was wrong, what happened?


MS. TALAMONA:     Again, they are conducting some routine tests right now. He is in good shape, he’s very active. He is very alert and really ready to leave.


QUESTION:   Does he have any pre-existing health issues?


MS. TALAMONA:     No, he is very fit, doctor’s have described him as fit. He is very active, you know he works out daily. He gets up early every morning and works out on the elliptical. He maintains a very active environment.


QUESTION:  When is he going back to the Justice Department?


MS. TALAMONA:  We are going to wait for his routine tests and go from there.


QUESTION:   Was power ever transferred to the Deputy Attorney General?


MS. TALAMONA:     No, power was never transferred to the Deputy Attorney General. Basically the same guy who is in charge today was in charge yesterday and the day before.


QUESTION:   Can you tell us if there was a call from President Bush?


MS. TALAMONA:  There was a call that took place this morning.


QUESTION:   How did it go?


MS. TALAMONA:     It went very well, a very positive discussion and as you can imagine he is ready to sprint to finish the race. He is really ready to get back to the office.


QUESTION:    Do you have any idea how long the tests will take? Will he be released later this morning, this afternoon? Tomorrow? Any idea?


MS. TALAMONA:    These tests are taking place right now.   When we have any more information we will let you know. Thanks so much.