Press Briefing by Ginny Terzano
Teton Village, Wyoming
11:00 A.M. MDT
MS. TERZANO: Let me just go over a couple of issues for you. As you know, the President tomorrow morning is going to depart very early to go back to Washington for the memorial service for the three Americans killed last Saturday. It is at Fort Myer Chapel. Yesterday when we first learned of the memorial service we thought it was going to be at Arlington, but it will take place at the Fort Myer Chapel right next to Arlington Cemetery. The three Americans are being buried at Arlington Cemetery.
Q: What time is that going to happen?
MS. TERZANO: He departs at -- the pool -- and we will put out a schedule -- the pool I believe is going to form at 4:45 a.m. He will fly out of the Jackson Hole -- he will chopper out of the Jackson Hole Airport here and then fly to Idaho Falls, the Air Force Base, where he will take Air Force One back to Andrews. The service is from 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m. tomorrow. There are two speakers on the program, the chaplain and the President. And the President will immediately return back to Jackson Hole to resume his vacation with Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea.
Q: Do you know what time --
Q: Mrs. Clinton is not going?
MS. TERZANO: He will be wheels down around 5:00 p.m., between 5:00 p.m. and 5:30 p.m.
Mrs. Clinton is not going. We made a mistake yesterday. It was a misunderstanding between the Scheduling Office and the Press Office, and she is not traveling tomorrow.
Q: And the existing pool schedule holds for tomorrow, which means that whoever is pool tomorrow is pool for this trip?
MS. TERZANO: That's correct.
Q: Is there a pool possibility --
MS. TERZANO: Yes. And we will do a switch-out when we come back, when we return from Washington tomorrow.
The President this morning is golfing at the Jackson Hole Golf Course with Erskine Bowles. And later this afternoon the press corps should get ready because we have the real whitewater story this afternoon as the First Family takes an excursion down one of our nation's beautiful rivers.
Q: Is this a whitewater event with the President saying he's not investing, this is going to be a freebie.
MS. TERZANO: Try again, Mr. Bedard. (Laughter.)
Q: Is this really whitewater, or is this a float trip?
MS. TERZANO: It is a whitewater rafting trip. And the National Forest Service -- U.S. Forest Service, within the Department of Agriculture, is helping to coordinate the President's rafting trip today.
Q: What river is he going down?
FOREST SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: The Snake River.
Q: In the park?
FOREST SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: In the forest.
MS. TERZANO: In the forest. There is a distinction between the National Park and the U.S. Forest. Maybe one of you back there can clarify that for me.
Q: Which outfit is he going to use?
FOREST SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: Don't know yet.
The difference between the Park and the Forest -- the Park is in the Department of Interior and they manage the National Park Service. And the Forest Service, which is -- you've seen some of the maps -- the big green area surrounding the National Park, that's the Bridger Teton National Forest.
Q: What's the proper name of the Forest again?
FOREST SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: Bridger Teton.
Q: As in Jim Bridger.
Q: Is there a chance that the Forest Service would take the President, or would it be an outfit?
FOREST SERVICE REPRESENTATIVE: We're not sure.
MS. TERZANO: It is my understanding that the Forest Service, the U.S. Forest Service, has helped to coordinate the rafting trip for today, and I believe there will be someone accompanying the President today, possibly two Forest Service officials.
Q: -- my understanding for the pool to be in the "boatercade."
MS. TERZANO: We want the pool to be as involved in whitewater as much as the President is today. And, yes, we have made arrangements for any courageous members of the press corps who are in the pool this afternoon to be in a raft that will follow the First Family.
Q: This will be after the switch-out?
MS. TERZANO: I think we might use the morning crew. I don't know.
MS. MCKIERNAN: The morning crew wants to do it. (Laughter.) If the second pool feels very strongly, you can hash it out.
MS. TERZANO: Oh, we have competition now among the press corps wanting to go whitewater rafting. (Laughter.)
Q: Why don't we just open it up? We can fit eight or ten of us into the boat.
MS. TERZANO: Maybe we can do voluntary switch-outs. It's Larry Knudsen's last day here, isn't it? Oh, he's going to come back? Great, terrific.
Q: Unless they want to do the entire day until tonight's lid.
Q: Tell them that's the trade-off, that's the deal.
Q: Is there anything else happening, Ginny? Any other announcements to make?
MS. TERZANO: As far as today, here?
Q: Yes, or sketching ahead any more this week?
Q: This weekend?
MS. TERZANO: I can do a little bit of --
Q: Before we get -- do you have any rough idea of what time he might start rafting?
MS. TERZANO: It's going to be -- I'm more or less guessing, trying to figure out the golf game and probably get lunch in there beforehand, but around 2:00 p.m.
Q: Can you give us some help on the timing of the Friday and Saturday events?
MS. TERZANO: Yes, I can help you with that.
Q: Just logistically, the pool should be alerted -- obviously they'll know how desperate the deadline situation will be this afternoon if they're rafting that late. So they'll have to call in pool reports.
MS. TERZANO: We will be sensitive to that. And the U.S. Forest Service is going out of there way to make sure that the press raft goes over all of the tough rapids -- (laughter) -- where there's a high probability the raft turns over.
Q: -- do the rapids. (Laughter.)
MS. TERZANO: Ron, Ron, Ron. Why don't you get into a room with Paul Bedard and work on those jokes. (Laughter.)
Q: Let's wait for Knoller.
Q: I apologize --
MS. TERZANO: Has the altitude gotten to you?
On Friday, the President and the First Lady are expected to celebrate the 79th anniversary of the founding of the National Park Service by visiting Yellowstone National Park. We still have to finalize details on Friday. In all likelihood, it will only be the pool that will travel with the President, and it will be an early morning departure with a large part of the day spent out there visiting various sites of the park and also making a public statement to the pool with some public around him about the Park Service.
Q: Will there be an opportunity to file up there?
MS. TERZANO: We will certainly make arrangements to have filing capabilities for the pool. Yes. The short answer is yes.
Q: Is he going to chopper?
Q: Is it going to be fed back here?
MS. TERZANO: I believe so. We will work -- yes. I mean the answer is, we will work with WHCA on getting that done.
Q: Is he going to chopper up there or drive?
MS. TERZANO: He will helicopter.
Q: And then drive around the park?
Q: -- to Montana to look over that mine --
MS. TERZANO: I said there are a lot of details that need to be finalized on Saturday. So we'll work on that for you. That's all we have for Friday at this point.
Q: And the speech or the -- is it a public event that people are invited to?
MS. TERZANO: No. At this point, it's not a public event. He is going there with the Mrs. Clinton and Chelsea to look at the park where he will make comments to the pool and park officials because park officials will be escorting the First Family on Friday where he will talk about the beauty of our National Park system, and on this anniversary we should encourage Congress not to roll back through budget cuts measures that would inhibit the lasting beauty of the park system.
Q: And that will probably be at Old Faithful?
MS. TERZANO: That would be in Yellowstone. We don't have the exact location yet.
Q: But this wouldn't be a public event in the sense of the public --
MS. TERZANO: At this point, no. And we have to finalize the schedule, okay? So we will work on that, and we will get you more information as soon as we can.
On Saturday the President --
Q: Ginny, before you move on, let's get back to the mine. You've got several environmental groups here today, calling on him to go tour the sites since he's up there in the area anyway. The Park Service has made the same request. What's the hang-up? I mean, it's not --
MS. TERZANO: There isn't a hang-up. We have been working -- as I said last week, we do not have a schedule finalized, and we had not made a final decision as to whether he would look at the mine in Yellowstone and I think there is a chance that the President will do that. But we have not finalized the schedule. But as soon as we do, we'll be more than happy to elaborate on that for you.
Q: -- mission to look at the mine site? Do you support what they're doing, their review on it?
MS. TERZANO: I'm not familiar with that. So I'll have to look into that for you.
Q: Ginny, is anybody joining the President from Washington? Babbitt is supposedly going to be in Montana one of these days in the near future.
MS. TERZANO: I personally invited Mike Gauldin, Director of Public Affairs of the Interior Department to come out.
Q: Is anyone from the Cabinet, Babbitt especially, going to join --
MS. TERZANO: At this point, there is no one planned.
Q: So he would helo to Yellowstone at some place, and then drive around the park?
MS. TERZANO: As soon as we have details of his -- as soon as we finalize his Friday schedule, we will put that out for you and make it easier for you because we're still working on Friday.
On Saturday the President and the First Lady will celebrate the ratification of the 19th Amendment which is the passage of women's suffrage at Jackson Lake Lodge in the morning. Wyoming was the first location -- it was not a state at that time -- to grant women the right to vote 125 years ago, and that was in December of 1869. So the President and the First Lady will have a public event that will be open to the press on Saturday, and we will make arrangements to have a press bus to go up to Jackson Lake for you all to cover that. And we know that we have early deadlines on Saturday, so we are working on making this as accessible as possible for you.
Q: Is there anything --
MS. TERZANO: Yes. And it will be fed back.
Q: Anything beyond the 19th Amendment, anything overtly political?
Q: Like an announcement on China?
MS. TERZANO: You should not expect that.
Q: Leaving aside China, but anything --
MS. TERZANO: The answer to Greg's question -- you should not expect that.
Q: Anything political on his own behalf?
MS. TERZANO: No. The 75th anniversary of the ratification of the 19th Amendment offers an opportunity for both the President and the First Lady to talk about the progress that women have made and this administration's efforts to continue that progress. It is also an opportunity for the President to commemorate this important date in America's history, which is what he will do with members of the League of Women Voters who are sponsoring the event.
Q: That's what I was going to ask. Will women's groups from the region be there?
MS. TERZANO: Yes. It's the League of Women Voters.
Q: What's the significance of Jackson Lake Lodge? Any?
MS. TERZANO: It's beautiful.
Q: No link at all to the 19th Amendment?
MS. TERZANO: No. It's beautiful. Also, he will pretape the radio address. It's unclear as to whether he will do that on Thursday or Friday. As usual, we will put out the transcript, embargo it for Saturday. And for planning purposes only -- I don't know if that's possible if we have a transcript -- but it will be on the National Park system.
Q: Not women?
MS. TERZANO: Right. Expect it to be on the National Park system.
And there you have it. Any questions, other questions?
Q: Can you tell us anything about this meeting this afternoon at the White House with the national security advisors on Bosnia?
MS. TERZANO: Sure. The principals, foreign policy principals, will be meeting this afternoon at the White House with Mr. Lake, Secretary Christopher, Secretary Perry, Secretary Deutch will be among those meeting --
Q: Secretary Deutch?
MS. TERZANO: CIA Director Deutch -- will be among those meeting. And there was a brief meeting yesterday at Andrews after the arrival of the three Americans yesterday in Washington where they decided that they would get together today to talk about next steps and to also talk about what we must do to reconstitute our negotiating team. They will also take a look at Secretary Holbrooke's recent mission in the region and discuss that.
After the meeting concludes, which will probably be late afternoon Washington time, we expect to have a written press release as a readout for you all. We do not expect, for your own guidance here, any news out of the meeting, but just to guide you along as to --
Q: Is the President participating in any way?
MS. TERZANO: He is not. He knows about the meeting. He has talked to Tony Lake about the meeting, and he will be updated on the meeting once the meeting has concluded. But he is not participating in the meeting as it takes place.
Q: -- tonight or tomorrow morning --
MS. TERZANO: He will probably get briefed after his afternoon rafting by the NSC or Tony directly.
Q: So what is the thinking on China now?
MS. TERZANO: First of all, there is no decision made -- are you asking me about Mrs. Clinton traveling to China?
MS. TERZANO: There is no decision made on whether she will travel to China to head up the U.S. delegation for the Women's Conference. Under Secretary Tarnoff is on his way to the region at this time where he will participate in meetings towards the end of the week and this weekend. And we are proceeding very carefully.
Q: -- Tarnoff before you make a decision?
MS. TERZANO: There are -- as we have said consistently, there are several factors that are going into consideration as to whether Mrs. Clinton will travel to China as head of the U.S. delegation. And as soon as a decision is made we will announce that to you. And we have nothing further to add on China at this point.
Q: But are you waiting for Tarnoff's input?
MS. TERZANO: I think his input is useful.
Q: Meaning that there would be no decision before the beginning of next week?
MS. TERZANO: You should not expect a decision today and I cannot definitively -- and I don't think anyone can definitively say that there will be a decision by the end of this week. But we are still weighing many of the considerations at this time.
Q: But do we expect some progress on Wu possibly by the end of the week?
MS. TERZANO: We are hopeful for progress, but I have no information to pass on.
Q: But isn't that what Tarnoff is really pressing for?
MS. TERZANO: He is going over there in part to talk about the release of Mr. Wu.
Q: What kind of influence does Wirth have in his statement yesterday that the First Lady ought to go?
MS. TERZANO: It is certainly good to get input from a broad variety of individuals, including someone like Secretary Wirth.
Q: Ginny, do you have more on Mrs. Clinton's plans while she's here?
MS. TERZANO: No. She is still working on her book and writing. She may be going rafting this afternoon, and she will be traveling on Friday and doing the women's event on Saturday.
Q: Was she with them when they went horseback riding at all yesterday?
MS. TERZANO: She was up at the J-Y Ranch, but it's my understanding that she did not horseback ride. Is that right, Jeremy? Yes. But she was up at the ranch.
Q: Right now she's not planning to go on this boat trip this afternoon?
MS. TERZANO: The rafting trip? Mrs. Clinton? The President indicated that she may be going. I just don't think that she's decided yet.
Q: To get back to Bosnia meeting, do you expect the announcement for a replacement to Ambassador Frasure to be made today after the meeting?
MS. TERZANO: No, I don't expect an announcement. If we have anything we will certainly put that out in our press release for you.
Q: Ginny, do you know anything about a reception for Mrs. Clinton by Jurate Kazickas having to do with this book that Jurate --
MS. TERZANO: I do not. I will look into it for you. Are you talking about here in Jackson Hole?
Q: Yes. Apparently, there was some suggestion in the local press that --
Q: Any plans for camping?
MS. TERZANO: I have no information at this time. They are going to -- I just don't have specifics for you. I think that they are interested in camping and there's a good chance that they will camp before they depart Jackson Hole. But it has not been finalized as to whether they're going to do that, or not. So as soon as we can firm that up either way I will pass that on to you.
Q: So it's not linked at all to the Yellowstone trip, that's different?
MS. TERZANO: Yes. Yes, different.
Okay? We're going to have fun today?
Q: Oh, yeah.
MS. TERZANO: Thank you.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 11:20 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/269938