Press Briefing by Mike McCurry and Staff Secretary Todd Stern
The Briefing Room
1:05 P.M. EDT
MR. MCCURRY: I'm going to have to be promptly out of here because the President's annual physical exam is going swimmingly and faster than anticipated. So I'm going to head out to Bethesda. And for those of you who are not there -- it looks like many people may have gone out there already -- we'll probably do our briefing out there about a half hour after the President's departure, which is anticipated to be around 1:45 p.m. or 2:00 p.m.
Q: What can you tell us about the Nimitz going to the Persian Gulf, and what's the situation in northern Iraq with Syrian troops and Iranian troops?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the situation -- we've provided updates both at the Pentagon and the State Department the last couple of days about the situation in northern Iraq. I think most published reports about the actions involving Turkish units and Iranian units have been well covered. And we've made clear that we will continue to vigorously enforce the no-fly zones established to ensure compliance with relevant U.N. Security Council resolutions.
The Nimitz, I'll refer you to the Pentagon on that. My understanding is the Nimitz was scheduled to be deployed to the region; the Nimitz cut short a port visit in Singapore and is underway in due course to the Persian Gulf now. But the Pentagon can tell you more about that deployment.
Q: Is the Nimitz going to the Persian Gulf for -- Iranians in a cross-border raid with --
MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't necessarily connect those two. We've got a very active presence in the region and it is related to our ability to carry out our responsibilities given to us by the international community. But, at the same time, the Nimitz had been scheduled to deploy in the Persian Gulf and what's happening here is they're advancing the date of arrival in the Gulf.
Q: Did the President sign off on using a laser experimentally against a $60 million satellite that is still functioning to destroy it to see if it works?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, that's a little garbled. They are testing a laser devise on a satellite that was about to outlive its useful life. It was going out of commission, so to speak. But the Pentagon briefed on this at great length yesterday, and the answer is, yes, the White House and the President did participate in the interagency process by which Secretary Cohen recommended and directed this test. The Pentagon can tell you more about the test. They've briefed, as I say, at some length yesterday.
Q: But the stories say that it still had a life.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, the life was winding down. It's been up there for a while.
Q: Is it for Star Wars?
MR. MCCURRY: No, it was described yesterday at the Pentagon as being used for infrared imagery purposes. But the Pentagon -- I'll have to refer you there. They know more about it.
Q: -- not offensive?
MR. MCCURRY: Right.
Q: Mike, can you tell us specifically why the date of the date of the Nimitz's deployment to the Gulf was advanced?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm going to attempt to do that. We always make judgments about deployments related to our assessment of what's going on in any region of the world. In this case, we had the Nimitz scheduled for the Gulf. We just advanced it by a short period of time, and that's about all I think we need to say on it.
Q: Well, Mike, on that subject, having heard you just say that's all you're going to say, but on that same subject, is it true that the Turks have stopped our flights -- and what's our position on that?
MR. MCCURRY: I have not heard anything about that. Do you know anything about that, P.J.?
COL. CROWLEY: Normally, we will make sure that we deconflict cross-border operations and Northern Watch.
MR. MCCURRY: Okay, I understand. Operation Northern Watch, which we are carrying out there in protection of the Kurdish populations there -- there have been recent action, as you probably are aware, that the government of Turkey has taken against PKK elements in northern Iraq, and there may be some -- in connection with that, may be some deconfliction of scheduled sorties.
But again, I think it would be best to go back over the Pentagon on that question. They can tell you more about the operational deployment there.
Q: But that's the reason for the Nimitz.
MR. MCCURRY: I did not suggest that directly. I mean, we have a vigorous presence in the Gulf and we rotate stuff in and out of there all the time.
Q: On the IRS review board, is a citizen review board something the White House would now consider, and how would it differ --
MR. MCCURRY: As I said earlier today, we're looking at a number of ways that we can assure that the IRS is more accountable, does its work more efficiently, and shows the respect the U.S. taxpayers deserve. In May, the President directed the Vice President and the Treasury Secretary to examine a package of things that might improve IRS accountability, and the end of that review period is scheduled for the middle of this month. So we are looking at some ideas, and I wouldn't necessarily steer you away from some of the things you've seen reported about our interest in having average American citizens help in overseeing the work of the IRS.
Q: Why wouldn't those average American citizens also have conflicts of interest with the -- also have business before the agency that would represent a conflict of interest?
MR. MCCURRY: I think I've said here before, any U.S. citizen who pays taxes would -- if you want to call it a conflict -- might have that kind of conflict. But I think the goal here is to get folks who really understand what it's like to be on the receiving end in the business of helping the IRS understand better what it means to be customer-friendly.
Q: How does this differ from the Republican plan?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, they have a different structure to their board and the proposed membership was much different and might lead, in our view, to situations where there would more clearly be conflicts of interests with large economic enterprises, not necessarily individual citizens. But we've been pleased, I think, already with some of the favorable reaction we've heard on the Hill to some of the ideas we have and it appears that we will be able to work closely with Congress to develop a proposal that will be both to the Congress's liking and to the President's liking.
Q: Do they also differ in terms of power of these boards?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know enough about how the Treasury Department is structuring it to really answer the question. I think that Treasury might be in a position to help you, but as I said, I think it will be soon, but maybe even as early as sometime next week that we'll be able to tell you more when the President announces the ideas that he has.
Q: Mike, given the Attorney General's decision in the Gore case, is the President now resigned that the same sort of decision is going to be made in his case and he's in for a long investigation?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't necessarily -- in fact, I don't even know -- has anything been announced one way or another? I'm not even aware that the Attorney General has announced her decision or notified the Hill of her decision yet, so I really couldn't comment on that. But she has made clear that she has to look at every matter coming before her according to what the fact are and what the law suggests, and those are not necessarily the same evaluations in the case of the President and the Vice President. So I really should leave it to her to explain how she's going to make that evaluation.
Q: If there was an advantage in the follow-up period for the Vice President, as you suggested the other day, wouldn't there also then be an advantage --
MR. MCCURRY: It depends on what the matters are that are being looked at. To my knowledge, we don't know exactly what those matters would be.
Q: When you said that they're not necessarily the same situations, what's the difference?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to attempt to define that. I mean, you all have reported on it and I think your reports make that clear.
Q: Is it a distinction of the law between the two?
MR. MCCURRY: No, the facts are never the same in two different situations.
Q: You mean because the information you've given us so far suggests the President made calls from the Residence?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to try to decipher that. Everyone in this room reported on this one way or another, and so you know what the differences are. You don't need me to explain them.
Okay, I've got to go.
Q: One last question.
MR. MCCURRY: One last question.
Q: On Sheik Yassin, when he got what originally looked like a humanitarian move has been seen by many as a swap for the Mossad agents. Can you comment on that? Did the United States know about that, and did you condone it?
MR. MCCURRY: The release of Sheik Yassin was requested, as you know, by the government of Jordan. The King made the request on humanitarian grounds, due to the Sheik's age and his failing health, and also because it would be a confidence-building measure for the peace process itself. And, of course, we do support confidence-building measures that lend a better environment to the peace process.
Q: Back in May, when this announcement on customer service was made, Secretary Rubin said he would also be announcing an IRS advisory board on management issues, and that that would be made up of members outside of government, it would be private sector members.
MR. MCCURRY: That's been created, I think, right?
Q: But why -- I don't quite understand the rationale -- why is it all right to have an outside group --
MR. MCCURRY: It's an advisory board, not a control board. There is a big difference.
Q: Mike, have you found out anything about the D.C. --
MR. MCCURRY: I think some of my folks here have and they can help you out on that.
Q: On the Kyoto talks on global climate change, if a treaty comes out of that, how will they be monitored and what happens if somebody -- what would be the penalty if somebody exceeded that?
MR. MCCURRY: That's a central element of the negotiation, what the verification means would be and how you would structure any proposed penalty regimes. That's a large part of the negotiation. There's no way to suggest to you now what the answer would be.
Q: With this treaty, how will it be passed on the Senate hearings -- sort of like fast track --
MR. MCCURRY: It would be a treaty that under the Constitution would have to be ratified by the Senate.
Q: On the physical, do you know yet how much weight the President's lost?
MR. MCCURRY: I do, but I'm not telling. (Laughter.)
Q: What is the big secret?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't want to get into -- I'm going to go do a briefing in about an hour, Helen, and we'll have the docs there and they can tell you a lot more about it.
Q: Are you going to unveil this big number?
MR. MCCURRY: For our listening audience, here, everyone here is participating in a little pool, so this is a very urgent meeting. (Laughter.) I think that those who predicted in excess of 20 pounds, I've got a better answer.
Q: Have you gotten any reaction from the President to the bag over your head?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes -- not from the President, no, but from some of my colleagues.
Q: And that was?
Q: Never wear a hat. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: Rahm Emanuel had the best line. He said the caption should have said, please fire me. (Laughter.)
Okay, on that happy note. We'll see you all -- how many are going out, or are you just going to listen to it down here? I guess you all were going to listen to it down here, if you're here.
We reversed order, here. I was going -- my opening act was going to be Todd Stern, but I have proved to be the opening act for him. The Assistant to the President and Secretary -- what is it -- Staff Secretary, Todd Stern, who has actually been running our internal working group in the White House on global climate change. He's here to tell you more about the White House Conference on Global Climate Change that will occur on Monday. And one of you guys do the week ahead at the end of that.
And Mr. Stern, we're delighted to have you here. You don't have to answer any of the diplomatic questions that I ducked.
MR. STERN: I'll let you duck them.
Hi. I just want to give you a brief update on what's going to be going on on Monday on the climate change conference. It's going to be held at Georgetown, should start around 10:00 a.m. The title of it is "The White House Conference on Climate Change: The Challenge of Global Warming."
The goals are twofold. First is really to continue the educational effort that has been underway for the last several months, to bring this issue into greater focus for the American people, and to generally heighten awareness about this issue, what the President and Vice President clearly think is an important one and one that's got to be dealt with.
Secondly, we are seeking to further inform the policy process which has been going on on quite an intensive basis, again in the last several weeks and couple months, to inform that process by bringing in some of the best minds and most thoughtful minds in the country who have been dealing with various aspects of this issue.
There are going to be four panels. The way the day will work is that the Vice President will open it up, the President will make an initial address. There will then be a panel on science, it will go for about an hour; a panel on technology that will go for about an hour. There will be a break at lunch. It will be a working lunch with break-out sessions led by Cabinet officers and some senior White House people.
We've got about 12 Cabinet Secretaries or agency heads who are going to be there and a number of other senior White House people. And I expect there will be 12 break-out working group sessions during that time.
After lunch, the session will be opened up by Mrs. Clinton, who will be speaking. It happens to be Children's Health Day, so there is that tie-in, and she'll make some brief remarks on that subject, and the tie-in --
Q: Who will?
MR. STERN: Mrs. Clinton, yes, to lead off the afternoon session. Then there will be a panel on the major international issues and a panel on the economic issues, and that will kind of round out the day.
We have an outstanding group of people who are going to be on the panels. They're listed in the press release that was available yesterday. I'm not going to go through all of them, but just touch on a few people. The science panel will be led off by John Holdren, who is a professor of earth and planetary sciences at Harvard and in the Kennedy School -- also the head of the technology panel, the President's Council of Advisors on Science and Technology and a renowned expert in this area. The science panel will also include Dr. Robert Watson, who has just been made the head of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, which is the authoritative international body on the science.
The technology panel will be framed by Secretary Pena. There will be a number of CEOs and business folks who will be able to talk about the range of available technologies that are either available now or on the drawing board, which might contribute to solving the problem of reducing greenhouse gas emissions. The international panel will be framed by the Secretary of State; will include James Wolfensohn, president of the World Bank; Daniel Yergin, who's best known for his Pulitzer Prize winning book on oil; and several other, again, noted scholars. And the economic panel will be framed by Deputy Secretary Larry Summers; will include John Sweeney, head of the AFL-CIO; and Professor William Nordhaus from Yale, who is one of the most authoritative voices in the economic community on this issue.
The invited guests also come from a broad range of sectors. We anticipated about 150. We have 180 acceptances so far, so it's going to be a little more than we expected, but probably round out somewhere between there and 200. I believe 70 businesses are coming so far, and a range of environmentalists, labor, farmers, religious -- a broad range of folks. It's not going to be a venue for announcing policy -- that's going to be coming down the road a little bit -- but will be, as I say, a venue for further informing the policy process and further, hopefully educating the American people. So that's what's happening.
Q: Does the U.S. plan to put forward a specific proposal at some point during the Bonn meeting, and could you clear up what existing proposals are on the table for Kyoto? It's not quite clear to me what the existing proposals are and what we've said about them.
MR. STERN: Let me just say, I'm not going to get too deep into specific policy proposals or discussions right now. I would anticipate that we will be, and the President will be, announcing policy on this issue probably later in the month, probably during the time that the Bonn session is going on. It's not a guarantee, but that would be my expectation.
The Bonn meeting begins October 20th and goes I believe to the 31st, and is the last preparatory, international preparatory meeting before Kyoto. So I would guess that policy would be announced in that time frame.
Q: Can you clear up what the other proposals are?
MR. STERN: Other proposals by other countries you mean?
Q: Yes -- I thought the European Community was asking for 15 percent reductions from the 1990 level.
MR. STERN: Yes -- there are a number -- I actually couldn't run through. The European Community has proposed 15 percent below 1990 levels by the year 2010. The Island States I think have proposed 20 percent below by the year 2005. I think the President has already made it pretty clear that those are proposals that are way beyond anything that we would consider.
Q: Do any members of your scientific panel represent a counterveiling view about the global warming?
MR. STERN: I think that you will find this science panel to be very balanced and measured. What we have tried to do on the science panel -- there are five people on that panel -- is to get a pretty mainstream representative view. These are folks who will make it quite clear what we know, what we don't know, what's pretty certain, what's not certain at all. There is a whole range of different levels of certainty. It's one of the most confusing things in this whole debate -- some people say the science is certain, others say the science isn't certain. There are different aspects of the science, depending on what you're talking about, if you're talking about the basic workings of the greenhouse gas effect and the basic science of climate change. All of the people on the panel accept the basic science of climate change.
Now, it is true that there are a few people that are kind of outside that mainstream. There's also a few people who think very devastating things are going to happen very quickly. We don't have people sort of on either of those extremes, but I think that you will see a very balanced --
Q: They all believe that there is climate change and there should be something -- some action taken?
MR. STERN: They all believe that there is a problem of climate change and they probably believe that something should be done about it.
Q: That doesn't sound very balanced to me.
MR. STERN: Well, I think -- as I say, I think if you look at what these folks talk about, both what they have talked about and what they'll talk about on Monday, the presentation is done in a way which makes it very clear what people accept and what people don't accept. I think those aspects that are questioned and that aren't accepted will be given some hearing.
Q: Was it deliberate not to include any critics of the whole aspect of --
MR. STERN: Let me just say that there is -- that if you look across the range of people on the panels, there is a very broad range of views represented. I don't think anybody would probably accuse John Sweeney and the AFL-CIO as being of the very green side of this. Professor Nordhaus is known for an approach which is a very gradual one. The international panel includes Richard Schmalensee from MIT, who was in the Bush administration was on the Council of Economic Advisors.
There's a balance and fair range of views across the panels, so I think we're very comfortable with that -- and across the invited guests. I mean, we have oil companies and chemical companies and heavy industry and power companies who are coming, airlines. And in terms of folks who were invited, we really invited a very broad range. The auto companies -- the only who I think is coming -- I don't think any of the American companies are coming -- Toyota is coming.
Q: You are aware that industry has been running ads that suggest that the United States shouldn't make any commitments while developing countries like China would be let free. How do you plan to approach that problem and deal with that argument, both at Kyoto and in terms of gaining public support?
MR. STERN: Again, I want to not kind of get into an extended policy discussion here. It's not -- but let me just say quickly, though, that it is certainly not the position of this country that developing countries should be exempt or excluded, as those ads I think incorrectly suggest.
Q: What's the view here of the decision by CNN to pull those ads? Does that make your task easier?
MR. STERN: I never had a -- I don't think we ever were terribly focused on those ads. I think it's CNN's decision to do that. I think I personally didn't have a sense that those -- I think the important thing for us and for the President is to work out a policy which is coherent, which is strong, and which is something that can be explained both internationally and domestically. I think those ads, whether they stayed on the air or off the air, would fade away pretty quickly.
Q: Is it fair to say that nobody at the White House had any communications with CNN about it?
MR. STERN: Certainly not to my knowledge, no.
Q: Will there be any direct rebuttal or addressing of the economic estimates of rising energy prices and so forth that are cited by the opponents of the treaty, and they're relying on DRI --
MR. STERN: I don't want to wade deep into the policy here, but let me just say again that all of the estimates, all of the kinds of things that you see on TV in the ads and whatnot presuppose policies that we haven't adopted. So it's -- when the President announces his policy, I'm quite sure that there will be explanations and an accounting of what we think are likely effects. But none of what you see right now is based on anything that we're proposing.
Q: How difficult, in terms of characterizing the challenge that you have to try to get the American people to focus on this and give the administration the support it's going to need to sell whatever treaty is agreed to -- how big a challenge is it?
MR. STERN: I think that this is an issue which is a long-range problem. I think we're on the front end of the process of discussing this and having a dialogue and raising consciousness of the American people on this issue. So I think that this is an issue which inevitably will play out over a period of some number of years. So I certainly think that's it's an important issue to continue discussing. I think what we've been doing in the last several months is an important piece of that and needs to go on.
Q: There's been some criticism that the administration should have long ago come out with a more definitive economic assessment. To this date, I don't think we've seen one. Why hasn't there been one, and when will there be one?
MR. STERN: Well, there's been a lot of analysis that has been done by people in the administration. There's a lot of work that's going on now. There's extensive literature out there which people are very familiar with with respect to economic impacts and all aspects of this policy. And, as I say, I think those things will all be developed as we -- and in the context of the President's ultimate adoption of policy.
Q: Who from the administration is going to Bonn, and who's going to Kyoto?
MR. STERN: Actually, I'm not certain on either of those. The Bonn group -- my guess is that that will be State Department, but -- I'm sure it will be State Department. I'm not sure exactly what level. And the delegation for Kyoto has not been decided yet.
Q: Am I correct that you suggest that -- you said that at Bonn there will be some targets and timetables announced?
MR. STERN: What I said was it's my anticipation that the President will probably be announcing policy in the range of the Bonn meeting, some time before the end of the month. So that would be my anticipation, but as I said, I can't guarantee it.
Q: But when you say policy, you mean the targets --
MR. STERN: Well, among other things, yes.
Q: What time is the First Lady speaking?
MR. STERN: It's currently figured for 2:15 p.m. That could conceivably bump to 2:30 p.m, but it's around that area.
Q: For the treaty, is Mr. Clinton looking at emission certificates as a way of dealing with limits?
MR. STERN: Again, there is a wide range of policies being looked at right now and I don't want to get into those specifics right now.
Thanks very much.
Q: Thanks a lot.
MR. TOIV: Week ahead. Tomorrow the President delivers the radio address live from the Oval Office.
Q: What is the topic?
MR. TOIV: Well, subject is how we can all take responsibility for raising our children and strengthening families.
Q: Promise Keepers?
MR. TOIV: That subject may come up. He's going to be talking about some of the issues that they are concerned about. He'll also talk about some of the work the administration has been doing on those issues, such as the Family and Medical Leave law -- work that we've done to help families and strengthen families -- the Family and Medical Leave law, raising the minimum wage, that sort of thing; and actions to crack down on deadbeat dads, as you all remember. But he's really going to focus more on what individuals in our society, and particularly men, can do to help our families succeed.
Q: Barry, do you expect him to talk about the Promise Keepers and the rally by name, specifically?
MR. TOIV: I think there's a good chance that he will mention them, yes.
Q: Is he going to address them?
MR. TOIV: No, no, it's just a regular radio address.
Then, following the radio address -- has the week ahead been distributed?
MR. TOIV: Okay. Well, it will be soon. The President and the First Lady will visit the Secret Service training facility out in Beltsville. And they're going to -- basically going out there to see some of the things that the Service has been working on. They're going to learn some of their capabilities, they're going to review some of what is expected of them in certain situations. And that will be tomorrow.
And then later on in the evening the President will attend two events for Lt. Governor Don Beyer in Virginia for his gubernatorial candidacy.
Q: Why are they doing the Secret Service thing? Is there anything that prompted that?
MR. TOIV: Nothing that I'm aware of, and I don't have anything more on that.
Q: Have they been there before?
MR. TOIV: They have not. Previous presidents have. President Bush did this during his administration. But given that these are security issues, we don't really have anything more to say.
Q: Open coverage?
MR. TOIV: No, I think the pool will be out there for protective purposes.
Q: When you say what's expected in certain circumstances, will they be, like, practicing rolling and dropping to the ground? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: I think my last answer applies.
Q: Learning how to operate the cell phones in the belly of Air Force One? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: I'm not sure that you --
Q: We were allowed to cover President Bush when he went out there -- target shooting and everything else.
MR. TOIV: That is not the case now.
Then the President and First Lady will spend Saturday evening and Sunday at Camp David.
Q: When does he go to these two events?
MR. TOIV: Saturday, and then after -- then he goes back to Camp David from there.
Q: Late at night?
MR. TOIV: Goes to Camp David? Yes.
MR. TOIV: And then they're there on Sunday.
Q: Do they return Sunday night or Monday morning?
MR. TOIV: The last I saw, Monday morning. But I suspect that's subject to possible change.
Q: So he goes to Camp David after these events, or in between?
MR. TOIV: After. After.
Q: Anything going on at Camp David?
MR. TOIV: Private time. Monday. Next week, we're trying to keep kind of flexible, given all that's going to be going on on the Hill and the President may want to weigh in on certain things taking place up on the Hill. But --
MR. TOIV: Well, a lot of issues going on in campaign finance reform, other issues. But right now, Monday -- obviously, Todd just told you all about the Conference on Climate Change. On Tuesday, the President will meet with the President of Israel, Ezer Weizman, and they'll have an opportunity to review the Middle East peace process, to exchange views on that.
Q: What time?
MR. TOIV: That will take place -- right now it's scheduled for 10:15 a.m.
On Wednesday, the President travels to New Jersey. He will travel to Newark. He will attend an event at a church there. And the focus will be on child care and early childhood education. And he'll be there with our gubernatorial candidate in New Jersey, Jim McGreevey. The child care aspect you should probably look at as part of the ramp up to the child care conference later this month. But he will also be talking about early childhood education, including issues such as Head Start, which is of course an ongoing issue on the Hill right now in the appropriations process.
He will also do a lunch for the McGreevey campaign and a couple other DNC events in New Jersey and in Philadelphia, and return to Washington late that evening.
Thursday and Friday are open right now. And Saturday is the radio address, as the President gets ready for his trip to South America.
Q: What do you mean open?
MR. TOIV: We may have events, we may not, but we don't have anything scheduled right now.
Q: I believe Monday is the deadline for a line item veto decision --
MR. TOIV: Yes, it is.
Q: -- and the military construction bill.
MR. TOIV: Yes, it is.
Q: Were the President to exercise that authority, would you -- how would you handle that?
MR. TOIV: I wouldn't expect anything until Monday on that. And as the President himself told you, he's received a memorandum on that. There are not any final decisions yet, and we will certainly decide by Monday how to announce whatever decision he does make.
Q: Do you have the sites on where he is going for Beyer tomorrow night?
MR. TOIV: Yes. It's the National Airport Hilton. There are two events, but they're both at the Hilton.
Q: Barry, if I'm correct, isn't it supposed to be October 8th for a hate crime conference?
MR. TOIV: No. I don't have the date in front of me, but if it's coming up next week -- (laughter) -- we have a big problem. I think that's November. Maybe somebody back there can come out and tell us.
MS. GREEN: November 10th.
MR. TOIV: November 10th. That was Julie Green, for the benefit of her family. (Laughter.)
Q: The question was asked about whether Webster Hubbell was at Martha's Vineyard and we were told we'd get an answer. Has there been an answer?
MR. TOIV: I'm not aware that we have gotten an answer to that yet.
Q: Could we get an answer?
MR. TOIV: I think you were promised one yesterday.
Q: Yes. Promise Keepers. (Laughter.) When will we get an answer?
MR. TOIV: When? I don't know yet, but I'll be sure to check for you.
Q: Do you have an answer on the D.C. issue that the President is going to talk to D.C. residents? Is that you or Joe?
MR. TOIV: I don't know the answer to that. I was not who Mike was referring to.
Q: Do you have the latest on when this briefing is going to happen this afternoon and how it is --
MR. TOIV: We were talking earlier about 3:00 p.m. or so, and Mike is going to do it out there. They've got a briefing room there and he'll brief. I don't know if it's being piped in here. Did Mike say it's being piped in here? Yes, yes. I assume it is.
Q: Do you have appointments coming out this afternoon?
MR. TOIV: More appointments? I don't know if we have more, but come and check, and we'll be able to tell you.
Q: Is it possible that the IRS initiatives could come out next Thursday or Friday?
MR. TOIV: I believe Mike did not rule out next week for that.
Q: For what?
MR. TOIV: But that's all -- for IRS. But that's all I would have to say on it now.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:40 P.M. EDT
William J. Clinton, Press Briefing by Mike McCurry and Staff Secretary Todd Stern Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/270583