Chen timeline, senior administration official pushes back on criticism
In this handout photograph provided by the U.S. Embassy Beijing press office, Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng (L) talks with U.S. Ambassador to China Gary Locke (R) May 2, 2012 in Beijing, China.(Photo credit: Getty Images)
May 4th, 2012
08:33 AM ET

Chen timeline, senior administration official pushes back on criticism

CNN White House correspondent Dan Lothian reports a senior administration official answers criticism that officials initially rushed Chinese dissident Chen Guangcheng out of the U.S. Embassy and didn't stay in touch.
Below is a timeline provided by the official.

Wednesday, May 2nd
-U.S. Officials meet with Chen's wife and family at train station and then accompany them to hospital.
-US officials connect them with Chen twice by phone.
-3pm: Ambassador Locke accompanies Chen to the hospital then departs.
-Other US officials remain with him at the hospital until 6:30pm.
-US officials (several but no exact number) speak with him twice more that evening by phone.
-In all they spend 3.5 hours with him.

Thursday, May 3rd
-US officials speak with Chen twice in the morning by phone.
-Calls happened before 9:45am.
-At 9:45am US officials go to the hospital and meet with wife and family for 1 1/2 hours.
-Chen's lawyer speaks with Chen's wife on phone for 20 minutes.
-That afternoon Embassy Doctor discusses health issues with Chen's doctor.
-US officials depart at 7:15pm.
-They try to speak with Chen by phone later that night but are unable to reach him.

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soundoff (68 Responses)
  1. John

    88 million American's have given up looking for work. Only 115,000 jobs created and this story is the biggest concern for congress and this entire administration? Unemployment is down .01% because jobs keep going away and this administration thinks it is a good thing. If this country can eliminate just another 50 million jobs the unemployment # will fall to under 8% and Obama can get re-elected!! Quite the strategy. It seems similar to the "illegal strategy" i.e. continue to eliminate jobs and the illegals will have no reason to cross the border. Seems like this administration is meeting their goals.

    May 4, 2012 at 9:19 am |
    • mctampa

      Put the blame where it lies. This congress has refused to pass job creating legistation; infrastructure, education and training just to bring this president down. And We the people have allowed it. The worst congressional record in history, they should all be voted out.

      May 4, 2012 at 10:52 am |
      • Kool-Aid Police

        Kool-aid ALERT!! Face reality and put the cork back on the jug.

        May 4, 2012 at 1:36 pm |
      • John

        3.5 years in to his tenure and he isn't getting the job done. The reason doesn't matter anymore. If he can't get it done now why would anyone vote for him again? Won't it be the same over the next 4 years? Maybe you or another lib can tell us why you think he will be able to get the job done in the next 4 years if he is reelected when he can't get it done now?
        A true leader would find a way to work through problems and find a way to great success by gaining cooperation. Community organizers get things done in a very different way, many times by conflict. Obama and the libs haven't realized conflict does not work for a leader of a nation, but it does make good politics.

        May 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
      • jerrylax

        I have an the mess in the middle east, Russia, our oil prices (obama misstep in Iran, green revolution), food prices....everywhere you look we have BIG problems..and what has obama really done besides buy union votes stifle business, oil drilling, and push Israel to war buy apeasing Russia and China and the Muslim Brotherhood(check the story on john-the-idiot-kerry in Egypt again this week meeting with the muslim brotherhood (mortal enemies of Israel)...then tell me he (obama) should have another four years. My goodness obama/clinton can not even handle this problem with the chineses blind guy...muffed it every way you can imigine...this is what you do when you rule not by the heart...morally bankrupt presidency and it shows.

        May 4, 2012 at 2:26 pm |
      • DEcember 2012


        May 4, 2012 at 3:46 pm |
      • Pete

        @mctampa,ya forget the republican governors that are going on a cutting spree reducing education,healthcare and government sector jobs.Hard to look for work when these political hypocrites like Walker,Scott and Kasich are killing all the jobs ,while giving their Super Pac millionaires tax breaks,just wait till recall time.They'll all be gone but Scott,no recall law in Florida,but we have other ways to get around this,its politically legal,just wait...

        May 5, 2012 at 11:15 am |
      • jerry

        another clinton/obama fumble and lie, or this would not even be in the news....this is the real issue...chen other than that is not news.

        May 5, 2012 at 1:02 pm |
      • Howard

        Obama has been systematically dismantling America, for the past 3 1/2 years ... and, you, want to give him 4 more years, to COMPLETELY destroy this once great country ??? The problem is that your infatuation, and delusions, for this empty suit, exceed your love for America !!! Americans are waking up to what a complete phony Barack Obama is, and how destructive he is to this country. That's why, in November, Obama will finally be exorcised, removed, flushed, and dumped ... allowing America to once again return to its former prosperity, and status, as the greatest country in the world.

        May 6, 2012 at 12:17 pm |
    • 2020

      Where were you when Bush shed 750,000 jobs per month? were you celebrating? Did you know how many jobs Bush created in 8 years? The largest government funded project was invasion of Iraq – with money no idea where to borrow it from, and death and wounds of thousands. Hope you know what you are talking about.

      May 6, 2012 at 10:53 am |
      • John

        Not that it matters, because Bush has been history for almost 4 years, but I never voted for Bush.

        May 7, 2012 at 11:33 am |
  2. RealityBites

    Who to believe? Chen Guangcheng or the White House??
    A history of biased avoidance and blame games does have a way of coming back to haunt you.
    Just ask the collaberatign news networks...

    May 4, 2012 at 9:33 am |
  3. jerry

    truth is obama/clinton/state dept told this guy the chinese govt would torture his family if he left the country...a lie, the govt said he can apply for a student obama is in full damage control....much more important to them than addressing the dismal jobs report.... obama: thumping his smoke filled chest "look at me I got osama, Im a hero"..."vote for me". Ignorant phony fool.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:29 am |
  4. jerry

    obama in damage control...tried to throw this guy under the bus, got caught in a lie, and business as usual...strutting salesmanship...empty shirt failure.

    May 4, 2012 at 10:30 am |
  5. mctampa

    Who cares about this, one man who by the way did not ask for amnesty and initally wanted to stay in China. I don't care, this is not a crisis and the us needs to stop meddling in the business of other countries. As for the republican outrage, spare me.... If someone from china came here and demanded an american be released to china they would go balistic! Hypocrites!

    May 4, 2012 at 10:50 am |
    • Kool-Aid Police

      That will be a $20.00 fine for being a delusional leftist.

      May 4, 2012 at 1:38 pm |
      • Pete

        @koolaide,you'd better be glad you're not giving fines to ignorent republicans like on these sites,you'd be rolling in dough...And ya better check out your delusional hypocrites you call republicans,they actually think that Romney,who's the savior for the righteous 1%ers is going to help your middleclass cause,you gotta be friggin crazy,O I forgot ,I'm talking to a halfwit republican,sorry...Do some real reading sometime and quit watching that Fox shit,that'll give ya brain damage.Limbaugh is no saint either,just a wanna be Democrate and God knows we won't let him be one,he's all yours,drugs and all.Good luck with hour Mormon nitwit,I don't care what your buds said else where,but nobody wants to commit political suicide with that poor excuse for a politician that steps on his own tongue everywhere..

        May 6, 2012 at 10:28 pm |
    • jerrylax

      the real point is obama/clinton threw this guy under the bus and lied about moral character...that is what I care about....we need honest adult leadership that love mankind and strive to do the right thing and not always just to enhance their political power or save their ego...AND THAT AINT OBAMA OR CLINTON!

      May 4, 2012 at 2:15 pm |
      • Pete

        Jerrylax,its sure is hell ain't Romney,your republican leper,he couldn't tell the truth if his kids lives depended on it,pure political fact and its recorded for all to hear,while on his campaign.

        May 5, 2012 at 11:21 am |
      • 2020

        With you sleep talk like this, you have no idea of fact from fiction. Go back to bed.

        May 6, 2012 at 10:57 am |
  6. judy

    so many foreign policy experts on this sight. The same old jerks that post every chance they get to bash the president . Even ol mitt the twit opened his big mouth and inserted foot. Apparently they have not been reading the news because they screwed the story all up. Or they have been reading the faux news. Obama 2012

    May 4, 2012 at 2:42 pm |
    • jerrylax

      oh really? Hillary Clinton was the central figure in the Clinton Administratiion...there were a total of 43 ethics controversies in this mess of a presidency...the very first one was TRAVELGATE. Hillary fired eight long time whitehouse travel employees so she could hire her friends to replace them... when this blew into a full scale mess she was forced to rehire the process investiagions proved Hillary Clinton (then used her Rodham name too) made false statements..LIED! This is when Vince Foster tookhis ownlife....this is the first of 43 ethics messes Mz Clinton was involved in.....Now, you want us to believe she is now a born again progressive truthfull woman...sorry, she is what she is and she handled this mess just like she has always done...first do as I wish then get caught then lie my way as usual for clinton/obama!

      May 4, 2012 at 3:22 pm |
    • demwit

      Obama/Clinton lie!? Noooooooooo..., you must be confused.

      May 4, 2012 at 3:48 pm |
    • demwit

      Come on now Jerry, just because Hillary's finger prints were all over those files doesn't mean she knew they were hidden in her closet. It could have been Monica you know.., she had motive.

      May 4, 2012 at 3:51 pm |
      • jerry

        or or or Jenifer Flowers... oh my

        May 4, 2012 at 4:21 pm |
    • Howard

      Obama's foreign strategy consists of lying on our back, exposing our throat, and playing dead ... along with handing over huge amounts of whatever our black mailers demand.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:32 pm |
    • Howard

      JUDY ... you're one of the same old jerks that post every chance they get, to make excuses for the president . You exhibit the typical euphoric, deer in the headlights, gullible, traits of a mindless, easily molded, fanatic follower, every time you blog ... walking in lock step, with the rest of the Obama stooges.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:36 pm |
  7. DEcember 2012


    May 4, 2012 at 3:49 pm |
    • demwit

      Of course Chen is coming to the US. Its the political correct thing to do.., after you lie to a blind man.

      May 4, 2012 at 3:56 pm |
    • jerry

      funny thing is...Chen would have been let out of the country in the first place...hahahaha

      May 4, 2012 at 4:22 pm |
    • Steveo

      I'm sorry but when I read you mentioning "PRAISE OBAMA", I automatically thought about North Korea! My bad, but Isn't a simple, Thank you, it was the right thing to do enough? Not sure how abortion or anti abortion entered the discussion, Chen's a grown man, not a fetus!

      May 4, 2012 at 4:23 pm |
      • DEcember 2012


        May 4, 2012 at 5:23 pm |
      • Steveo

        Before my lefty buddies get a little over worked about my words, it is semantics! "Praise Obama" is too strong foe me, thus the NK reference! "Thank Obama"? No problem as I have done that before, when appropriate! Keep your hate mail! I am just talking semantics people, just semantics!

        May 4, 2012 at 5:24 pm |
      • Steveo

        He is challenging the one-child policy and other human rights violations in China! How'd I do??

        May 4, 2012 at 5:31 pm |
      • DEcember 2012


        May 4, 2012 at 5:46 pm |
      • Steveo

        Government over reach!

        May 4, 2012 at 5:57 pm |
      • DEcember 2012


        May 4, 2012 at 7:07 pm |
      • jean2009

        @Steveo You know full well who Chen is...he has been backed by the pro-life movement in this country for probably several doubt some of the right-wingers at NYU. However, it helps to get him on campus when Hilary's Chief of Staff and the President's Chief of Staff both have ties to NYU.

        Just another way for certain groups to time embarrassing the President.

        So yes, you can thank both the President and the Secretary of State; who are caring decent people.

        May 4, 2012 at 7:36 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ Steveo....,8599,1912861,00.html

        So you would suggest they not have overreached and allowed hundreds of thousands of children to die of starvation? So Republican!

        May 4, 2012 at 7:48 pm |
      • jean2009

        @ Steveo a little added reading.

        May 4, 2012 at 7:52 pm |
      • Steveo


        There really is no need for children or anybody else to die of starvation. Human acts of evil and greed are the culprit. It sounds like you would just rather have them all aborted? So liberal!

        May 5, 2012 at 9:44 am |
      • Steveo


        I actually have thanked the president and have given "credit where it id due" when appropriate AND did so on this very blog. You have seen me do that!

        May 5, 2012 at 9:47 am |
      • Steveo


        @ Steveo....,8599,1912861,00.html

        jean, you said "So you would suggest they not have overreached and allowed hundreds of thousands of children to die of starvation? So Republican!"

        Jean, Aren't you preaching abortion is a "woman's choice?" What are you saying, now? The Chinese government are FORCING abortions! Where is that a woman's choice? Are you saying you in agreement with that policy? Even though it is the government doing the choosing and not the individual woman? Or is it all good because an abortion is an abortion is an abortion? Help make this clear for me, please!

        May 5, 2012 at 9:54 am |
      • jerry post the same old tired bs...anything to deflect attention from the real issue..and that is obama should never have been elected in the first place...a very careful manipulation of the american voter. And, Jeant the democratic party no longer exists the powers, clinton, obama, reid...and etc...have hijacked the party and moved it so far left it is now marxist...Mitt Romney is center right where the party(democratic) has almost always been...and this IS America, center are either an old fossil or too young to know how to think...

        May 5, 2012 at 1:09 pm |
    • Sponge-Bob

      Go ahead and worship Obama but don't expect the rest of us to. Try out the Caps Lock once in a while, it's quite a concept but might be a little deep for you.

      May 4, 2012 at 4:46 pm |
    • DEcember 2012



      May 4, 2012 at 5:27 pm |
      • Steveo

        DEcember 2012,

        Saving this man and his family from certain imprisonment, torture, and maybe even death IS the right thing to do! We have agreement there!

        May 4, 2012 at 5:34 pm |
      • jerry

        there was nothing to save him from...problem is clinton/obama muffed this from the beginning and then lied about it....

        May 5, 2012 at 12:45 pm |
    • 2020

      Ask Romney how many millions of Chinese he wants to accept, now a precedent is set.

      May 6, 2012 at 10:59 am |
  8. jerry

    if this is all about human rights then...why is it obama turned his back on Iran (Green Revolution) and does the same to Syria(9,000 lives taken)...allowing russia more power in eastern europe, jumping into bed with the Muslim Brotherhood (who are mortal enemies of Israel)...sending almost 200,000,000 to the Palestinians.... now Israel must call up their military reserves...Israel is the only democracy in the middle east, do they not count?

    May 4, 2012 at 6:21 pm |
    • DEcember 2012


      May 4, 2012 at 7:02 pm |
      • Pete

        @December,hey,just wait to the debates,then Pres.Obama will trounce this political leper.He has no foriegn policy experience and just as his other republican governors have done,leave their states in economic shambles,enough said.I'm tired of writting to these brainwashed goons,their morally and politically inept,I'm thru....

        May 5, 2012 at 11:38 am |
      • Steveo


        What foreign policy did the president have as a candidate? Yeah I know he was a sitting senator but for 1 year! What foreign policy experience did he have prior to becoming a 1 year senator? You're making it sound like you have never heard of ADVISERS! I hope you realize the president has them too! I too am looking forward to the debates!

        The previous governor in Michigan was a liberal. How well did they fare then?

        May 5, 2012 at 11:49 am |
      • jerry

        December...can you read? Or, can you think?

        May 5, 2012 at 12:44 pm |
      • DEcember 2012


        May 5, 2012 at 4:37 pm |
      • jerry

        obama can not think on his feet....debates will destroy him. He hasn't had a real press conference in seven months...he has avoided real time questions and answers for a very good reason.....this is going to happen in spades in the debates and Romney will tear him apart.

        May 7, 2012 at 11:28 am |
  9. clarke

    There is something all wrong about Chen. I am not understanding his importance to China or the US. There are human rights issues every where in the world. We can't save them all, Chen story is only one in millions. I am not understanding what makes this man front page news.

    May 5, 2012 at 7:05 am |
    • Newmoon2

      Totally agree... something doesn't exactly ring true about this guy.

      May 5, 2012 at 12:53 pm |
  10. greg

    listening to all the idiots talk about foreign policy cracks me up. Thank god for our president and hillary. You num nuts would have us in a war. Thankfully ol mitt the twit is not in office. If you vote that clown in just bend over and ask for a kiss.

    May 5, 2012 at 9:53 am |
    • Steveo

      Listening to all the idiots talk about foreign policy cracks me up

      Yet Greg, here you are joining us and not one time have you bothered to offer up your foreign policy credentials!

      May 5, 2012 at 9:58 am |
      • Pete

        @Steveo,I'm so glad your the policy minister, he like you is full of shit.Just writting down points with nothing to back it up.Told you and the republican clown circus of points I did read about ,with your elustreous leader Bush and HIS FORIEGN POLICY EXPERIENCE with Osamas father years ago and how he ,Osama plus Bush were connected years ago, you hypocrites won't touch it with a ten foot pole,all ya say is ,I know ,I know that ,but ya still don't read it .YOU'RE IN DENILE AND YA CAN'T STAND THE FACT I'M GIVING YOU THE TRUTH,YA CAN'T STAND YOUR PRESIDENTS DIRTY PASTS, PLAIN AND SIMPLE.I'm also not an idiot,like I said if I make a mistake I apologize,that's it,you're the ones with the dirty players on your side and ya know it...It'll all come out in November and your shit Romney will go down that political drain not the incumbent.Then you can stew till 2016 and have to fight the possibility of Hillary going against ya,ta ta...O tell me old wise one of your credentials,I'm waiting with all the other Dems and Independents,come on now,you're on the clock,smart ass!!!Your hypocrites buddies are waiting also or hang it up big boy and let the ADULTS in the room have a say....

        May 6, 2012 at 7:03 pm |
      • Steveo

        @ Pete,
        1. I'm NOT the policy minister and neither are you, Greg or anybody else! Ar eyou READING any o this? Did yo read where Greg was complaining about folks talkibng about foreign policy when HE is doing the exact thing? Have you read where Greg displayed HIS foreign policy creditials? I think not but All is good when Greg complains and turns around and do the very same thing he is complaining about. All good because he is a liberal, did I get that right, Pete?

        2. Truth? You stated Bush did not go atfer Osama Bin Laden because of the relationship between Osama's father and Bush's father. You provided Speculation only. Is that what you cal ltruth? My, what a very low bar you have set. I told you Osama's family disowned him. You stated you don't believe that (probably because that placed a major dent into your speculation). Truth? If you say so!

        3. You realize Bush has been gone for 3.5 years. right? Take the blinders off Pete! You seem to believe all Dems are angels,and all GOP are devils! Really, is that what you call TRUTH?

        4. "hang it up big boy and let the ADULTS in the room have a say", Your words Pete! Yet you're still here!

        5. Tighten up on that vocabulary Pete! You're scaring the kids!

        May 7, 2012 at 11:42 am |
      • Pete

        @Steveo,I,like December ,back up my statements with facts.I put those sites on here for you,I can't make you read them,but always being in denile like you are,just makes it harder,on you .And read about Hoovers Great Depression,it took 12 years Steveo,12 years even with that socialist you call Roosevelt ,a democrate to fix the largest political debacle in our nation history,now get off my ass unless you and the rest of you REPUBLICAN morons have anything intelligent to say,got that BOZO!!!!!It's time out for you until you get some brains.And yes,I did give you FACTS THAT ARE PUBLISHED BY THE BBC ON THE BIN LADEN ,BUSH AFFAIR,READ IT!!!!

        May 10, 2012 at 10:45 am |
      • Steveo

        Yo Pete!

        Your feelings hurt or something? I will say this again:

        You have not given ANY proof that GWB did not go after OBL because of the relationship bewteen their fathers! You said their fathers had a relationship. That is proven. What you have NOT proven is your assumption/speculation that GWB somehow failed to track down OBL due to the relationship between the fathers! Back to the drawing board with you, Sir!

        May 10, 2012 at 11:02 am |
  11. Newmoon2

    Chen comes across as an opportunist and a bit of a nutter! I don't think we should be bending over backwards to bring this guy here. If things don't go the way he wants at any given moment (and he changes his mind A LOT), he'll say or do whatever suits him at that moment without considering the broader implications. Back away... quickly.

    May 5, 2012 at 12:51 pm |
  12. Gimmeabreak!

    Obama can NEVER make a decision unless and until public opinion forces him to. This is a LEADER? No way!

    Romney 2012

    May 6, 2012 at 12:15 pm |
  13. April

    Let's see this guy Chen acted against the Chinese Government–he is put under house arrest with his wife and child oh the tragedy-Then there is Bradley Manning in solitary confinement for years–hmmm–who are the worse guys here?

    May 7, 2012 at 10:36 pm |
    • John

      Chen said yesterday he was beaten with "big sticks". Joe told us the president carries a big stick? Hmmmm...

      As long as this country has AMERICANS IN PRISON IN OTHER COUNTRIES, like Cuba, Iran etc. it seems to me our priorities are as messed up as it gets.

      May 8, 2012 at 6:52 am |