Bill Clinton photo

Remarks on the Aircraft Tragedy in Wyoming and an Exchange With Reporters

August 18, 1996

The President. Before I leave, I'd just like to say how very sad and shocked Hillary and I were to receive word early this morning of the crash of the Air Force transport plane coming out of Wyoming. There are always significant dangers associated with our Armed Forces, the people in our Secret Service, and others who do this work, but this is especially painful to us because they worked for me. They did an invaluable service, and I'm very, very sad about it.

The local law enforcement people are on the ground doing the search now. I have sent an Air Force team of inspectors there. We do not know what caused the crash at this time. And I think for the moment, I'd just like to say that our thoughts and prayers are with the families of the people who were lost, along with our everlasting gratitude.

Thank you.

Q. Mr. President, can you confirm reports that the pilot may have been having mechanical difficulties and——

The President. When I got—I cannot confirm any final reports. Last night—maybe it was 2:30 this morning, quarter to 3, it was about that time when I got a call. I was told that they thought the pilot had turned around to come back to the airport. And that's the last—that's the last word I have on the facts. But we should be able to tell you more by the end of the day, because they're out there.

"60 Minutes" Interview

Q. Happy birthday, Mr. President. Did you lay a glove on Dole in the interview?

The President. I don't have any idea. You all watch it and tell me. I wouldn't know. But I'm just happy to be here—still standing—at 50. Thank you.

NOTE: The President spoke at 2:24 p.m. on the South Lawn at the White House, prior to his departure for New York City.

William J. Clinton, Remarks on the Aircraft Tragedy in Wyoming and an Exchange With Reporters Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project

Filed Under




Washington, DC

Simple Search of Our Archives