Press Briefing by Mike McCurry
The Briefing Room
1:30 P.M. EST
MR. MCCURRY: Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Helen, did you have a question? I would be so happy to answer it.
Q: Yes. Tell us about the White House legal team.
MR. MCCURRY: The White House legal team -- there is an Office of White House Legal Counsel that serves the President and the institution of the presidency, and they do a very fine job. Did you specifically have something in mind? (Laughter.)
Q: Whitewater. Whitewater.
MR. MCCURRY: They are adding some folks. I think you've seen reported today that we're adding some folks to the Counsel's Office. Jane Sherbourne, in particular, who some of you may have had a chance to meet, is going to serve as Special Counsel to the President to handle some Whitewater-related matters. This is in anticipation of coming congressional inquiries, and some indications from the chairs of relevant congressional committees and subcommittees that they plan to be very active in the coming year. And I think, given that and given the President's determination to cooperate fully with the congressional inquiries that are underway, he wanted to make sure he had people on staff within the Office of the Legal Counsel that would be prepared to represent the presidency effectively.
Q: Who will pay for it?
Q: Have you named a Whitewater press secretary yet?
MR. MCCURRY: No. They're looking for some -- I anticipate that there will be a lot of inquiries by the press to the group that will be working on Whitewater related matters, so it makes some sense to me to have someone who is fully proficient on that, someone who is working directly with the lawyers that are on the staff of the Legal Counsel.
Q: get the person who knows the information and involved with it answers those questions? It seems to be a pattern of as soon as you name a spokesman for an area, the less information emerges.
MR. MCCURRY: Have you ever spent much time talking to lawyers?
Q: Yes, a lot -- a lot. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I think that's effective. I think it's good to have people who speak English sometimes, too, who are available. But that --
Q: You're going to catch it. (Laughter.)
Q: Lot's of lawyers --
Q: Isn't your client a lawyer?
MR. MCCURRY: My client? You mean my boss? My boss is a lawyer, yes.
Q: How many are you adding, and who is going to pay for them, and who is this spokesperson?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we don't have anyone designated yet who will be doing press related matters. But if and when we do, we will surely introduce him or her to all of you. And they have added -- I believe, if I'm not mistaken, they have added one -- she's working now with one additional lawyer who is on the staff of the Legal Counsel, and they intend to add I think one, or perhaps two more, depending on what they see as the volume. She's still building her team within the Legal Counsel's Office that will be responding to the requests that they're getting from Congress. They will also be in a position as, where appropriate, to represent the White House in anything involving the Independent Counsel, too. Now, this is all separate from, of course, the President's attorneys who represent in his private capacity.
Q: Don't you, as you add somebody in the Counsel's Office, have to bump somebody off somewhere else to keep within the 25 percent cutbacks the President imposed on the White House staff?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, 25 percent doesn't go office by office, it goes White House-wide. And I would say, even with the efficiencies that we are developing in the White House press office we might be able to offset those on our very own. But I'll have to check on what the overall numbers are.
Q: Who was ultimately responsible for vetting Dr. Foster?
MR. MCCURRY: The administration. Ultimately, it's the President of the United States who makes the nomination; it is the White House which is responsible for putting nominations forward. We develop candidates in cooperation with the agencies we work with, but it's the President who nominates.
Q: The question was about who vetted.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the question is ultimately who's responsible, and it's the President that nominates and the White House that's responsible.
Q: Did the Council's Office vet him thoroughly? Were they the ones who were primarily --
MR. MCCURRY: They were involved in it; the HHS was involved in it. I think the point of it all is that there's no one on staff who would say that we served the President and the nominee as best we could. We should have done a better job, and we're now looking forward in getting everything prepared for what we know will be a hard fight, but we believe will be a very successful and effective fight on behalf of the nominee.
Q: After two years, how could this happen again?
MR. MCCURRY: After what happened?
Q: Another nominee in serious trouble because of White House staff problems.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I believe you can do -- we can always do a better job around here than we do sometimes; that's always true. But I think making sure information is available to the press and to members of Congress is something that's sometimes an exhausting task because the questions are very specific, and the need for specific information develops very, very quickly when news cycles are moving three times a day. Everyone in this room understands that. And I think that in this case we probably should have had more specific information available faster. But in general, the information provided was truthful and correct. And as we now develop more specific information, we'll be in a good position to present that to the public and members of the Senate, as appropriate.
Q: Could you explain how local anti-abortion activists have quicker, faster access to HSS files than HHS itself?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I'm not familiar with their operations.
Q: Do you have any response to the extremely cold reception to the President's plan to get Congress involved in the baseball strike is getting today?
MR. MCCURRY: I think it will take time for members of the Congress to become familiar with what has happened in the many long months that this dispute has been underway. They'll want to know much more about, I think, the courageous and heroic work of Mr. Usery, the federal mediator, who probably dealt with -- in a career that has dealt with some very vexing labor disputes, I think he would suggest this is one of the most intractable that he's ever seen. And he will be in a position to talk to, I think, first the leadership and then others in Congress about that.
But I would make the point that members of Congress want to know why you would take the unusual step of sending legislation to the Hill for a collective bargaining dispute, and indeed, I think the Speaker has asked that question today. And the President's answer would be a simple one: first, that as he saw this dispute develop, it was significant that there was no baseball commissioner. Second, there is severe economic damage that can be done to many communities around this country if we lose major league baseball. And third, he is the President, and we're talking about baseball, and baseball is the national pastime, and it plays a unique role in our history and our culture. And the President felt it was entirely appropriate for him to do what he did to try to end this strike. And he thinks it's entirely appropriate now to send special legislation to the Congress that would try to bring this strike to an end.
Q: Is he going to personally talk to members of Congress about this legislation? Is he going to do anything else publicly to try to get some national sort of sense of purpose behind what he wants to do with this?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he came and addressed all of you and ultimately the country last night about his efforts. He will -- he has, I believe, talked to some members of Congress about the legislation. He will rely on the Secretary of Labor who's on the Hill today to brief members of the Congress about the bill that we have sent forward. And I think he will continue to urge the players and the owners to get it together and end the strike and get on with this 1995 season.
Q: Some of the owners say that they were willing to go along with Usery's recommended solution, but that the players rejected it. And they were hoping that the President would have backed up Usery instead of calling for binding arbitration, and that the President, in effect, pulled the rug out from under Usery's feet.
MR. MCCURRY: In four and a half, five hours of meetings last night, it could not have been clearer that the President gave his mediator the same support that he gave him standing here in this very spot at 11:00 p.m. last night.
Bill Usery did an extraordinarily good job of trying to understand the positions of the parties and summarizing them. And the President, I think, was grateful for the work that he did and at this point probably would not find it useful for either him or for me to comment on what the parties are now doing. They are doing what they have been doing for six long months. They are both spitting at each other in public and refusing to get on with the business of trying to resolve their strike, because why? They are frozen in very attractive positions.
We got them to -- as hard as we could last night and hard as the President could -- got them to at least try to move a little bit toward a settlement that would at the very least allow the 1995 season to proceed. But the parties ultimately were unwilling, and it's not for us to place blame on one side or the other. They're doing a very effective job of blaming each other.
Q: Mike, to paraphrase you: he is the President; this is baseball. Yet those involved in baseball last night appeared to turn their back on the President. Is there any sense here that the President paid a big political price last night?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the President thinks that the American people expected of him, as their President, to do what he could to try to save baseball for 1995. The President did that. If there was a failure here, it was on the part of the players and the owners who have not stepped up to their responsibility to get on with the business of settling this strike and allowing this season to proceed.
Q: But to follow up, is there any concern here in the aftermath that that President may indeed have paid a political price last night?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know that we spent a lot of time calculating the odds. I think the President wanted to see the season proceed. He thought it was the right thing to do to get into this and see if there wasn't some way that through his own efforts he could bring the parties closer together. I think as he told you last night, we think we got fairly close to that objective. But ultimately we were not successful. But he has no regrets for having made that effort. And ultimately we hope the American people will respond as he asked them to last night to let members of Congress know that it's important to them to see the season proceed, and so we can get on with the legislation he's now submitting.
Q: While the baseball talks were going on last night, the U.S. House brought up for a vote and defeated the Fourth Amendment to the Constitution. What might have been the motivation behind that and what is the lesson learned? And can we have lights, please?
MR. MCCURRY: Let me work on it -- do you want me to work on that and try to do it later on?
Q: Just for a nanosecond.
MR. MCCURRY: Okay, let's go on to that and the we'll come back.
Q: Can you bring us up to date on the efforts that are being made here and elsewhere to determine what is in Dr. Foster's abortion record?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, we are meeting with the team of people who are more familiar with his record, putting together information that is coming to us from a variety of sources that would help us understand and more completely catalog his medical practice and preparing -- compiling that information so that he can use it when he begins to meet with senators and work towards his eventual confirmation.
Q: Have you sent people to Tennessee? I read that in the Post today.
MR. MCCURRY: I'm sorry, say again.
Q: Have people gone to Tennessee to look at records?
MR. MCCURRY: There are people working to try to assemble the information wherever it may be, yes. I'm not sure specifically where they were looking for it.
Q: Has Dr. Foster offered to withdraw his nomination? Has he spoken to the President and offered to withdraw his nomination?
MR. MCCURRY: Not that I'm aware of, no.
Q: Has he spoken to the President since all this started at all?
MR. MCCURRY: Dr. Foster I do not believe has spoken to the President, at least not as far as I know.
Q: Has he spoken to the First Lady?
MR. MCCURRY: Not as far as I know, no.
Q: Mike, we were told last week under 12 abortions. Again, the Right to Life committee came out with 60 pregnant women induced abortions study. Whose decision was it to stick to the fine line of the truth on that explanation last Friday, Foster's or the White House?
MR. MCCURRY: On his statement? The statement was issued in his name and he obviously carefully reviewed it before it was put out.
Q: Mike, about tomorrow's visit with Chancellor Kohl --
Q: Can we stay on this, Mike?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, let's stay -- we're about ready to go off that.
Q: I want to make sure that you will not answer this question put to you earlier. Was the vetting responsibility more at the White House or HHS?
MR. MCCURRY: Was the vetting -- both the White House and HHS had various responsibilities for preparing the background work on the nomination before the recommendation went to the President. I'm not going to sort out what the responsibilities were, but they both were responsible.
Q: Well, did he mislead you on the number of abortions? If he said 12 last Friday, and now you find out it was 12 plus 59 --
MR. MCCURRY: I think he is very truthfully and honestly dealing with questions that are being put with him by staff.
Q: Well, is the Post article correct that Shalala was telling Kassebaum only one at a time when you knew that was incorrect?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't -- I'm not familiar enough when they may have had those conversations to know. I think that we have indicated earlier we knew he had performed abortions, and I'm not sure when he indicated anything different, if he did, to Secretary Shalala.
Q: Mike, one would think that a person of Foster's stature in the position that he's in now would want to speak out for himself and clear this up on his own. Could we anticipate him speaking out? What are the prospects for him speaking publicly before the confirmation hearings?
MR. MCCURRY: I'll have to get back and answer that to you. I wouldn't entirely rule it out.
Q: You said you wouldn't rule it out?
MR. MCCURRY: I would not rule it out.
Q: Have there been discussions about pulling his name down?
MR. MCCURRY: Not that I've heard.
Q: Mike, has there been any effort within the White House to try to improve the vetting system so you don't get bushwhacked like this again?
MR. MCCURRY: I think there's always, as I indicated earlier, there's always an effort to improve and do a better job for the President, and in this case, for the President and one of his nominees.
Q: Is it some kind of a formal process that you're undertaking?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I just -- it's just good common sense that we need to do a better job, and I don't think anyone would say we've done the best job we could in this circumstance.
Q: Are you actively considering putting Foster out to answer some of these questions, as compared to not ruling out that he would? I mean, as a way to address this whole issue?
MR. MCCURRY: That's kind of a how do you make sausage question.
Q: No, it's not.
MR. MCCURRY: We will consider doing what we think is most effective in advancing the interests of the President and his nominee.
Q: Are you actively considering having him come here or in some other forum talk about his practice and his experience with pregnancy terminations?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, if I say yes everyone here will instantly run off and speculate about when it might occur and how it might occur. I'd prefer to say that if and when we do that, we'll let you know in advance so that you could be there to cover what would surely be newsworthy.
Q: When will it go up, his nomination?
MR. MCCURRY: Do you want to do the exclusionary rule? How important is it to get that -- I'll go outside and do it in the snow for you. (Laughter.)
Q: made that the surgeon general is somebody who's above divisive issues so that when he speaks out to the American people on a matter of public health, like cigarette smoking 25 years ago, people sit up and listen. Would you guys say now that Dr. Foster's going to have that kind of authority?
MR. MCCURRY: Look, Dr. Henry Foster is one of the most distinguished forces in public health and has, as near as everyone who can tell who has worked with him, an impeccable record when it comes to matters of public health, especially in areas of reproductive health, which has been his specialty; has been an outspoken educator, academic and community leader, and has enormous support from people who highly respect his opinions and his advocacy. Will he be effective in the work that a surgeon general will do on behalf of this nation? You betcha.
Q: But given the fact that 20 percent of the people who are fiercely anti-abortion are never going to listen to this guy, is it wise to pick somebody who had committed -- who had performed abortions?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, if it is the view of those who are adamantly and unalterably opposed to a woman's right to choose that they can't listen to reasoned discussions by someone as distinguished by Dr. Foster, that's a fairly sad commentary on the status of public discourse in this land. I don't know that for a fact that it's fair to say that 20 percent of the people who are adamantly of a pro-life persuasion would necessarily fail to hear someone as distinguished as Dr. Foster when he speaks out on whatever issue is within the province of the surgeon general. I don't think we've reached a point in this country where we are that belligerent in our attitudes when it comes to public discourse.
Q: Has he started making courtesy calls?
MR. MCCURRY: Not yet, to my knowledge.
Q: Who in the administration is his handler, so to speak?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he will be working with a team of people who will help him through the confirmation process; and that's under the direction of Erskine Bowles, as I indicated yesterday.
Q: Has Dr. Foster been back at the White House since that meeting on Monday night?
MR. MCCURRY: Not to my knowledge, but he's been in close contact with people from the White House and the administration.
Q: Mike, has the Labor Department finished work on the proposed legislation and has it been sent up to the Hill on the baseball business?
MR. MCCURRY: I believe it was being hand-carried by Secretary Reich a short while ago, early this afternoon. So it has been delivered and we hope it will be introduced shortly.
Q: To whom was he delivering it?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, he was attempting to take it to both the Speaker and the Majority Leader. I don't know if he -- the Majority Leader of the Senate -- I don't know whether he had an opportunity to meet with the two of them, or not. But if he doesn't, he will certainly take it to the responsible committee chairs where the legislation is likely to be referred.
Q: Usery who's going to see Dole and Gingrich this afternoon?
MR. MCCURRY: I believe we said the Secretary was available if the Speaker and the Majority Leader had a desire to learn more about the legislation. The Speaker and the Majority Leader, I think, in fairness indicated last night that before they got to the issue of the legislation, they'd like to sit down with Mr. Usery. And as I indicated earlier to some of you today, the President has directed that Mr. Usery be available for that type of discussion.
Q: You and the President both make it sound like the President feels like baseball's owners and players, by virtue of the fact that they represent the national pastime, have less of a right to seek their collective bargaining goals freely as do people in other industries? Is that correct, that they don't have the same rights to pursue their goals as others?
MR. MCCURRY: No, they make this very, very clear. They have all the rights that parties in dispute in collective bargaining have under federal labor law. They have more than used their access to those procedures and processes in the course of this dispute. What the President suggested, in addition to having equal access under the law to dispute resolution provisions of the National Labor Relax* and other federal labor law, they also have a unique responsibility to this country to recognize that they have a special status in the life of America. And that's what the President suggested to the owners and the players during the course of the discussions last night.
Q: Mike, have you got any sense from the Justice Department or the FBI of when the final clearances of Dan Glickman will be done, and do you have any concerns about the fact that it is taking so long? And the other questions I have is about another appointee of the administration, and that is, have you taken any new looks at the Ron Brown situation, since some of the allegations apparently are now no longer about just his activities before he was in the administration, but since he's been here.
MR. MCCURRY: On Representative Glickman's nomination, it's still our understanding that the FBI is finishing a background check which would allow us to proceed as quickly as possible with the nomination. On Secretary Brown's situation --
Q: You don't have a time on that? No time frame at all, no concerns?
MR. MCCURRY: It's very, very sure. I mean, our understanding is that they're in the process of finalizing the background report now, so we hope it would be very shortly.
On Secretary Brown, the White House legal counsel remains in discussions with his attorneys.
Q: Can you lay out Tuesday and Wednesday of next week for us? Is he going to be in San Francisco and in Palm Springs to play golf?
MR. MCCURRY: He sure is. Want to do schedule? Are we kind of done with other stuff?
Q: I would like to know, on the terms of the Whitewater legal team, does that mean they'll handle only things that affect the White House and not any personal matters on Whitewater? I mean, how do they separate it? I mean, they wouldn't be handling a personal --
MR. MCCURRY: No, they would be doing -- what they will do is -- they represent -- their client is the President; they represent the President and the office of the presidency. He's got private counsel to represent him on matters that are purely personal. That gets defined different ways when you're talking about Whitewater, because Whitewater means different things to different people. But when there are inquiries from Congress to the White House about a Whitewater-related matter that may require any type of official response, and when there are questions that arise under the Constitution, it is entirely appropriate for the Office of the Legal Counsel to be involved.
Sometimes requests for White House records, the Counsel's Office can be involved in that in determining when executive branch officials ought to provide official documents in response to congressional inquiries. That's a matter that has arisen frequently when the office of the presidency is in contact with congressional committees. There can also be requests for cooperation from White House officials who may be questioned about their official duties. And that may require the involvement of the counsel's office as well.
So there are things within the province of cooperating fully with the legislative branch, where it's proper for the President's attorneys in the executive branch to be involved. And obviously we anticipate, based on everything we understand, a substantial increase in the number of those types of inquiries.
Q: Mike, this is back on baseball really quickly -- if the congressional leadership, after meeting with Mr. Usery, still remain adamant in terms of Congress not getting involved with this, does the President have any intention of bringing the congressional leadership here and talking with them on the issue?
MR. MCCURRY: I think it's way too early to speculate on that. I think it's appropriate first, as the Speaker and the Majority Leader have indicated, that they want to learn more about the status of the negotiations and the role of the federal mediator. And they will then go from that point to considering the President's request for legislation.
Q: In light of the fact that the President has ended up having to hand this issue off to a decidedly reluctant Congress, did it occur to anybody here that it might have been well to consult them before you got out on this limb?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, Brit, it did. I mean, there were several discussions about when would it be appropriate to have discussions with the Hill. But the feeling was that the instant that we went to the Hill to begin consulting about binding arbitration, we would be injecting ourselves into the dispute in a way that clearly the parties had differing views on. You've followed this closely enough to know that the question of binding arbitration, the two parties have decidedly different views on the general proposition and the wisdom of that.
Q: There are all kinds of options about what you might have ended up asking the Hill to do. You could have ended up asking the Hill to impose a settlement if you chose, so some specific course of action --
MR. MCCURRY: Right -- you understand the point I'm making. My point is that had we gone to consult specifically about binding arbitration in the context of discussions underway between the parties, the parties would have read that as having taken sides one way or another. Do you understand the distinction I'm making?
Q: Yes, I do. Did it occur to anybody to have Mr. Usery, not just the President's representative but perhaps the representative of the President and the joint leadership of Congress, or would that have been not a good idea?
MR. MCCURRY: You mean involved in the --
Q: In other words, when the President decided to undertake this mission --
MR. MCCURRY: You mean to have had the members of Congress participating here --
Q: Yes, and have them involved so you don't --
MR. MCCURRY: Not to my knowledge did that occur to anyone. We did -- we were conscious of the fact that we needed to keep congressional, in any event, apprised as to where we were. And I think that happened yesterday as was evidenced by the fact that both the Speaker and the Majority Leader very quickly had a joint statement in response to the President's announcement close to midnight last night.
Q: Having not consulted them in advance, does the President now feel he was undercut going into the meeting last night by what the Speaker and the Majority Leader said yesterday?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I kind of -- I thought I artfully handled that yesterday. But I don't think that there didn't seem to be any real impact of those statements yesterday in the meetings last night. Although the reluctance of Congress to consider legislation for binding arbitration was something that did come up during the discussions last night.
Q: The President, to a certain extent, and the Vice President even more, seemed as somber as I have seen them in a while. I wonder if you could discuss the state of mind, their disappointment not just at being able to solve the strike, but their disappointment with the owners and players.
MR. MCCURRY: There are two parties that are exasperatingly intractable as they approach this.
Q: He meant the President. (Laughter.)
Q: What about the owners and players?
MR. MCCURRY: The owners and players -- I believe the other two principals may be exasperating at times, but not intractable. (Laughter.) But the players and the owners, I rush to say -- (laughter) -- clearly have an approach to this dialogue in which they have positions that have been staked out for many, many months, and they don't seem much inclined to attempt to bridge those differences. That is frustrating to people, to lay people like the President and the Vice President and others, who enter into this dispute and attempt to do what they can using their good offices to
reach a solution. And it is equally exasperating to baseball fans in this country who can't understand why the players and the owners -- given the enormous wealth and economic activity that baseball generates -- why they can't seem to get down to settling the strike.
So I think there was a great deal of frustration that the President and Vice President felt last night; almost, as I suggested to some of you earlier, almost an aura of resignation when they reached the end of an evening in which at one point or another, it looked like the parties might make some movement towards a dialogue that it could at least lead to a season in 1995. But then they fell back into very well-rehearsed positions that they've used publicly ,and they concluded their meeting at the White House in which they all were enormously respectful of the President and the President's staff and the Vice President, but they left here and went right back to the recriminations that the American people are now familiar with.
Q: Does the President feel let down?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I think he just feels -- he feels disappointed. I mean, he's satisfied that he did what he should have done as President to try to bring this strike to a conclusion. He's disappointed that it wasn't successful. He's now taken direction action that he thinks is warranted to try to move the strike towards settlement for all the reasons that I indicated, and I think he just feels, as do many Americans, that a little bit of lack of comprehension as to why these two groups can't seem to work out their differences.
Q: So, is Bill playing golf with Bob next week?
MR. MCCURRY: The President will leave Tuesday morning, fly to San Francisco. He is going to address the 77th annual meeting of the American Council on Education. He will then go to Palm Springs, California, overnight in Palm Springs, wake up on Wednesday the 15th, and play in the Bob Hope Golf Classic. His foursome will consist of --
Q: Me? (Laughter.) You're looking right at me.
MR. MCCURRY: Do you play golf?
Q: You were looking at me. I couldn't resist.
MR. MCCURRY: I just looked up and saw you, and I thought that was a delightful idea, what it would be to get a foursome together. Maybe that's something we ought to think about.
The President of the United States, however, will not be playing with Mr. Miklaszewski. He will be playing with former President George Bush, former President Gerald Ford, and Mr. Bob Hope, his own very self. And the President was --
Q: That's a lot of Republicans.
Q: Which charity is that?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not sure. The President came up --
Q: What's the name of this tournament?
MR. MCCURRY: It's the Bob Hope -- it says the Bob Hope Golf Classic. It used to be called the Bob Hope Desert Classic. Isn't it the Bob Hope Desert Classic?
Q: I think it is.
MR. MCCURRY: The Bob Hope Desert Classic. I have two very able deputies here who are going to get you more information.
Let me say one point on this -- there was a lot of discussion about going to Palm Springs to do this. The President thought it was a good opportunity for him to do something fun, which as you know, he enjoys golf. Second, it was a good opportunity to see President Ford and President Bush. And I think he looks forward to having good conversations with them that probably will go beyond whether one or the other of them have a slice or a hook.
Q: Will he fly back -- when will he fly back to Washington?
MR. MCCURRY: Say again.
Q: They're less exasperating and intractable? (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: Well, no, but certainly the presidential hook is intractable, if I understand things correctly.
Q: Mike, can we raise a little housekeeping here?
MR. MCCURRY: Fine with me, how about them?
Q: Normally when the President plays golf, the travel pool is kept at quite a distance. In this case, he will be in the company of presumable thousands of the public and --
MR. MCCURRY: I think that's a fair request. We've got to do something.
MS. TERZANO: Yes, we should have a discussion because there's some weird press coverage --
Q: Will there be some special accommodations?
MS. TERZANO: Yes, that the Bob Hope folks --
Q: You mean we'll actually get to see the President play golf?
MS. TERZANO: Yes.
Q: Will we fly back after the --
MS. TERZANO: That day, after the golf game.
MR. MCCURRY: These guys -- waiting patiently in the back.
Q: When do we fly back? When do we leave? That night?
Q: This morning President Clinton said he proposes to cut drugs at the source, which would mean countries like Colombia which is about to get -- well, the decision is yet to be made on certification. However, it has been reported that it might be in jeopardy. What's your opinion on that, and if this were to be the case, and Columbia does not get certification, wouldn't that mean that more drugs end up on the streets of the big cities of the U.S.?
MR. MCCURRY: I cannot speculate -- it would be an improper for me at this point in the calendar to speculate on the annual certification of countries that are cooperating in drugs. We will continue to do everything we can, working with the government of Colombia, to advance our drug eradication efforts.
Q: Tomorrow, Kohl -- is that a full-scale new conference?
MR. MCCURRY: I forgot to mention this earlier. A lot of you had asked about a press conference, it turned out I didn't -- couldn't work one out this week. We have preliminary discussions underway about doing one towards the end of next week. But recognizing that next week is next week, this is this week, we do anticipate having sort of a more fuller fledged news availability after the bilateral meeting with Chancellor Kohl tomorrow.
Q: When does the President return from the California trip?
MR. MCCURRY: Wednesday.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 2:04 P.M. EST
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Mike McCurry Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/269957