By Kerry Eleveld

Originally published on Advocate.com March 31 2010 12:25 PM ET

White House press secretary Robert Gibbs declined to answer Tuesday whether President Barack Obama would like Congress to take action on repealing “don’t ask, don’t tell” this year.

“There is a process that’s in place to move forward on the President’s commitment to repeal 'don’t ask, don’t tell,’” Gibbs said in response to a question from The Advocate. “We’re following that process. We’ll see where the legislative road takes us as we continue to build support to keep the commitment that the president has made.”

The Advocate followed up with, “So the president would feel perfectly comfortable letting the next Congress take that up?”

“Well, again, we’re going to follow the process and the path that are under way with the clear direction that the president has given to repeal this,” Gibbs responded.

Below is the transcript of the exchange.

The Advocate: Over successive weeks, Congressman Barney Frank has asked the White House to clarify whether it would like to see legislative action taken this year on “don’t ask, don’t tell.” He’s said that direction from the White House has been “muddled,” and then at one point said that you guys were actually sort of “ducking” whether or not you wanted to see legislative action taken on repeal. Would the president like to see that law —
Robert Gibbs: Well, Kerry, I would just say this, I don’t think what Admiral Mullen and Secretary Gates have enunciated on this appears muddled to anyone. I don’t — there is a process that’s in place to move forward on the president’s commitment to repeal “don’t ask, don’t tell.”

I don’t — Admiral Mullen is the first chair of the Joint Chiefs of Staff to sit up in front of Congress and say that the law ought to be repealed — not somebody who is retired, not somebody who is long past their commitment of serving their country, but somebody who sat up there and said that. And Secretary Gates and the commission at the Pentagon have taken some important steps.

We’re following that process. We’ll see where the legislative road takes us as we continue to build support to keep the commitment that the president has made.

So the president would feel perfectly comfortable letting the next Congress take that up?
Well, again, we’re going to follow the process and the path that are under way with the clear direction that the president has given to repeal this.