Press Briefing by Ginny Terzano
Jackson Hole, Wyoming
10:45 A.M. MDT
MS. TERZANO: I have absolutely nothing to say. Kathy just passed out a pool report to give you an update on the President and his morning at the golf course. And I will take questions.
Q: Does the White House have any reaction to Bradley?
MS. TERZANO: We will have a statement by the President. Just before I came out here I called Senator Bradley's office, and he had not yet formally made the announcement. So we'll wait to do the actual statement when that happens.
Q: Has the President spoken with him?
MS. TERZANO: It is my understanding that they have not spoken. The President is aware of Senator Bradley's decision and he has talked to Leon Panetta about this. And certainly, he thinks that this is a great loss to the United States Senate, the people of New Jersey. Senator Bradley has long been a voice of reason on a number of issues ranging from race to civility to tax fairness, and will be greatly missed.
Q: Ginny, when's Chelsea getting here and is she in Alaska?
MS. TERZANO: It's my understanding she is here on Friday. She arrives on Friday, and I believe she's in Alaska, although I don't know that for sure. I'll double-check on that.
Q: If they do any hunting -- not hunting -- if they do any camping or horseback riding or something like that, are they going to do it after she gets here? Is he going to be pretty light --
MS. TERZANO: I think we can expect this week to be fairly relaxing and low-key. As you know, the President likes to play golf and is playing golf and will probably do that tomorrow as well. But I think some of the more strenuous activities will probably be -- will probably wait until Chelsea gets here. But I think all of us sort of have to be patient and we'll see.
We don't have any specifics on what they're going to do yet, either. But we'll certainly let you know and give you as much notice as possible.
Q: Is he keeping up with the hurricane?
MS. TERZANO: He is. Director Witt has talked to Leon Panetta and other White House officials. Leon Panetta is regularly updating the President on various administration activities and news, including the hurricane. And Director Witt has talked to the Governor of North Carolina, the Governor of Virginia. He's talked to Senators Warner and Robb. He's also talked to state emergency management people in the state of North Carolina and Virginia. They have already prepositioned supplies and resources into the state in case it is necessary to activate a full emergency system once the storm hits. So Director Witt has talked to the White House on a regular basis over the last couple of days and is working very closely with state and local officials.
Q: I'm sorry, Ginny, who did you just say talked to Warner and Robb?
MS. TERZANO: Witt.
Q: Apparently, Mrs. Wu, Harry Wu's wife, is saying that she wrote a letter to Mrs. Clinton urging her not to go to China but has not received any reply. Do you know anything about that?
MS. TERZANO: Let me just double-check one thing. It was my understanding, and I may be wrong, I thought the letter was written to the President. It could be to the President and Mrs. Clinton. So let me clarify that for you and I'll post the answer back on our bulletin board for you on that. But we did receive a letter from Mrs. Wu. It was very personal and she stated many of the things that she relayed to Mr. Lake when she met with him earlier. But it was a very personal letter and the White House has received it and we appreciate her comments.
Q: Will there be an answer from the President to Mrs. Wu?
MS. TERZANO: I would -- I believe we will respond. I don't know if we have formally responded in a letter yet, and I'll double-check for you.
Q: Can you characterize it in any way, Ginny? Is she asking for more pressure to help for him to be released or --
MS. TERZANO: I have not seen the letter or read the letter, so I would not like to characterize it. In talking to Mike this morning he did say that it was very personal in nature, talking about her husband, and that she did reiterate, as I just said, many of the comments and points that she made to Mr. Lake earlier in the meeting she had with him.
Q: When did you get the letter?
Q: When will this final decision --
MS. TERZANO: I don't know; I'll find out for you.
Q: When do you think the final decision now will be made?
MS. TERZANO: We are still looking at the issue of Mrs. Clinton traveling to China as honorary chair of the woman conference, and no decisions have been made yet and we have nothing more to add at this point.
Q: Was she asking in this letter for Mrs. Clinton not to go to China?
MS. TERZANO: I can't characterize the letter any further than what I just said, one, without seeing it, and it was a personal letter to the President and-or the First Lady and I'm not sure that we will characterize it much more than what we've just done.
Q: I'm sorry, where did the letter come from, Ginny?
MS. TERZANO: Mrs. Wu.
Q: Why did the President arrive in a suit? (Laughter.) I'm serious.
MS. TERZANO: Well, when we left Washington he had meetings at the White House and he -- that's how he had left. And I think he just was on the plane and immediately went into a relaxed mode. I know that he pulled out a book and felt comfortable. He took his jacket off. When he came back and talked to the press he had his jacket off. But I think he was just comfortable with it and probably didn't think much about it.
Q: Not enough room to change --
MS. TERZANO: Yes, also it was the different airplane. It was the smaller airplane and he didn't have the luxury of going into his big cabin.
Q: Is that the Pat Conway book we've heard so much about --
MS. TERZANO: I don't know if he was reading that book, but he did bring it with him. But I just think he didn't think much about it.
Q: In terms of Senator Bradley, do you think that all you'll be doing is putting out a written statement, or might the President say something on camera?
MS. TERZANO: We'll have a written statement.
Q: What did they do last night?
MS. TERZANO: I think they relaxed at their home and had a nice quiet evening.
Q: Any guests?
MS. TERZANO: Not that I know of.
Q: The same for tonight, probably?
MS. TERZANO: I don't know the answer to that.
Q: Do you know what the plans are for the birthday party?
MS. TERZANO: No. And as the day approaches we will have more information.
Q: The Rockefellers are not here, right?
MS. TERZANO: No, they are not here.
Q: Are they coming out --
MS. TERZANO: I do not believe that they're coming. Mr. Rockefeller was at the White House, as you all know, for the party that the staff put together for the President and he kindly turned over all of his keys to the President and the First Lady, giving us the indication that he would be in Washington.
Q: -- is what, Tuesday?
MS. TERZANO: Thursday.
Q: You don't know the titles of any of the books he's got, do you?
MS. TERZANO: No. I'll find out for you. I'll try to find out for you.
Q: Has he read any Conroy books, any others?
MS. TERZANO: He did bring Beach Music with him. I don't know if he started that book or not.
Q: What else do you know of?
MS. TERZANO: We don't know, but I'll try to find out for you.
Q: Who's cooking for them? Did they bring a chef?
MS. TERZANO: No, they didn't bring their --
Q: -- travel for them?
MS. TERZANO: No, not that I know of. I'll double-check for you. I'll call Neil Lattimore. But I don't believe he travels.
Q: For the sake of the pool can you please explain the difference between a moose and an elk? (Laughter.)
MS. TERZANO: I would rather have either AP or Reuters do that because they devoured elk and moose last night. So they might know better than me. Mr. McKee? Mr. Williams? Are you from Wyoming?
Q: -- the elk lodges every Thursday and Friday. (Laughter.)
Q: Might they really go camping, and if so, in a park or where?
MS. TERZANO: I don't like to take Mike McCurry's name in vain when he's not here to defend himself, but I think Mike would love for them to go camping. (Laughter.) I don't know. I haven't had that conversation with them, and I don't think they've made any firm decisions on what their fun activities are going to be. And I think they also want to talk to Chelsea about what they plan to do.
Q: Is the Mrs. hanging out at the house while he's playing golf?
MS. TERZANO: I don't know the answer to that. They, as the President indicated to the pool yesterday on the plane, he very much wants to just relax and have a pleasant, quiet time. And I think the first few days, both Mrs. Clinton and the President are going to just try to be as relaxing as possible -- probably more around the residence than out and about and in the town. But I do not know what she did this morning.
Q: When she moves, will we know?
MS. TERZANO: At times. (Laughter.)
Q: So if she goes into town --
MS. TERZANO: Yes. I mean, at times.
Q: Do you talk to the President at all?
MS. TERZANO: I have not talked to him today, but I will touch base with him.
Q: You did a very good job.
MS. TERZANO: Thank you. It was easy.
Q: Oh, Ginny, just one more thing.
MS. TERZANO: Of course, Jill.
Q: He's getting his morning NSC briefings?
MS. TERZANO: Yes. He is updated daily on NSC issues. We have an NSC staff person traveling with us, and the updates are primarily on paper. And if necessary, there will be phone conversations, or Andrew Sens will talk to him directly. But he is being updated directly.
Q: But he's talking to Panetta?
MS. TERZANO: Yes. And Leon is updating him regularly on overall issues, including national security issues.
Q: Ginny, when did this letter come for Mrs. Clinton?
MS. TERZANO: I don't know. What I'm going to do is just double-check if it was to Mrs. Clinton or the President or both of them and when the letter was received. And I will post that answer in the press office for you.
Q: -- when is the Bradley's statement?
MS. TERZANO: As soon as Senator Bradley finishes making his announcement, which will be soon if it's not done already.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 10:55 A.M. MDT
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Ginny Terzano Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269932