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Exchange With Reporters in Little Rock, Arkansas

March 29, 1993

Aid to Russia

Q. Sir, three-quarters of Americans say we're already giving enough aid to Russia.

The President. We give a lot more money than we give to Russia to smaller countries. We've got a big interest there. And I realize that the responsibility is on me to communicate to the American people any kind of pay package I propose and to justify it. That's my responsibility, and I intend to assume it.

Q. Where would you get another billion dollars, sir?

The President. We're working on the details of it. We'll be able to announce something.—

Q. Are you concerned by these latest poll figures, sir, that many Americans, 75 percent of the Americans, think we already give the Russians enough?

The President. Well, foreign aid is unpopular in every country in the world, and it's always been unpopular here. And I haven't really had a chance to talk much directly to the American people about what's going on there, what our stake in it and what their stake in it is, what the American people's stake in it. The American people are smart enough to know that we can't determine the course of events in Russia all by ourselves. They know that. But we can have an impact on it. And my job as President is to convince the citizens of this country that they have an immediate and personal interest in the outcome of events. I think I can do it, and I'm going to do my best.

NOTE: The exchange began at 11:05 a.m. outside the U.S. Male barbershop. A tape was not available for verification of the content of this exchange.

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

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