1:50 p.m. Gibbs also said that President Obama spoke by phone with the King of Jordan on Tuesday night, but did not give any further details. King Abdullah II of Jordan dismissed his Cabinet and prime minister on Tuesday after weeks of protests, hiring another prime minister to enact "immediate" political and economic reforms.
1:33 p.m. Gibbs was asked what the White House meant by “now” in calling for Mubarak to make the transition in government. “Now means yesterday,” Gibbs said.
1:25 p.m. ABC’s Jake Tapper put White House press secretary Robert Gibbs on the spot by asking him if President Obama thinks Egyptian President Hosni Mubarak is a dictator. He responds: “The administration believes that President Mubarak has a chance to show the world exactly who he is by beginning this transition that is so desperately needed in his country and by his people.”
1:19 p.m. Asked about Obama’s reaction to the violence in Egypt that has escalated today, White House press secretary Robert Gibbs said in today’s press briefing: “The president and this administration strongly condemn the outrageous and deplorable violence that’s taking place in the streets of Cairo today. We have said that throughout this process. If any violence is instigated by the government, it should stop immediately. That has been our message throughout this.”
Gibbs called Obama’s discussion with Mubarak last night “direct,” “frank,” and “candid.”
Obama's message to Mubarak was that "the time for change had come," Gibbs said.
12:55 p.m. Egyptian state TV is warning people to evacuate Tahrir Square, The Guardian reports. Meanwhile, BBC reports that Egypt's health ministry said one person has been killed and 403 people wounded so far in the violence there today.
12:49 p.m. State Department spokesman P.J. Crowley released a statement on today's attacks on demonstrators and journalists:
"After days of peaceful protests in Cairo and other cities in Egypt, today we see violent attacks on peaceful demonstrators and journalists. The United States denounces these attacks and calls on all engaged in demonstrations currently taking place in Egypt to do so peacefully.
These attacks are not only dangerous to Egypt; they are a direct threat to the aspirations of the Egyptian people. The use of violence to intimidate the Egyptian people must stop. We strongly call for restraint."
12:40 p.m. National Journal political columnist Charlie Cook has more on White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley's comments on the crisis in Egypt.
12:37 p.m. Al Jazeera reports that the military in Tahrir Square is now trying to enforce the curfew and telling protesters to go inside. It's 7:37 p.m. in Cairo. The curfew was supposed to start today at 5 p.m.
12:26 p.m. This just in from National Journal's Josh Smith: "Even as street protests took a turn for the worse Wednesday, analysts and observers on the ground are reporting that Internet access seems to have returned in Egypt," he writes. After a five-day blackout, analysts noticed a spike in Internet traffic at about 11:30 a.m. in Egypt, according James Cowie of the Internet intelligence firm Renesys.
12:15 p.m. Wael Nawara, secretary general of the opposition Ghad party, tells the BBC: "Whatever sympathy [President Mubarak] had from us yesterday, I think this sympathy has totally dried up. We have 500 injured in Tahrir Square just because he wants to stay in power for another few months. Why can't he just step down now?"
12:13 p.m. National Journal political columnist Charlie Cook reports:
"The whole world is watching," White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley said of the crisis in Egypt this morning, borrowing a slogan that demonstrators used against his father more than three decades ago to put authorities in the troubled nation on notice not to crack down on street protestors.
At a Bloomberg News breakfast with reporters, Daley quoted the taunt shouted against his father, the late Chicago Mayor Richard Daley, when he noted the Egyptian authorities use of fire hoses to suppress protestors. The tactic recalled the violence that broke out between anti-war demonstrators and local police during the 1968 Democratic convention in Chicago.