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Exchange With Reporters in Dakar

April 02, 1998

Dismissal of Paula Jones Civil Lawsuit

The President. Good morning.

Q. Did you get some good news last night, Mr. President?

The President. Well, obviously I'm pleased by the decision, and I think the judge's opinion speaks for itself. Let me say, though, I'm also immensely pleased by this trip, and I'm very much looking forward to going home and continuing the work of the very ambitious agenda we've got there.

Q. Mr. President, the suit was thrown out, but it did not clear your name. Are you disappointed by that?

The President. Well, the nature of the motion would not permit that, but the most important thing is that I can go back now and continue the work that I'm doing. That's the most important thing to me. I want to get back to the business of the people.

Independent Counsel's Investigation

Q. Mr. Starr says it has no effect on his investigation. Is that your view, sir?

The President. I don't have any comment on Mr. Starr.

Q. Mr. President, how have these last 3 years affected the institution of the Presidency? Has this been a good thing for the Presidency?

The President. Well, let me say, I've done my best to do what every President who has commented on this, from George Washington forward, has said the President should do, which is that for the period of your service, insofar as possible, you should cease to be an individual citizen and spend all your time and energy on the country. And that's what I've tried to do. And I've done my best at it, and the results have been satisfactory, I think, for the American people. And that's what I intend to continue to do. Others should evaluate that question, but I need to keep working on the people's business, and that's what I intend to do.

Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 10:52 a.m. at the Le Meridien President Hotel. During the exchange, he referred to U.S. District Judge Susan Webber Wright and Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters in Dakar Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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