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Press Briefing by Mike McCurry

March 17, 1995

The Briefing Room

1:14 P.M. EST

MR. MCCURRY: Happy St. Patrick's Day to each and every one of you. Let me start today with correcting the record earlier. I think many of you were with me earlier in the day when President Tudgman came by and I incorrectly said that he was seeing Tony Lake. He was actually here to see Vice President Gore.

He had a very good meeting with Vice President Gore and a lot of the NSC staff and some folks from the State Department. The Vice President, obviously, had seen President Tudgman in Copenhagen, but they reviewed the current status of discussions about the U.N. presence in Croatia. The Vice President reaffirmed our support for his continuing participation in the Federation. That's obviously why the President's been here in Washington for the last several days, celebrating the Bosnia-Croatian Federation. And the Vice President urged President Tudgman to continue to use his good offices to minimize conflict and try to avoid any further hostilities in the Balkans.

So that was the readout on that discussion. The President, just prior to seeing all of you for the annual presentation of the shamrocks, did have a very short bilateral meeting with Prime Minister Bruton. And I wanted to cover just a few of the points.

The Prime Minister began by reviewing the peace process with the President and said much the same thing that he then said in his public remarks in the Roosevelt Room. But he did encourage the President to continue to play a positive and productive role in the peace process, to insert ourselves at time appropriate to help the parties make progress towards peace.

The only other subject in a very short bilateral meeting that they covered was U.N. peacekeeping, and Prime Minister Bruton was very concerned about any sense that the United States would withdraw from its international obligations or withdraw from the valuable role that the United States plays as a Security Council member in U.N. peacekeeping efforts globally. So they did review the status of several U.N. peacekeeping missions. And the President, for his part, said that it was very important in the viewpoint of the United States to continue with efforts at reform at the United Nations, including peacekeeping operations, but also in administrative functions.

We noted again the concerns that we have about our assessed share of U.N. peacekeeping funding, which will be scheduled by an act of Congress to drop to 25 percent later this year, as many of you know. That was most of that discussion.

One other item connected -- Tony Lake had a good meeting this morning for just under a half hour with Gary McMichael, who is the leader of the Ulster Democratic Party. This follows the National Security Advisor's meeting with John Alderdice, who's head of the National Alliance Party. They again reviewed the peace process, where things stand; indicated once again to the leader of this party that we would continue to support those who are taking risks for peace and encourage a process that moves towards reconciliation of the parties. We said that we hope, and we will certainly continue to play our positive role, but we hope all parties will be able, at the table, to resolve the issues according to the text of the joint framework document, which is now sort of guiding the peace discussions, generally, concerning Northern Ireland.

That's where we stand as we head to your questions.

Q: Is the President withdrawing the nomination of Dr. Foster?


Q: Question?

MR. MCCURRY: The question -- it's laughable, but I will repeat it -- was the President withdrawing the nomination of Dr. Foster as surgeon general. And the answer is, of course not.

Q: He has confidence in his -- and believes he can carry it through?

MR. MCCURRY: He has a great deal of confidence in his candidate for surgeon general and that confidence grows as Dr. Foster continues to make his case, which we believe is a persuasive one, to members of the Senate.

Q: The Chief of Staff was pretty quick to come out this morning and contradict Dr. Foster about whether or not race has anything to do with why people are attacking the Clinton administration's nominees. Has anyone suggested to Dr. Foster that he needs to avoid talking about race, that you want this to be an issue about abortion? (Laughter.)

MR. MCCURRY: Well, I -- we have discussions with Dr. Foster about the duties that he will assume when he is surgeon general and about the presentation that he will need to make to the Senate. Dr. Foster thinks his own mind and states it. But I concur with the views of the Chief of Staff that this -- the controversy in the case of this nominee is not about race, it's about the issue of abortion.

Q: Well, I guess what I'm asking is, has anybody talked to him in the last 12 hours or 24 hours since he made those comments?

MR. MCCURRY: He's the nominee for surgeon general, so we talk to him all the time, of course.

Q: Well, have you talked to him about the race issue?

MR. MCCURRY: I'd have to check and see. I haven't talked to him directly myself. I can check around and see. I imagine that they talked about that issue after it came up in a Q&A session with him yesterday.

Q: Mike, just back on Bosnia for a second -- Madeleine Albright apparently is stipulating this Security Council resolution to establish a mandate for the new peacekeeping force. Could you just give us an idea of what is contained in that and whether it gets into the role of the U.S. personnel who are already there?

MR. MCCURRY: I can't do that, Jill. I didn't -- are we circulating a draft Security Council resolution? I'll have to get a copy of it, or you can check with Jamie Rubin up at the U.N. mission up there and he might be able to tell you a little bit more about it. But it would be consistent with our view that a U.N. presence in Croatia is very important in continuing to limit the conflict and limit the hostilities between all of the parties in the complicated conflict, both in Bosnia and as it exists in the former Yugoslavia.

It would -- my strong guess is that it would not address specific contributions by member states at the United Nations because those types of resolutions rarely do. Those are developed after passage of a U.N. Security Council resolution. Participation requirements are developed in consultation with the Secretary General. So I would strongly suspect that there's no specific reference to what role existing UNPROFOR contingents will play, but as many of you know, we play a valuable role in UNPROFOR currently in Croatia both in our involvement in UNPROFOR headquarters staff in Zagreb, and in the MASH hospital unit that's there. We've got medical personnel and others there, and I believe we have logistical folks there. Probably, Calvin, what, about just over 300, 340 U.S. personnel that I think are now in Croatia as part of the UNPROFOF command and control in medical facilities there.

Q: The President indicated this morning that he has still not made up his mind when and if he is going to visit Russia --

MR. MCCURRY: Indeed, he did.

Q: Why is he having so much trouble reaching a decision on what seems like a fairly simple question?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't think he's having trouble. I think if you -- if you will pardon us, just allow us to have a little diplomacy associated with a decision like that.

Q: Well, could you describe what the diplomacy concerns are that you have over this?

MR. MCCURRY: Yes. It involves consultations with the Russian Federation, and in the advance of most summits, there are discussions as to issues that would be developed and addressed at the highest level -- in this case, by President Yeltsin and President Clinton. And you can readily suspect that there's been a good deal of diplomatic contact around the issues that will likely be on the summit agenda when the summit occurs. You're aware, of course, that Secretary of State Christopher will be meeting with Foreign Minister Kozyrev next week, and those discussions certainly will include the agenda for a likely summit.

But that shouldn't at all indicate any lack of resolve on the part of the President. The President has indicated to you over and over again that he intends to have a summit with President Yeltsin in the first half of 1995.

Q: Mike, just to follow up on that -- does the elimination of military hardware from a parade -- would that alleviate one major concern?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, I've said often that there are many factors that go into the scheduling of a summit. The scenario and the theater of a summit meeting is very often part of the discussions that diplomats from both sides preview in advance of a summit. And I suspect issues of that nature have been discussed with the Russian Federation.

Q: If I could follow that to get a little more specific. President Yeltsin in his on-the-record interview yesterday said, "I am willing to meet their conditions." This seemed to imply that the administration had proposed to Mr. Yeltsin something along the lines of no military hardware. Is President Yeltsin correct?

MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't -- I'd have to go back and look very carefully at President Yeltsin's comment. It's probably not a wise idea for me to try to serve as his spokesman and clarify his remarks.

Q: No, I'm really asking whether the administration has proposed something along those lines to Mr. Yeltsin.

MR. MCCURRY: Well, we've had, as I've just said, diplomatic contacts with the Russians and reviewed a lot of different issues associated with a prospective summit meeting.

Q: Did the United States ask that military hardware be removed from the parade?

MR. MCCURRY: We've -- issues of that nature have been part of the discussions we've had; I just said so.

Q: In an effort to get from you publicly what a senior official said privately earlier today, does the removal of the military hardware make it more likely that the President would look favorably upon attending this event?

MR. MCCURRY: I'd prefer to quote the President, that the event -- you've got a good quote from the President earlier in the day where he indicated that he said those remarks were helpful. He said he appreciated the remarks by President Yeltsin.

Q: When will you be ready to announce a decision?

MR. MCCURRY: When we're ready to announce.

Q: Are we talking about weeks, months, days here?

MR. MCCURRY: In plenty of time so everyone can plan their travel arrangements accordingly.

Q: Mike, will the President celebrate V-E Day on May 8 in the United States at the cemetery in Arlington?

MR. MCCURRY: I think that's still possible.

Q: at all possible?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, the President answered that question earlier today. I'm not going to say anything differently than the President. He said that all of those issues that relate to his schedule in that period are being looked at carefully, and they're going to resolve those questions fairly soon, he said. Or if he didn't say it, I just did.

Q: The Russians want leaders from other countries there at the same time. Is there coordination among the allies in making the decision or is it going to be a unilateral we're going whether or not they're going?

MR. MCCURRY: There is already a planned event in Moscow on that day, and I think a number of European heads of state and heads of government have been invited. But I'd have to leave it to them to describe their own participation.

Q: Well, I'm talking about in terms of the diplomacy you're talking about in setting this up. Is there a multi-cornered effort to make a unified decision among the allies as to participation level?

MR. MCCURRY: I believe that the subject of when we might hold a summit has been under discussion with other European governments, but I'm not -- but I don't know if there has been any degree of coordination precisely on a day. But, obviously, the European partners are very interested in U.S.-Russian relations, and they inquire about the status of things like summits on a regular basis.

Q: Where else would he go?

MR. MCCURRY: Where else might he go?

Q: Might he go if there is a decision?

MR. MCCURRY: It's a very large continent.

Q: Does he have any other formal invitations?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't -- I believe he has formal --there are a whole variety of Victory in Europe celebrations occurring the continent, and I believe he has been invited to a number of them. I don't have a full listing of all of them, but there have been --most of the major European capitals, in one way or another, as we are here in the United States are marking and commemorating Victory in Europe Day.

Q: What's happened in the last month since you and Secretary Christopher both said it was unlikely for the President would go -- between then and now when the signals were pretty clear that --

MR. MCCURRY: There has been intense diplomacy .

Q: But what steps that the Russians have taken that have made it more likely the President might go?

MR. MCCURRY: There's been intense diplomacy, which I'm doing a pretty good job of avoiding direct comment upon. (Laughter.)

What else?

Q: Is there a set time for the President to speak with Prime Minister Major over the weekend? Have you reached agreement with 10 Downing Street on this?

MR. MCCURRY: I haven't checked. The last I heard, they have just arranged to have a conversation over the weekend. I don't know if there's a set time yet for the talk.

Q: That's what the President meant by having a visit shortly with the Prime Minister?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, I would have to check and see. He plans to -- certainly plans to visit with him by phone at some point this weekend. He also see him in person here in early April, as you know.

Q: Now that Janet Reno has decided not to seek an independent council for Secretary Pena, has the President spoken to Secretary Pena after that announcement?

MR. MCCURRY: That is a good question, and I'm sorry I don't know the answer to it. We did have a short statement from the President last night, but I don't know whether they've had a conversation since then. If they did, it would have most likely have been on just the good work that the Secretary of Transportation is doing in his area of responsibility with in the Cabinet.

Q: Can you give us an update on the White House security review now? We asked about it yesterday.

MR. MCCURRY: I forgot to get that. Will you guys get something on that. Check with the Press Office late on where they are in that.

Q: Will there be a picture of the handshake between the President and Adams?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't know -- the pool arrangements these guys have worked on it a little bit. I think they're only there for the toast. I don't believe the pool was there for the receiving line. So he's just there as an invited guest at the reception in honor of Prime Minister Bruton. So I'm not aware of any plans to have pool coverage for the entire length and duration of the --

Q: If there was a request, would that be acceptable?

MR. MCCURRY: It would be taken into consideration.

Q: Consider that there is a request.

MR. MCCURRY: Okay, there is a request. (Laughter.) There is a request, and we will consider it appropriately.

Q: Mike, this morning Gerry Adams was asked again about his position on decommissioning arms, and he basically recited what he had said before he came. That is to say, he wants everybody to disarm beginning with the British Army. Has he moved far enough on that issue? Do you expect, want, plan to see more from him?

MR. MCCURRY: We have had good discussions. In fact, earlier this week, the National Security Advisor told Mr. Adams that we want serious discussions on decommissioning to begin sooner rather than later. And Mr. Adams, if I'm not mistaken, has addressed himself to that question.

Q: Could you give us a briefing on the affirmative action talks this morning with the senators?

MR. MCCURRY: I can in a minute as soon as I get done reading this piece of paper on the security review I should have read already. We expect the public review to be released some time in April. We expect Under Secretary Ron Noble will be completing his review and forwarding it to Secretary Rubin this month. Apparently, it's fairly typical for reviews like this to -- or studies like this to be reviewed prior to release. Thank you. Just what we needed.

Q: Why has it taken so much longer than 90 days for the review to have been completed?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, there were a couple of incidents in and around the White House campus, as you know, since then. I think some of those are being evaluated in the context of this study as well.

Q: Affirmative action?

MR. MCCURRY: Affirmative action. Back to your question. I'm sorry.

Q: A readout.

MR. MCCURRY: Oh, on the meeting we had with the senators. They had -- we'll have for you the list of the senators. I believe there were about 10 who were there. Did all 10 show up, do we know? We'll have a full list, but it was a wide-ranging group. Everyone from -- well, I don't want to -- (laughter.) It's just that I suddenly flashed on the visage of my former boss, Senator Moynihan. Was Senator Moynihan there? He was invited. I'm not sure whether he was there, or not. We'll give you the whole list, but it was a

Q: St. Patrick's Day, you know -- (laughter.)

MR. MCCURRY: An unfair comment. He was the -- in any event, I chatted with some of those who participated afterwards. All of the senators there indicated that they supported the notion of the review that the President has now undertaken.

The President gave them a very good description of why he is conducting this review and what are some of the central premises, beginning with his core convictions about the progress that we've made in the last 25 years. And they all together discussed the fact that in the last 25 years some amazing things have happened in our society in terms of breaking down barriers that in the past have stood in the way of women and minorities, but that they simultaneously recognized that if you believed that these programs that have helped break down those barriers are valuable, you need to figure out how to fine-tune them so they can work more effectively.

So they had discussions broadly around that subject, what programs are out there that need to be examined, what's working, what needs to be strengthened in some cases, what needs to be fine- tuned if there are lapses. And they discussed a little bit about how to proceed on timing, but there was no conclusion -- the President did not indicate to them when he thinks the whole review will be completed. The review will clearly take some additional time, and there are some issues associated with how you begin to talk about it publicly, some testimony scheduled for next week. And all of that is coming together, but it will probably come together over the course of the coming week.

Q: What do you mean when you say working, talking about these affirmative action programs? How do you define or measure what is working effectively and what is not?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, we statistically had some pretty interesting data in the Glass Ceiling Commission report yesterday. You can see the entry of women and minorities into the work force, the new career opportunities that are available, the erosion of some of the barriers of discrimination that have prevented equal opportunity in the past. But you also see simultaneously some barriers that do exist still as people move up career ladders. And you see instances, specific instances which are now subject to adjudication in many cases in which there are clear and remaining vestiges of discrimination,either based on gender or race. So --

Q: Mike, the rising tide of criticism that has been leveled against affirmative action has been that it has been using one form of racial injustice of discrimination to combat another. How would you -- is that not -- I presume that is not the standard that is being used here.

MR. MCCURRY: Well,those are criticisms raised of specific aspects of the large effort called affirmative action that has been used to address instances of discrimination. Simultaneously, and I think even critics would acknowledge, there have been a great deal of progress in using the tools that are available to help break down barriers and to address instances of discrimination.

Now, that's not all pitting one formulation against the other. There are cases in which there just clearly have been instances of discrimination that need to be remedied if justice is to be done.

Q: Is the President on the lookout here for instances where he might feel or some might feel that one form of racial preference is being used to combat another or to make amends for another? Is that what he's worried about?

MR. MCCURRY: He's, as he's said to you, he's looking for instances in which programs designed to address discrimination and to encourage and enhance opportunities for equal opportunity. He's looking for instances where programs designed to reach those objectives, where are they functioning well, where do they need to be strengthened and where are there some lapses where they're not doing well.

Q: It's still not clear what you mean by functioning well.

MR. MCCURRY: Well, functioning -- creating a society that is more egalitarian, in which there's more -- there's more accessibility for those who've been discriminated against in the past and which there are greater opportunity for people to pursue their own careers and their own life's happiness.

Q: What there any focused discussion this morning on aspects of affirmative action that are not working well? Was there any consensus that this particular aspect or that particular is not working well?

MR. MCCURRY: I don't have enough of a readout to know if they got into detailed specific programmatic aspects.

Q: Mike, on the timing and adjudication, you have Senator Lieberman suggesting the President wait until the Supreme Court rules and Senator Breaux saying that Republicans are likely not to give him that time. Where's the President coming down?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, that will be a subject of intense speculation on your part going into next week, so I won't answer that questions now. (Laughter.) It will give us something to talk about next week.

Q: With Donna Shalala coming in to brief on welfare reform today, and with the President's radio address emphasizing that tomorrow, can you say if the administration is pointing Congressman Nathan Deal's Democratic substitute on welfare?

MR. MCCURRY: That is -- we are certainly addressing the issue of welfare reform, because it will be due for Congressional consideration next week. But I would leave it for the radio address and for some of the other briefers to get into more details on specific legislation pending.

Q: What's the President doing this weekend?

MR. MCCURRY: I haven't checked. I've heard conflicting reports on what his plans are this weekend. I do point out that the NCAA tournament is on television, so I suspect, as are many of you, he'll be watching a lot of basketball. That's hazarding a guess, however.

Q: What is the First Lady's thinking on -- the administration's thinking on the First Lady's trip to South Asia? Why that part of the country? What do they hope to see her accomplish?

MR. MCCURRY: I will -- I don't have enough information to do a full briefing on her trip, but I can tell you that there has been for some time very intense interest in having the First Lady visit that part of the world. And we've heard from governments in the region, including places where she's going, that her trip would really advance both bilateral relations between the United States and each of the countries she's visiting, and then also issues related to regional security and regional peace efforts. So I suspect she will have a wide-ranging agenda while she's there. But there will be more on that as she prepares for her departure next Friday.

Q: What day is he going to do unfunded mandates?

MR. MCCURRY: We'll do a schedule. I'll let you guys do the schedule at the end.

What else?

Q: Is the administration having any second thoughts about these $31 million worth of bonuses being paid to Lockheed and Martin Marietta executives?

MR. MCCURRY: I know they've been addressing that over at the Pentagon and they're reflecting our administration's concerns in the discussions they've been having over there.

Q: What do you mean? They're reflecting --

MR. MCCURRY: They've been having a lot of -- Ken Bacon over there has been talking about Secretary Perry's efforts on that issue. So I'll direct you over there for an answer.

Q: Senator Breaux also said at the meeting today that a suggestion was made to establish a commission on affirmative action changes being seriously considered --

MR. MCCURRY: I'm sorry, I missed the tail end of that question.

Q: Is establishing a commission to look into affirmative action changes being seriously considered by the --

MR. MCCURRY: Well, we are looking at a range of things and individual people are bringing a lot of ideas into the President's consideration. So that idea has surfaced, obviously, but I'm not going to predict on where we'll come out on any of these issues.

Q: When you mentioned fine-tuning existing programs, would that include changing who you are targeting in these program so it's no longer done by gender?

MR. MCCURRY: That was a vague enough answer so that there's no way you could apply it specifically to anything. (Laughter.)

Q: Mike, the First Lady's visit you said would advance security concerns. You're talking about the NPT with some of the nations there? If so, what exactly is the role of the First Lady in those security discussions?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, she will be conversant, as first ladies are when they travel, with the range of issues that exist bilaterally with the countries that she's visiting, and if appropriate will address those, depending on what her interlocutors wish to raise in the discussions.

Q: She's actually going to discuss security?

MR. MCCURRY: I can't say that for a fact without seeing what the interests are of the host governments that she's visiting, what kind of issues they may wish to raise. But we've had, in the lead up to the trip, had indications that governments are interested in, as they would with any distinguished delegation or distinguished visitor from the United States, exploring a range of issues that exist bilaterally as we work with the governments. It's very customary.

Q: Well, is she going to take an advisor with her who could --

MR. MCCURRY: She'll have a delegation traveling with her. But we'll give you -- I don't have enough prepared now to give you a full prep on that. In fact, we'll have to check and see what the First Lady's Office -- they may want to do some type of formal briefing for you all before she departs.

Q: That includes the NPT --

MR. MCCURRY: Well, that's been -- in that part of the world that is an issue that is -- we're very keenly interested in, as you know, and wouldn't be surprised if that subject arises.

Q: I just want a last thing on the Major phone call. The areas they're going to talk about specifically are --

MR. MCCURRY: Well, I suspect they will -- I mean, they will clearly review the peace process and where things stand in developments related to that and to the discussions occurring under the joint framework. But I really believe that that will only be a portion of the discussion because I think the President -- I know the President is keenly interested in talking to the Prime Minister about the Middle East. The Prime Minister has just been there and most likely gathered a number of impressions about where we are in the peace process.

The President also wants to brief the Prime Minister on Secretary Christopher's recently-completed travels, specifically with respect to the Syrian-Israeli track, and, of course, the President will review his just concluded meetings with King Hassan and talking about, in a sense, the changes taking place in that region generally.

I believe that they will also discuss the status of U.S.-Russian relations and issues that are related to NATO and NATO expansion. And having just said all of that, I am going to let that stand as a the readout on this call for the weekend unless there is some reason to alter that readout that I just gave.

Q: But there are some commentators and politicians and others in England who say that the President's initiatives in Northern Ireland and the visas and the meetings with Gerry Adams have effectively destroyed the special relationship between the United States and Britain.

MR. MCCURRY: Poppycock. (Laughter.) The best endorsement of the U.S. role in that process and the steps that we have taken is the one that was delivered by Prime Minister Bruton earlier today. There couldn't have been a warmer or more encouraging evaluation of the President's role in this process.

And since the Republic of Ireland and the United Kingdom share objectives in the peace process that certainly we share, I would think, if anything, the work that we have done to advance the peace process so effectively, as pointed out by Prime Minister Bruton this morning, would only raise the temperature of the very warm relationship that exists between the United States and Great Britain, making that warm relationship even warmer.

Q: So are you saying that if Bruton likes it, Major must like it as well?

MR. MCCURRY: Well, I'm saying that since they share the objectives of peace as defined in their joint declaration, that contributing to the goals that they equally share in the document that they've agreed to can only satisfy both sides of the dialogue. They're committed to certain goals and objectives.

There are, clearly, some disagreements on tactics here. We've acknowledged that publicly, and it would be foolish to say otherwise. But we believe that this relationship that is so special endures despite differences in tactics, largely because was have such central agreement on the strategic premise of where we need to go on things like peace, or like NATO, or like U.S.-Russian relations or all the different things that we discuss with what is arguably one of our closest, if not the closest, ally we have in the world.

Q: But what's the evidence that Major shares Bruton's feelings?

MR. MCCURRY: The correspondence that he and the President have exchanged.

Q: What in the correspondence gives you that impression? I mean, he registered his --

MR. MCCURRY: Without getting -- without sharing private correspondence, I'd say the amicable tone and the way in which we can address issues like this in the spirit of friendship with England is the primary evidence that we have a relationship that can weather whatever disagreements there are from time to time on tactical issues.

Q: Mike, are you saying that descriptions in both the American and British press of the tension in this relationship are exaggerated?

MR. MCCURRY: Look, I'm not a -- I don't read enough of the British press to know. I know that they get exaggerated and hyperventilated on a regular basis. But I wouldn't -- I think that the -- oh, no, not -- compared to the calm and reasoned -- (laughter) -- coverage here.

No, I think that that -- look, they have tried -- if you read the British press over the last -- course of the last 24 months, I can recall at least six times that the special relationship has been declared dead, once and for all. And yet it perdures. And we seem to do quite well --

Q: what?

MR. MCCURRY: Perdures. (Laughter.) And we seem to do quite well in this special relationship, despite those that are determined -- we do quite well with this special relationship despite those that are determined to write its obituary. So I would sort of suggest you watch how well we do addressing the range of issues that we have, rather than prematurely speculating on the demise of what is the special relationship.

Q: Is it also the case that in private the --

MR. MCCURRY: (Lights are turned off.) That's my sign that I've gone on long enough. (Laughter.)

Q: British-American relationship is warmer than some of the public statements expressed --

MR. MCCURRY: Yes, I think that would be an accurate evaluation of what I'm saying, that the relationship is warmer and more special than those who are suggesting in print otherwise.

Q: Why does Major keep avoiding the President's phone call?

MR. MCCURRY: I'm not certain that that is an accurate statement of fact. I don't believe he is. And I believe, as I say, they plan to talk this weekend.

Q: Do you have any idea -- I mean, tomorrow or Sunday or --

MR. MCCURRY: I don't know. I think it depends on a lot of -- it depends on the schedules of both leaders.

Q: Will it be on the loudspeaker?

MR. MCCURRY: I doubt it. (Laughter.)

THE PRESS: Thank you.

END 1:50 P.M. EST

William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Mike McCurry Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

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