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Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Representatives of the Close-Up Foundation

January 29, 1993

Homosexuals in the Military

Q. Mr. President, when are you going to announce your policy on gays in the military? What time today?

The President. Well, we're waiting for an analysis of the court decision now and how it affects what we would have to do anyway. So, that sort of we were here, as you know, last night with Senator Nunn, and I thought it was quite close to an agreement that would give the military what I think ought to be done without anybody agreeing to change their position now-give them a chance to look into what the practical problems are. But this court decision may change that, and we are looking at it. And I will probably have something to say later today.

Q. But do you—[inaudible]—decision because—[inaudible]—get through now?

The President. Well, we talked about it a little last night, but I wanted to—the staff stayed here quite late. I thought they ought to get a chance to get a little sleep and then think through it. So, as you know, there is virtual agreement on everything but one issue anyway. So, you are trying to figure out how this court case fits, that and whether it changes anything for either side.

So, we'll talk about it this morning and then try to resolve it soon.

Q. Are you concerned, Mr. President, that this controversy this week has given the American people the wrong idea of what your priorities are?

The President. Yes, I do. Of course, I didn't bring it up; people in the Senate did. I just tried—I have not, frankly, spent very much time on it compared to the time I'm spending on the economy, which is what I was elected to do. And we've been working on that hard. So, I'm just going to keep doing what I was elected to do and try to stick up for what I believe and see if we can work through this.

NOTE: The President spoke at 8:37 a.m. in the Oval Office at the White House. A tape was not available for verification of the content of these remarks.

William J. Clinton, Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Representatives of the Close-Up Foundation Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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