Press Briefing by Dee Dee Myers
Edgartown Elementary School Filing Center
Edgartown, Martha's Vineyard
11:35 A.M. EDT
MS. MYERS: Good morning. The first item of business is that there is a bash tonight for you all at the home of Susie Trees, actually, and the President will be attending. And it's just a party -- an opportunity for everybody to get together here before we leave this lovely vacation spot. So the one caveat is that you have to go by bus. The buses will be leaving here at 4:30 p.m., 6:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m., I believe, to try to make arrangements around people's deadlines and feed times.
So it will just be hors d'oeuvres and what have you, and a nice opportunity to just sort of relax and chat. It will be -- no cameras, no photo op inside.
Q: What time do the buses return?
MS. MYERS: Oh: I don't know. Dave Seldin is -- to go back.
MR. SELDIN: They'll go back at like 5:45 p.m. or 6:45 p.m.
MS. MYERS: Yes. They'll go back in order to get here for the second round and the last bus will probably leave when there is a consensus that people are ready to go.
The President got up this morning, as you know, went for a walk, took a jog, and has no plans to leave the compound for the rest of the afternoon until he goes out to the press party. Chelsea is leaving the island tonight briefly to fly back to Washington. She has an obligation regarding school and she will return here tomorrow. Both of her parents, however, will remain on the island.
So that's the news from the front. Any questions?
Q: Anything on the schedule -- there's an NAACP thing over the weekend, I think. Is he going to go to that or any other schedule that you know of?
MS. MYERS: Nothing else scheduled at this point. He
may choose to go and we'll let you know if he does.
Q: Is there any reaction to the indictment of the Sheik and this conspiracy -- alleged conspiracy to bomb the U.N.?
MS. MYERS: No, the Justice Department is handling that. I would refer any questions to them.
Q: Is the administration concerned that the U.S. is increasingly a target of Islamic terrorism, and if so, are we taking any steps to guard against it?
MS. MYERS: I mean, obviously, we are concerned about terrorism generally, and I think that's why the President took steps last month to tighten immigration policy in some regards to prevent that kind of thing. Obviously, it's something that we're concerned about and something that we'll continue to work on.
Q: Do you know what the departure plans are Sunday?
MS. MYERS: No, they don't have any firm plans. I would imagine it would be early afternoon, but that's sort of speculation.
Q: Dee Dee, why wasn't the pool allowed out of the vans to photograph the President and the First Lady jogging this morning?
MS. MYERS: I think that the Secret Service had some concerns about it. I think it's something that we're going to discuss after the briefing on how to make it go -- how do deal with that if he chooses to jog on the bike path again. But I think it was -- there were a number of logistical and security concerns and we didn't have time to work them out beforehand since he left, as you know, sort of on very short notice.
Q: Did something happen yesterday that concerned him or --
MS. MYERS: No. No. I think that his feeling, I think, is that he's been treated quite respectfully by the pool and by the press generally, that he's gotten a good deal of space and arm's length and that everybody has really gone out of their way to allow him to relax, and he appreciates that.
Q: Dee Dee, why would he be concerned about the press corps when the public is lining the roads --
MS. MYERS: He's not --
Q: -- about security?
MS. MYERS: Again, I think that this is an issue that -- it's because he left so quickly and there were -- the Secret Service had some concerns yesterday and we weren't able to resolve them because of the quickness. I would really caution you against reading anything bigger into it. I think it was simply a snafu based on how quickly he -- everyone was sort of jumping at the ends and went off the cover at an unanticipated jog.
Q: Saturday is the 30th anniversary of the March on Washington of Dr. Martin Luther King. Does the President have any special plans to commemorate that anniversary?
MS. MYERS: No. As you know, there is a march on Washington. However, the president won't be there, and at this point I don't think there's any special plans. We may put out a statement or something.
Q: No wire, no video message?
MS. MYERS: No video message. I believe there will be a representative at the march who will read a statement from the President.
Q: Subject of the Saturday radio address?
MS. MYERS: I think the subject of the Saturday radio address is broader; it will be looking ahead and it may make some mention of -- since it will be the Saturday, I think it's likely that he'll make some mention of the 30th anniversary. But it's sort of a broader look ahead. And I believe he will pretape that today. And we'll try to put out an embargoed text as soon as possible. So either later this afternoon or first thing tomorrow morning.
Q: Dee Dee, has the President had any discussions with the Attorney General about the way that this indictment was going to be brought on the World Trade Center case, or is he just ceding that entirely to her?
MS. MYERS: Yes, that's something that they're handling. He's keeping track of it, but he has not had any conversations with anybody about it since he's been on vacation.
Q: Dee Dee, I think Ricki and Bruce came in last night.
MS. MYERS: I don't know if Bruce did. Ricki did -- came in to relieve me. I will not be with you tomorrow, so --
Q: Ohhhhh --
MS. MYERS: I'm going on vacation for a few days. So
Ricki will be available tomorrow to sort of -- to answer any questions that you all have, And I don't think Bruce Lindsay's here. If he is, I'm unaware of it, but he's pretty sneaky.
Q: -- without Bruce.
MS. MYERS: Yes, exactly.
Q: Dee Dee, is the President making any phone calls or having any discussions on the upcoming legislative agenda that he has when he gets back?
MS. MYERS: No, he's really vacationing, and has -- again, he's not working. And I think that he's going to try to take time off through the end of the weekend and then hit the ground running when we get back to Washington on Monday.
Q: Labor Day, any update?
MS. MYERS: No final plans.
Q: There were rumors on the radio he was going to go off to the Cape to do a -- go to an AIDS benefit concert, Secret Service checked it out.
MS. MYERS: No, he has no plans to leave the island at all until Sunday.
Q: Any plans after the dinner tonight?
MS. MYERS: No, at this point they don't have any, but they may end up going to dinner or something. They just don't have any plans at this point.
Q: Ballpark departure on Sunday?
MS. MYERS: I'm sorry?
Q: Ballpark departure on Sunday?
MS. MYERS: I'm guessing it will be early afternoon, based on what I've heard. But we'll try to get a firmer time for you tomorrow so you can plan for it.
Q: Will he be saying anything on Sunday when he departs or at any point at all?
MS. MYERS: He doesn't -- I mean, we don't have any formal plans to, but he may choose to say something as he leaves about how he's enjoyed his time here. I don't think we'll schedule it, but he may choose to walk up to the pool and make a quick statement.
Q: -- something on next week?
MS. MYERS: I don't have anything in front of me. Let me take that and we can either tomorrow or later today post something. There are some events that are on the calendar now for next week. There are sort of one event a day. I just can't remember right now what they are.
Q: -- post it if you would.
Q: What did they do last night? I know he went jogging and into Edgartown. Did you hear anything about Hillary's hike?
MS. MYERS: I didn't hear anything about it. They just stayed home and had dinner at home last night and relaxed. I think they probably ate the ice cream the President bought.
Q: It was two quarts. (Laughter.)
MS. MYERS: Yes, two quarts. (Laughter.)
Q: Do you know what the President is planning to do after the party tonight?
MS. MYERS: What he's planning to do after the party tonight? No, I don't. They don't have any plans. They may end up going to dinner or something, but at this point they don't have any specific plans.
Chelsea is flying out at 7:00 p.m. commercially, so they'll probably -- they may take her to the airport and they may not.
Q: The Bosnian Muslim and Bosnian Serb parliaments are supposed to take up the partition plan tomorrow. Has the President had any special, any NSC briefings? Has he been briefed on that? Has he made any calls to Christopher? Because it looks like the Muslims may not approve it.
MS. MYERS: My understanding is that the talks are supposed to resume the 30th, Monday.
Q: Right, but the two, the parliaments have to approve the plan before the talks resume.
MS. MYERS: No, he has not had any contact with Secretary Christopher or anyone else, although he is being kept updated.
Q: What happens if the Muslims say no to the plan and then the Serbs are saying then the war resumes? Is this the last-ditch effort?
MS. MYERS: Well, that's speculation. I think we'll keep trying. I think that we're hopeful that negotiations will resume on Monday in Geneva and that we can reach some kind of an -- the parties can reach some kind of a negotiated settlement that will end the violence and allow a start toward returning normal life to that part of the world. But we're going to keep trying.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 11:47 A.M
/U.S. Newswire 202-347-2770/
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Dee Dee Myers Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269253