Briefing by the Vice President and Attorney General Janet Reno
The Briefing Room
1:07 P.M. EST
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Ladies and gentlemen, thank you very much for attending here today. I'm going to acknowledge Attorney General Janet Reno and introduce her; and in just a moment, after I make my remarks, I will turn over the podium to her and she will then introduce the others who will be making presentations.
I want to acknowledge the presence of Louis Freeh, the Director of the FBI; Ron Noble, Assistant Secretary at the Treasury Department for Enforcement; and also Joe Curran, who is the Attorney General in Maryland and here today representing the National Association of Attorneys General; Bill O'Malley, who is District Attorney in the Plymouth district in Massachusetts and is president of the National District Attorneys Association; Sylvester Daughtry, who is Chief of Police in Greensboro, North Carolina, and president of the International Association of Chiefs of Police. They will all be making presentations in just a moment.
Also present, but not formally speaking on the program, are Steve Greene, who is the Acting Administrator of the Drug Enforcement Administration; Eddie Gonzalez, Director of the U.S. Marshals Service; Chris Droney, the U.S. Attorney for the state of Connecticut; and John Magaw, who is Director of the U.S. Secret Service.
We're here today -- oh, I'm sorry, I know that well. I'm sorry, my card was wrong -- of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms. You all know that, anyway.
We're here today, all of us, to address the issue of violent crime. We're here today not only to speak about it, but to emphasize the need to act and to lay out a program.
Since 1970, the percentage of violent crime has doubled in our country. The percentage of persons incarcerated for violent crimes has remained the same or even decreased. Gangs have been a major cause of the growth in violent crime in the past decade. In 1992, juveniles were responsible for 17.5 percent of all violent crime arrests. By 1992, 72 of the nation's 79 largest cities reported experiencing gang violence.
ATF reports the presence of Bloods and Crips in 35 states now and 58 cities across our country. Small and medium-sized cities, even in rural states have not been spared the problems of gang violence. And the number of violent crimes is still rising.
Those are the statistics. But as the novelist Arthur Kessler once pointed out, statistics don't bleed. Crime and the fear it brings are tearing this country apart. I dare say that those of you in this group, if we were just talking personally, practically everybody here has a very close personal friend who in the last year
or two has been touched by violent crime. I know that's true of the men and women we work with throughout the administration. And it's true all over this country.
And Americans are fed up and want to see action -- not just political rhetoric; they want to move beyond ideology, beyond the political divisions. They want meaningful answers. And we are sincerely searching, with these representatives of groups around the country, with members of Congress on a bipartisan basis, with community leaders from all over the nation -- we're searching for what works and what is really going to make a difference in our nation's ability to deal with this problem. That's why we're here today.
This administration has had some luck thus far, for example, in breaking seven years of gridlock with the passage of the Brady Bill, and we want to bring that same kind of focus that succeeded in breaking that gridlock to the crime bill. And we want to make sure we get the crime bill right. And we think we've got a lot of provisions that are right and will work.
Our crime bill will hire 100,000 new police officers and expand community policing. And no matter where you are on the ideological spectrum, you're probably going to agree that more community policing is part of the answer, both on the prevention side and on the punishment side.
The bill also provides money for boot camps, state prisons, for fighting crimes against women, for drug courts, for criminal addicts. But we have to do a lot more.
So today we're launching a federal antiviolent crime enforcement initiative. The initiative being announced here forms partnerships with local and state authorities, sharing with them federal investigative and enforcement techniques to help attack violent gangs and narcotics trafficking. We believe this is going to work. This approach has never been taken on a nationwide basis. It's an approach that is long overdue.
Forming partnerships with federal, state and local law enforcement agencies establishes a nationwide approach to combat crime more effectively. It allows us to attack violent crime in every community.
This administration is committed to providing state and local law enforcement with the tools they need to fight crime where it occurs. The federal government and its agencies can offer a wide variety of law enforcement procedures that state and local levels do not already have -- procedures that will not only enable state and local levels to react to crime, but to proactively attack crime and root out the most serious criminals in the community.
This initiative can move forward without any new legislation. We need the crime bill, and we've got a full-court press on to pass the crime bill. But this particular initiative today does not require new legislation, nor does it have to wait. We're moving right away. We already have the funds in this year's budget. It doesn't require new funds. We can do this ourselves with a simple commitment to more effectively use what we have already in a way that hasn't been done before.
Now, to handle the rest of the program and to begin with her statement, it is now my pleasure to introduce the woman whose incite and leadership has been an inspiration for this new program, our Attorney General, Janet Reno.
Q: Mr. Vice President, before you leave, have the two of you agreed on a formulation for three strikes that would not be
burdensome to the penal system and would not result in getting the wrong people in jail?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: We presented a proposal this morning -- Joanne Harris, the Acting Deputy Attorney General, testified before Congressman Schumer's committee, and we can give you the specifics on it.
THE VICE PRESIDENT: The trick to that is -- you obviously want to avoid a definition that is going to fill up the prisons for life with people who really are not in the category that Americans know are the people who are really responsible for a huge percentage of the violent crimes in America. But if you get the definition right, and really focus on that group, you're going to make a huge dent in violent crime. So all these people who say, well, three strikes and you're out is not a responsible approach -- they're wrong, because if you get the definition right, you can really get at the repeat offender.
I'm going to have to leave.
Q: Do you leave violent crimes outside of the federal jurisdiction?
THE VICE PRESIDENT: Well, there are different ways to skin this cat. You go ahead.
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: And I'll address that in just a moment.
As we announce the President's antiviolent crime initiative today, I am reminded that it is a little over a year ago, on February 11th, that I stood in the Rose Garden as I was nominated and said, I want to form a true partnership between federal, state and local law enforcement agencies throughout this nation to ensure that career criminals, dangerous offenders and drug traffickers get strict and certain sentences that put them away and keep them away.
I took office a little over a month afterwards and found, as I suspected, that federal efforts were fragmented, that there were indeed turf battles and that agencies did not exchange information. I found even more troubling that there was only a limited focus on violence. This was troubling because, to me, violence was the number one crime problem in America and probably the number one problem in America. And it seemed to me that the federal effort should be focused in a principled way in using federal resources the way they should be used to support and assist local law enforcement throughout the country.
Thus, I resolved to properly direct every federal law enforcement weapon at my command towards violent crime; not to take credit from state and local law enforcement, because they are the front-line warriors; not to handle something in federal court just for the heck of it, but because it was the right thing to do; but to do it in a real partnership with state and local law enforcement -- doing what we do best.
Over this past year, I talked with the attorneys general of the various states, with prosecutors, with police officers, with state police officials. I talked with federal agents both in the field and here in Washington. I wanted to put something together that was real and was not just talk; that was based on real experience in the field; that identified problems and developed means of curing those problems.
Just a few minutes ago, we had something happen that we all considered historic. The Assistant Secretary for Enforcement for Treasury, the Director of the FBI, the Administrator of the DEA, the
United States Marshal, and the Director of the Alcohol and Tobacco and Firearms Bureau talked in a conference call with over 200 United States attorneys, U.S. marshals, FBI and DEA SACS, INS personnel and ATF regional administrators outlining this violent crime initiative, which is based on careful consideration and a thoughtful approach as to how to get the job done. All of us walked away from that call considering it a historic moment. We each looked at it from our perspective and we'd not seen anything happen like that.
This is not a fancy proposal. It's a brick and mortar proposal where we are putting things together; we've done much of it already. But what it involves is people working together. I've asked the United States attorneys throughout the country to identify someone in their office to serve as violent crime coordinator, and to reach out to state and local law enforcement so that we ensure that all the federal agencies in that district work together. Violence is basically a local problem and it can't be solved in a top-down approach.
I've also explained to them that Department of Justice will create a new violent crime section and form violent crime response teams. The members of these teams will be prosecutors expert at convicting violent criminals and violent traffickers. The violent crime response teams will be at the ready, available to local law enforcement, to United States attorneys across the land to provide assistance, support, technical expertise and prosecutive abilities.
The working groups will first of all begin to share information. It has been so gratifying to me to see the efforts that have been achieved through the leadership of Assistant Secretary Noble, Director Freeh, Steve Greene and Mr. Magaw whereby federal agencies are, for the first time, exchanging information and developing systems to ensure a full exchange of information.
I have had the Chief of Police of Los Angeles tell me how critically important it was to the solution of a number of homicides that DEA cooperated with local law enforcement in providing tips. I have watched other police agencies in the midwest tell me how important it was to have information from the federal agencies as to youth gangs traveling across the midwest. But it's been done on a sporadic basis. Now it's going to be done on an organized basis with everybody working together.
We're in the process in the department of developing reliable data on just what's happening in terms of violent crime in America -- where it's going up, where it's going down, and why it's going up or down; who are the career criminals, who are the violent traffickers, what youth gang activity exists, what is the dimension of the youth violence problem, and how are undocumented aliens a part of this problem.
We are then going, through the working group, to develop strategies that use every federal law appropriate to address the issue in a focused way, doing what the federal government can do best in supporting and assisting state and local government when they need our assistance, through the use of our pretrial detention statutes, the armed career criminal statute -- which, in Miami, to answer your question, I would get real frustrated when I had a three-time armed robber who had been prosecuted and convicted and sentenced to prison back out and doing it again. I couldn't get stiff sentences in state court. I took those cases to federal court. There was a great working relationship with ATF, with the United States Attorney's Office, and I want to see that type of partnership exist throughout the country.
Many of the smaller jurisdictions don't have wire-tap expertise. We can provide that. I know -- and I hope the Marshal
doesn't think I'm overdoing it -- how frustrated I was at times when we had a significant problem involving violent crime and we couldn't get somebody into the Witness Protection Act without a great deal of difficulty. And I look forward to that developing into a great cooperative working relationship. And in the same regard, with respect to fugitive apprehensions.
Our Office of Justice Programs is being focused to work with communities throughout the nation to provide technical assistance, to provide support, to develop means of exchanging information on what works and what doesn't work, on an immediate and current basis so that people can have a network throughout the country of systems that make a difference.
We want these decisions to be informed. We want to do it the right way and, most of all, we want to do it as a partner. I've seen example after example across the country of where it can work. But again, it's sporadic. But our strategy has worked. It's worked in New Haven, Connecticut. As a result of a comprehensive coordinated state, federal and local antigang strategy, New Haven's murder rate was cut by one-third in 1993. Eighteen members of the New Haven Jungleboy street gang were convicted of federal crimes and sentenced to more than 20 years in prison. Other Connecticut gangs are now facing similar prosecutions.
The Clinton administration's antiviolence initiative will repeat New Haven's success across the nation. This is the initiative. Together with the crime bill, the President's plan will create working partnerships with local law enforcement throughout the country, put more police on the streets, more violent criminals behind bars for a longer time, and take guns out of the hands of criminals.
One of the people most responsible for this effort is Ron Noble, the Assistant Secretary of Treasury, who has done so much to bring us all together in a truly coordinated federal law enforcement effort. And I'd like to recognize him.
ASSISTANT SECRETARY NOBLE: Thank you, Madam Attorney General.
I am particularly pleased to be here to kick off the President's anti-violent crime initiative. The program is based on cooperation -- one of the basic themes of Treasury law enforcement; and I'm taking positive, proactive steps against violent crime.
At Treasury, we are learning to turn our membership in the larger law enforcement community into a powerful asset. Organized crime, the drug cartels and even street gangs have demonstrated how cooperation can make the criminals stronger. But we've also learned that law enforcement, too, can cooperate to become stronger and more effective. The cooperation now taking place among federal law enforcement agencies under this administration is unprecedented. But under the plan we are beginning today, federal law enforcement cooperation with local law enforcement will be even greater and more effective. Different law enforcement agencies have different strengths and abilities. When we put these strengths together, we will realize a sort of synergy, a whole that makes it greater and more effective than the sum of its parts.
An incident last December, when our country experienced a series of bombings in upstate New York, shows the potential in this type of cooperation. Because terrorism was a possibility in the bombing case, because the U.S. mail was involved, because five murders occurred, the case presented a potential jurisdictional collision for ATF, the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspectors, the New York State Police and various county and city law enforcement agencies. But rather than fighting over jurisdiction, all agencies agreed that
ATF should take the lead with all the agencies contributing their respective expertise. Through this cooperation, a team emerged and the case was solved in a matter of hours. How did it happen? John Magaw, Louis Freeh, Attorney General Reno and I were on the phone to make sure that cooperation, not confrontation, prevailed.
Indeed, it's clear to anyone who reads a newspaper or watches the evening news that violent crime is a tremendous problem. Across the country, law enforcement finds itself in a reactive posture, forced to deal with violent crime after the fact. More can be done. This administration is committed to the concept of community policing to help cut down on violent crime before it happens. The violent crime program we are announcing today takes the same concept even further. Federal law enforcement will offer its particular expertise in various areas, and join with state and local law enforcement's own expertise to shut down violent criminals before they commit additional crimes.
On behalf of Secretary Bentsen and Director Magaw, I'm delighted and proud that Treasury law enforcement will be working along with the Department of Justice and with state and local law enforcement across the country to make the administration's new antiviolent crime program a success. I commend the Attorney General and all the others standing here with me for their dedication to the efficient and effective use of federal law enforcement's limited resources.
It is now a distinct honor to introduce the Director of the FBI Louis J. Freeh.
DIRECTOR FREEH: Thank you, Ron, and Madam Attorney General.
The epidemic of violence sweeping across this great nation requires a massive response in order to counter its effects. Under the leadership of the Attorney General and with the wise counsel of our valued colleague, Assistant Secretary for Enforcement, Ron Noble, we've crafted a response that creates greater coordination of investigative and prosecutive efforts among federal, state and local law enforcement officers.
Through the Office of Investigative Agency Policies, the FBI, DEA, Immigration and Naturalization Service and Marshal Service have agreed to attack violent crime in America by stopping the turf wars that, in the past, have hampered effective law enforcement. We'll also be working in greater partnership with ATF.
Such coordination demands an analysis of existing task force operations in order to ensure the most effective use of the various resources at our disposal. We will utilize those laws and those investigative techniques which, simply put, contribute to a single goal -- stopping the violence. The safety of the American people is, and must be, law enforcement's greatest and top concern.
I previously have announced that the FBI, for instance, is temporarily detailing 150 agents to Washington, D. C. and our Baltimore field offices to fight violent crime, among other things. That deployment began today when 42 special agents reported to the FBI's Washington field office. Also as part of this restructuring, our objective is that by the end of this year, approximately 300 agents will be permanently transferred to the field from FBI headquarters, and another 300 agents will be converted from administrative responsibilities to case work and investigative duties.
Similarly, in an era of fiscal austerity, law enforcement agencies cannot afford to duplicate efforts. Together with the state and local law enforcement officers who fight the
battle every day, federal law enforcement agencies must do more to combat America's scourge of violence. There is much we can do and that we will do in a genuine partnership fashioned through a common bond -- locking up those people who make America deadly. This anticrime initiative is the template for the federal and state cooperation that will reach the highest levels. The American public has a right to be safe. Through this effort, we intend to fulfill that critical obligation.
All of us here and the people who we spoke to this morning on the telephone and the people they represent do not believe that this is an intractable problem. We believe it's a problem that can be solved if addressed cooperatively and decisively, which is the intent of this initiative. Thank you.
It's my pleasure now to introduce Joe Curran, the Attorney General for the State of Maryland.
ATTORNEY GENERAL CURRAN: Thank you, Director.
Attorney General Reno, I'm pleased to announce that on behalf of Skip Humphrey and the National Association of Attorneys General throughout this country, we are as a collective body pleased to lend our support to you and to the Vice President and to the President on this initiative. And also, I want to thank you for a chance to talk just briefly about what we are trying to do in Maryland to work together on this issue. I think the bottom line is that there is, indeed, no turf on the issue of combating violent crime.
I recently had the opportunity in Baltimore to attend a civic meeting -- and I've attended a number of them with your own Lynn Battaglia -- in which a lady in the audience mentioned that she no longer is fearful only of the streets in Baltimore, but that her own daughter is now concerned about even appearing near the window of their house because just a few blocks from this particular home, there had been a drive-by shooting and a youngster, ten years of age, sadly was shot and killed. And so the daughter is now not only afraid to play outside, but she's also afraid to play in her own home near a window for fear that she or someone else might be shot.
It's ironic that our country was founded on the principle of the pursuit of life and liberty and the pursuit of happiness, and yet we now find ourselves in the pursuit of a safe neighborhood because we're fearful of crime everywhere. And I'd like very much for us to have a new motto that we're going to make the streets safe for citizens, but very dangerous for criminals; and this initiative, I think, will help.
I've been working with Lynn Battaglia in Maryland, and I've been working with our local police agencies. But I can't help but say that the offer of help from your federal agencies can't help but harden our respective commitment; harden our resolve to do whatever it takes to make good on that promise of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
So on behalf of the National Association of Attorneys General, I applaud this commitment for assistance to local and state agencies. It has been mentioned I think earlier by the Vice President himself that 90 percent of all the prosecutions for violent crime and other crime that does occur in this country is at the local or state level. But this offer of help from the federal agencies -- and I'm delighted, as a Baltimore resident, to know that additional FBI folks will be not only in Washington, but in Baltimore to help us in this program.
Somehow we've got to make people feel safer not only in their streets, but in their cars, and indeed, as this young daughter wanted to be concerned about, in their homes.
Thank you very much. We're pleased to join with you in this effort.
Now, I'm happy to introduce a person who has spent 22 years of his life fighting crime in the Boston area, District Attorney Bill O'Malley.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY O'MALLEY: Thank you very much.
The vast majority of violent crime is dealt with by local and state police, prosecuted by district and county attorneys and attorneys general. Sadly, the volume of violence in our society continues to rise to a point where today, the safety of each of us, our families, our loved ones, in our own homes and our own communities has risen to be the most pressing problem in our country today.
The antiviolence initiative announced today can be a valuable contribution in responding to this problem. It's not about the federal government telling local law enforcement how to do its job. The antiviolence initiative is about coordinating the federal effort, unifying it and focusing it, combining it with the local effort. There are tools that are unique in being within the federal domain. And particularly when crime is interstate, particularly when local law enforcement is in need of assistance through resources or otherwise, the involvement of federal law enforcement is most welcome.
I'm pleased to see the federal law enforcement agencies, both investigative and prosecutorial, work together with local law enforcement in seeking the common goal of safe and violence-free communities. The National District Attorneys Association as the voice of America's prosecutors welcomes this contribution. We are truly all in this together.
I'd like to introduce the next speaker, Chief Sylvester Daughtry, the Chief of Police in Greensboro, North Carolina, and the President of the International Association of Chiefs of Police.
CHIEF DAUGHTRY: Thank you, Mr. O'Malley.
To General Reno and other members on the platform, I am delighted to be here today to lend my support to this national anticrime initiative, and to express my gratitude to the Clinton administration for concentrating its efforts and resources into this critical area of concern for every American.
Last year, the International Association of the Chiefs of Police held a summit on violent crime, and issued a report detailing the enormity of the problem and making recommendations that would maximize and improve actions to identify, apprehend and incapacitate violent criminals preying on the American society.
We found that the rate of violent crime has increased in this country 371 percent since 1960. In the last 40 years, we've moved from having three police officers in the United States to respond to every violent crime to our current status where we have fewer than one police officer to respond to every three violent crimes.
Clearly, we need to marshal every available resource in this country to combat our violent crime problems, and today's initiative is going to take us a long way towards meeting that goal. This is a new program with a promising difference. With a clear
recognition that violent crime is primarily a state and local problem, this effort moves federal agencies into a genuine partnership with state and local agencies.
Absent are the turf wars. Gone are the recognition and credit issues. Missing is the notion that this will be an effort to develop a bureaucracy far from the field. Present are the important themes of working together to identify true problems of determining jointly those resources and programs that should be applied.
Most importantly from my perspective, this is a program that will put the federal government into a more effective role in fighting violent crime. It is so because the mandate of the initiative is to focus on the problem of violent crime by merging national organizations with state and local law enforcement on the front lines. And that's where the action is, and that's where we need the help.
I know I speak for law enforcement executives around the country, Mr. Vice President and General Reno, when I express my thanks for this initiative. We welcome the involvement and look forward to the progress I know that we will make.
Q: General Reno, you said a few minutes ago that violence is basically a local problem that can't be solved with a top-down approach, and almost everybody else at the podium has repeated that point. Given that, how can you say that either this reorganization of priorities within the Justice Department or the three strikes you're out bill, no matter how narrowly drawn, is going to make what Vice President Gore described as a huge dent in violent crime?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: Because I think they are tremendous tools. As a local prosecutor who watched the federal government do top-down for a long time and approached it from a fragmented point of view, watched DEA do one thing and the FBI do another, I saw missed opportunities. As a local prosecutor who sorely needed that assistance, needed that assistance focused on problems in Miami that we understood better, I longed for the day when there would be a true partnership with the federal government, using all its resources in the wisest way possible, to supplement, assist, and where appropriate, prosecute in federal court.
If there is a federal crime and if it's part of a three strikes you're out formula, as I mentioned earlier in response to the first question, that can be an extraordinarily effective tool in getting truly dangerous career criminals off the streets.
Q: If I could just follow -- in coming up with your three strikes you're out definition today, were you able to discover exactly how many crimes a year that would apply to if it's only applied to federal crimes?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: It will depend in terms -- because it's hard to determine now based on our present prison population, because we do not know how often it could have been used by state and local officials and it's not been used because they didn't have the cooperation, they didn't have the opportunity to pursue it in federal court. But it should not be overwhelming. It should be focused on those that truly create the dangerous situations in America.
Q: General Reno, is your office going to be investigating the shooting this morning in New York, and do you have any reason to think it was terrorism?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: The FBI has already -- I have already talked with Director Freeh and we are working -- and this
again is a classic example -- working with state and local law enforcement and prosecutors to do everything that is absolutely possible from a federal perspective in this matter.
Q: Do you have any reason to believe it's terrorism?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I would not comment on anything such as that during a pending matter.
Q: General Reno, is it possible or is there a danger that the constitutional rights of Americans might be short-changed as the federal government intensifies its effort against violent crime? For example, we read last week about a search warrant being executed on the wrong house in Philadelphia. If shortcuts are taken, is there a danger that rights are in jeopardy?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I am dedicated to doing everything I humanly can to see that the constitutional rights of all Americans are protected in every way possible. I have seen in local and in other situations where they have been abused. Wherever they are abused action must be taken and vigorously taken. But I think the professional law enforcement people with whom I have come in contact in the federal agencies, and the dedicated people on the front line and local agencies can work together to effectively and constitutionally and vigorously address the problem of violence in America.
Q: How much of your plan rests on funneling people into the federal courts so that you could get stiffer sentences, as with the Jungleboys? And how do you get around the fact that many federal courts say that they're already overburdened?
ATTORNEY GENERAL RENO: I think that everybody in America recognizes that violence is the number one crime. Federal judges, like others, understand that there are appropriate times for federal prosecution, and that in most instances, as we have already acknowledged, the prosecution should be in state court. But as I have mentioned, the fact that the federal agencies will now be sharing intelligence, that they will now be sharing tips will be critical to the solution of local crimes. If federal agencies are able to provide information that cuts across state lines that might not be immediately available to local prosecutors and investigators, it's going to be a tremendous tool and will result in cases brought in state court.
We're not seeking to prosecute every case in federal court; we're not seeking to prosecute every case in which we use a wire tap. We're trying to do everything we can to support local law enforcement the right way. If it belongs in federal court, then it should be there. If it belongs in state court according to principles of federalism and what's right for the community, then it should be there.
Q: Director Freeh, given the shootings in New York today, what are the Bureau's concerns that the emotions from this attack in Israel are going to translate into further violence here in this country?
DIRECTOR FREEH: Well, I'd rather not comment on that. We have a preliminary investigation going on with the New York Police Department. Before we can translate that incident into anything more than what it appears to be right now, which is uncertain, I'd just rather not comment on that.
Q: Aside from that case itself, what are the concerns that there is going to be a spread from there to here?
DIRECTOR FREEH: Well, we've had continuing concerns in the federal government with respect to all the agencies regarding terrorism which was highlighted last February by the incidents in New
York. That's an ongoing concern for which we give great care and preparation.
Q: Is their concern then heightened by the developments in Israel?
DIRECTOR FREEH: Yes.
Q: How so?
DIRECTOR FREEH: Well, every incident that takes place around the world impacts on our assessments and preparedness and analysis of possible incidents in the United States.
Q: Is there any reason to believe that any of the information that Ames allegedly provided to the Russians led to the death of any CIA officials in the United States?
DIRECTOR FREEH: I can't comment on that.
Q: Because of the increased concern of what's happened in Israel, have you taken any additional safeguards, any additional heightened alerts at all in the United States?
DIRECTOR FREEH: We are in continuous and daily consultation not just within our enforcement agencies, but with the intelligence agencies. But I can't really comment on the details.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:43 P.M. EST
William J. Clinton, Briefing by the Vice President and Attorney General Janet Reno Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269531