White House Correspondent Brianna Keilar has been on TV all morning reporting on the situation surrounding Commerce Secretary John Bryson. Here's the latest from her and the team at CNN Wires on what happened to Bryson in California on Saturday:
WASHINGTON (CNN) - U.S. Secretary of Commerce John Bryson, who is under investigation for possible felony hit-and-run after allegedly causing two weekend car accidents in California, suffered a seizure, a Commerce Department spokeswoman said Monday.
Police said Bryson was found unconscious at the wheel of his car on Saturday after the two accidents.
Bryson, 68, was issued a citation at an area hospital where he received treatment, said Lt. Ariel Duran of the San Gabriel Police Department. Authorities must still decide whether to formally file any charges.
Bryson voluntarily took a breathalyzer test that detected no alcohol use, the Los Angeles Sheriff's Department confirmed Monday. Results from a separate blood alcohol test were pending, Duran said.
A police statement Sunday said the investigation was in "its preliminary stages," and that there was no indication of alcohol or drugs playing a role.
You can read the full story about Saturday's incident here.
At Monday's White House briefing, Press Secretary Jay Carney provided some limited updates on the situation. While he did link the secretary's health to the accidents, mostly Carney chose to refer members of the media to the Commerce Department for additional comments.
PRESS: Has the president spoken to the secretary? And if so can you tell us about the substance of that conversation?
CARNEY: The president has not spoken with the secretary. Jack Lew, the chief of staff, did speak with the secretary this morning.
PRESS: And what was the nature of the conversation?
CARNEY: Well, as you might expect given the events Jack Lew spoke with Secretary Bryson and I don't have a - a detailed read out of that conversation. We're obviously concerned about the incident, concerned about the Secretary Bryson's health-related issues that - that played a role in this incident and we're still gathering information about it.
PRESS: There are a lot of questions obviously about what happened. Can you give us even a basic sense of what happened?
CARNEY: Well, I would refer you to the commerce department for details. I - I can simply tell you that he was engaged as - been reported in a couple of traffic incidents and that he as the commerce department has said, suffered a seizure, was hospitalized, and, but beyond that I'll refer you to commerce for the details.
PRESS: Can you tell us if the president was aware the secretary had a medical condition that made him prone to seizures?
CARNEY: I - I have nothing on that for you. I can tell you that the president nominated Secretary Bryson to serve because he felt he was capable of doing the job and he has been an affective commerce secretary since he was confirmed.
PRESS: And one last on this. Is he - so as the matter stands right now, is the secretary healthy and fit to serve?
CARNEY: Well, I would refer you to the commerce department for details on - on Secretary Bryson and his health and more details on this incident. You know again we're - we're still in the process of gathering information about it. You understand that this happened - you know he was alone, he was on private time, not with his security detail, he was hospitalized. So there's more that needs to be learned.
While answering questions about why the White House wasn't alerted about Bryson's accidents until Sunday night – the day after the accidents reportedly occurred – Carney repeatedly emphasized just how unique this situation is:
CARNEY: We are in discussion with the Commerce Department about this. Again, it was a unique, let me just step back and say whenever a senior official is involved in an incident of this nature or any kind of incident like it, it is obviously important that the White House find out about it. This circumstance was pretty unique in that Secretary Bryson was alone, was not with a security detail, was on private time, which is common for certain members of the Cabinet. And it resulted in him both having a seizure and ending up in a hospital. For that reason I think you have to recognize that this is somewhat unique. But in general certainly it is important that the white house be informed as soon as possible.