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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release May 17, 1994
                            PRESS BRIEFING
                           BY DEE DEE MYERS

The Briefing Room

2:27 P.M. EDT

MS. MYERS: We will begin with a brief statement today by the President. Last year -- actually, I'm going to do it in third person for you radio types.

Last year the President directed the Federal Interagency Council on the Homeless to forge a single coordinated plan to break the cycle of homelessness and prevent future homelessness. Today, the Interagency Council released its report which recognizes the magnitude of the problem of homelessness for the first time and proposes a comprehensive, innovative approach -- a continuum of care to move millions of Americans off our streets and back into our communities and our families.

The 17-member agency, under the leadership of the Secretaries of HUD, HHS and VA, and with the unprecedented consultation of thousands of people across the country, deserves credit for a thorough and honest examination of this complex problem.

Priority Home, the federal plan to break the cycle of homelessness, is part of a larger strategy of health care reform and welfare reform, which will give every American the opportunity to break the cycle of dependence, become self-sufficient, and work toward better lives for themselves and their families.

That concludes the announcement portion of this program. If you have any questions.

Q The Fed just raised the discount to 3.5 percent and the Fed funds rate by a half percentage. Is that too much?

MS. MYERS: Well, it's certainly the Fed's judgment. And I don't have any comment on that. I will say that the President introduced an economic plan last year, which was intended to reduce the deficit, to stir prolonged economic growth, to keep interest rates and inflation down, and to create jobs. And it has succeeded on all those fronts. And the President believes that his budget plan, his economic plan is paying good dividends now.

Q Aren't higher interest rates part of that?

MS. MYERS: Again, that's something that the Fed -- that's a decision that the Fed makes. And I'm not going to comment on it.

Q Is the Fed justified in raising interest rates repeatedly like this?

MS. MYERS: Again, I think that that's a judgment that they make. The Fed is an independent agency. The President and the administration believe that the President's plan and other economic factors have led to a situation where we have good, sustained economic growth with low inflation and low inflationary pressure. If you look at the reports from last week, the CPI and the PPI show that there is not a lot of inflationary pressure in the economy, which the President is happy about. And we'll continue to pursue the President's plan.

Q Is the administration and the Fed working at cross purposes then? You're trying to promote economic growth and the Fed's trying to slow it.

MS. MYERS: Well, that's a judgment they make. Again, the Fed is an independent agency. The President will continue to pursue a strategy of creating jobs, bringing down the budget deficit, keeping inflation low, as has happened, and growth strong. And generally, I think the President's plan has been working very well, and well continue to pursue that strategy.

Q Does this slow growth at all, in your view?

MS. MYERS: We'll have to wait and see what the impact is.

Q Is that a danger?

Q out of Bosnia by the end of the year --

Q Wait a minute. Can we stay on this for a minute, please? Is it a danger that it will slow growth, Dee Dee?

MS. MYERS: Well, I think again we'll have to see. I think that we'll watch signs in the economy and try to maintain sustained growth so far. All indications are that the predictions for growth are good. Both our own, the blue chip forecasts and other independent analysts see sustained growth, continued growth at around roughly three percent, which is good.

Q Well, do you see any danger of inflation rearing up that would make this --

MS. MYERS: Again, there isn't a lot of evidence of inflationary pressure in the economy now.

Q Will you still make your eight million jobs over four years?

MS. MYERS: We're hopeful. We're on a very good pace to do that. Since the President was inaugurated, we've created nearly three million new jobs. Most of those are private sector jobs and the economy is producing jobs at a good pace. We're on track.

Q Many Democratic senators, Sasser, Sarbanes, the California senators, are blasting the Fed for these increases in the interest rates because it will slow economic growth and hurt their states, hurt their constituents. Aren't you concerned about that?

MS. MYERS: We're always concerned about growth and job creation and maintaining solid economic performance with low inflationary pressure. But I'm not going to comment on the Fed. It's an independent agency and I have nothing more to say about it.

Q Dee Dee, any discussions between the President and Greenspan?

MS. MYERS: They talk from time to time. I don't believe they've spoken recently.

Q In the past week?

MS. MYERS: No, not that I know of.

Q Any heads-up from the Fed to the White House on this, Dee Dee?

MS. MYERS: Not that I know of. I can take that question and see if there was any indication. I don't believe that they normally notify us of those things. There's really been plenty of press accounts predicting this.

Q Regardless of the latest Fed move, when the President introduced his deficit reduction package, he advertised it as a means to keep interest rates down, because to the extent you lowered the deficit, you apply less pressure on the credit margins. And he was touting all last year and the beginning of this year low interest rates as being the engine of growth. Now, today we have a decline in new home construction. There have been other --

MS. MYERS: That's largely weather-based, though, most analysts believe, because permits for -- permits were up, and there's certainly been a steady pattern of increased homebuilding.

Q But the whole --

MS. MYERS: It was down because, again, most experts believe that was largely weather-related.

Q When you talk to the homebuilders, they're saying that the higher mortgage rates are beginning to have an effect on people's willingness to buy homes, to make the investment. My question is simply whether something is happening in the economy that contradicts the President's basic objective of last year and earlier this year to use deficit reduction to keep interest rates down and to build and grow the economy.

MS. MYERS: Well, clearly, the President's objective is to grow the economy, to create jobs and to create an environment with sustained economic growth, job creation, certainly low interest rates helped to fuel that growth. The Fed is going to make decisions based on what they foresee within the economy. The President's going to continue to pursue a strategy that will sustain growth over a period of time to create jobs, and keep the budget -- keep reducing the budget deficit. That is something that we're doing. It's something that we'll continue to work towards.

Q But if his growth strategy is based on low interest rates and interest rates aren't staying low,

MS. MYERS: Well, it's not based --

Q doesn't that hurt his strategy?

MS. MYERS: That is one component of it. Interest rates are still relatively low. Again, there is not a lot of inflationary pressure in the economy, our economists here at the White House believe. And we'll see how things proceed.

Of course, the President's going to do everything he can to keep the economy moving forward, to keep the deficit coming down. We're seeing the deficit coming down for the third consecutive year, for the first time since Harry Truman was President. Again, our own estimates, those of independent forecasters, see continued economic growth, which is important. We're on track to create two million more jobs this year, and we're going to continue to pursue that track.

Q Does the President believe that this will settle down the bond market, the Fed's move, and that long-term rates will now come down?

MS. MYERS: Markets go up, markets go down -- to quote Bob Rubin on the markets.

Q The President said this morning that the felt there was room for some raise in interest rates. Is that room now used up?

MS. MYERS: I am certainly not going to comment on that. The President's comments speak for themselves. I'm not going to predict future interest rate changes.

Q Does the President believe that if he did complain about this or warn against it, it would have any impact on the Fed or that it would have no -- if the President did express unhappiness with this kind of decision, does he think the Fed would listen?

MS. MYERS: The Fed is an independent agency. It is not their job.

Q Well, it is --

Q It's an independent agency, but why can't you comment on it? What would happen if you did?

MS. MYERS: I'm just not going to. It is our -- longstanding policy. I'm not going to say anymore about it.

Q Well, let me try this another way, just for the sheer heck of it. What about this --

MS. MYERS: Okay. And then we'll close down the Fed portion of this program.

Q You repeatedly took credit for and said the economic program was responsible for continued low interest rates. Now that interest rates are higher, I don't hear you rushing to claim credit or blame or whatever for that. Presumably, you believe that is the responsibility of someone else. Are the interest rates, Fed or no Fed, now higher than they should be?

MS. MYERS: I'm not going to comment on that. I'm not going to comment on that.

Q You're not denying it, are you? (Laughter.)

Q In light of these increases in interest rates over the last several months, is the administration or OMB considering some compensatory action within the budget, whether it be additional deficit reduction or any steps you can take with the budget to offset the impact of some of these increases?

MS. MYERS: You know, since the Fed just took its action between the time I left my office and the time that I walked out here --

Q They were waiting for you.

MS. MYERS: They were waiting for me -- the answer is, not that I know of.

Q since February, you had a series of increases since February.

MS. MYERS: I mean, certainly that has some impact on it. I'll have to take it, because I'm not sure -- changes in interest rates certainly do affect projections from OMB and others, particularly with regard to financing the deficit and things like that. But I'll have to take the question about what exactly we might be doing about it.

Q Do you think we could get Laura Tyson or Bob Rubin or Panetta or someone to come out here?

Q You're asking for that? (Laughter.)

MS. MYERS: No, I don't think so.

Q We don't need them that bad --

MS. MYERS: I know. You guys have this sort of -- you can't quite make up your mind on this stuff, the economic briefings.

Q against foreign currencies.

MS. MYERS: Based on something that just happened five minutes ago? Not that -- I don't know of any --

Q short-term interest rates, stabilizing the currency.

MS. MYERS: We'll have to wait and see. You know, markets go up and markets go down. If Bob Rubin can get away with that, I certainly can't.

Q Does the President think that this will stabilize the dollar?

MS. MYERS: I'm not going to take anymore questions on the Fed's move.

Q On another subject, some environmental groups have released what they say is a transcript of a meeting between Vice President Gore and the Norwegian Prime Minister. And in it, Gore says, among other things, that the key to resolving the whaling issue is to work out a management scheme acceptable to the world, and we want you to join in good faith, working together.

Does this suggest that, at some point, his study shows whales are coming back, that the administration is in fact considering at some future time the resumption of whaling?

MS. MYERS: The administration is opposed to commercial whaling. The President said at the end of last year that Norway's actions in this regard were potentially serious enough to warrant sanctions; however impositions of sanctions has been postponed until all other avenues are exhausted. I am not familiar with the transcript of that conversation, but that is our position on whaling.

Q Well, you're opposed now, but this seems to suggest that this revised management scheme which they're discussing will -- if it finds that there's an abundance of certain kinds of whales, the U.S. presumably would be open to discussing the matter of whether whaling could be resumed.

MS. MYERS: Well, as both the President and the Vice President said earlier today, they think it's something that should be guided by science. We're in the process of reviewing the study on that, but our position is that we're opposed to commercial whaling.

Q Doesn't that depend on how you define things? Prime Minister Brundtland, out in the driveway was saying that what Norway does she doesn't consider to be commercial whaling, she considers it to be coastal whaling.

MS. MYERS: Well, and certainly that is -- we're in the process of discussions with Norway about this issue. Again, it's something that we take seriously. And the definitions of things like that I'm sure will be taken up in the course of these discussions.

Q What did the President tell the Prime Minister this morning -- the integrative management plan, the increased harvest, anything else?

MS. MYERS: They touched on it, and I'm not going to get into the substance of specifically what their discussion was, other than to say what I've already said, which is that the U.S. continues to oppose commercial whaling; that it's something that we're in discussion with the Norwegians about, and will continue to be, to work with them toward a reasonable solution.

Q Just to finish up then, what will the U.S. position be to the best of your knowledge at next week's IWC meeting in Mexico?

MS. MYERS: I don't know specifically, other than we are opposed to commercial whaling.

Q You said you would be guided by science. Now, what if scientists say down the road that --

MS. MYERS: I'm not going to speculate. I'm not going to get into speculating about it. Our position is that we oppose commercial whaling. We're working with the Norwegians to try to resolve outstanding issues on this.

Q How long is it going to take for the administration to get however many ships they think are necessary for the processing of the refugees and to work out agreements for in-country processing of other countries?

MS. MYERS: That process is ongoing. The President said a week ago when he announced the policy revisions that it would take some weeks. We've made some progress on it. We're still in the process of determining two things. One is third country processing. We're working with discussing with countries in the region about using their facilities or establishing processing centers in third countries. We're also working with them to -- in discussions about accepting additional refugees or granting asylum to people who have gone through the processing system.

I don't have a specific timetable on it, although it will take some time.

Q How many ships a week -- thinking now two ships?

MS. MYERS: We apparently chartered Ukrainian passenger ships. But we're still working out the details as to exactly how Haitian refugees interdicted at sea would be processed where and where the refugees would go if they qualified for asylum. Again, it will take some time before that's completely worked out.

Q Is the President satisfied at that pace of this?

MS. MYERS: Yes, actually, the pace is -- things are moving quite quickly. These things can usually take some time. I think it's been expedited. Conversations are ongoing.

Q And some weeks meant two weeks when he announced it.

MS. MYERS: No, I don't think -- I think we tried not to be specific. I think we were careful not to be specific. I don't think we knew at the time exactly how long it would take. It's been now, I guess, eight days.

Q How many countries did you talk to about thirdcountry processing?

MS. MYERS: We're talking to a number of countries in the region about third-country processing, and some countries that are not in the region about accepting additional refugees. And I'm not going to give a specific number.

Q What made you think of Ukraine?

MS. MYERS: We chartered two Ukrainian --

Q Yes, I know that.

MS. MYERS: We put out -- DOD put out an RFP.

Q What, did some travel agent call up and say I've got a couple of used -- (laughter.)

MS. MYERS: Yes. No American companies applies. That was one of the criteria in the RFP. And DOD can certainly provide that.

Q What's the President's view of Dole's suggestion to have a fact-finding commission similar to the Kissinger Commission?

MS. MYERS: I think we're reviewing it. I don't think he's taken a position on it yet.

Q Can you take that?

MS. MYERS: Sure.

Q I know polls go up and down, but tell us why you think more Americans don't particularly trust the President's handling of foreign policy now than weeks ago?

MS. MYERS: Well, I think polls do go up and down. I think we've seen that consistently throughout this administration and through previous administrations. Certainly there are number of -- very difficult problems that are facing this President as have faced previous presidents. And I think the focus has largely been on some of the most difficult issues that this President faces -- Haiti, Bosnia, other issues.

I think, generally, there's been less attention paid to the foreign policy successes of this president, whether it's completing international economic agreements with the Uruguay Round of GATT or NAFTA, or the progress we've made in denuclearization agreements with the former republics of the Soviet Union, or, I think, the success of our policies toward Russia generally. Less attention has been paid to those.

We will continue to try to make progress across the board, to expand democracy, to build our economic relations with other countries and to certainly maintain the security agreements we have with countries around the world. And I think when all is said and done, the American people will look back at this as a very successful foreign policy President.

Q What could you do now to challenge this perception that --

MS. MYERS: You keep working on the issues that the President believes are important -- the strategic issues that face the United States. And keep working on the ones -- the difficult other problems as well. I mean, I think you have to just continue with what comes.

Q Dee Dee, to get back to Haiti, Secretary Perry said yesterday that there were positive signs that the military could step down. Does the White House concur with him, and what sign exactly have you seen?

MS. MYERS: No, I think he was responding to a news account. We're going to continue to press the --

Q Responding to a news account?

MS. MYERS: Yes, there was some news report that Jonassaint had said that there was some indication -- I think it was a singular news report, and I don't believe it was widely reported, but there was something that Jonassaint said that was reported as if he had said that. That's what Secretary --

Q The Secretary bought it.

Q So the Secretary of Defense made comments about -- of the positive direction in Haiti on the day that Jonassaint took over Malval's position and defied the Constitution. What does this say about, first of all, our communication, and second of all, the skill of the Secretary --

MS. MYERS: First of all, I don't think the -- the Secretary's comments were not widely reported, and I think there was a reason for that, because if you look at the context, it was a very -- the context of his comments was very narrow, and I think people who were there largely understood what he was responding to.

Clearly, there are -- the situation in Haiti is something that we're watching. We are going to continue to pursue sanctions and other measures to make sure that the military understands it must step down. The new government there is bogus, it's illegitimate. Jonassaint actions yesterday were unconstitutional.

Q Is it totally bogus? (Laughter.)

Q You don't have to take that from him.

MS. MYERS: I can't come back from up here.

Q Has Bill Gray met with Prime Minister Malval or with President Aristide, or with Cedras, or Francois, or Jonassaint or anyone since he's been back?

MS. MYERS: In the 36 hours since he's been on his new job, he has not, to my knowledge, met with anybody. Yesterday he spent in briefings at the State Department, today he's been meeting with members of Congress up on the Hill. At some point, he will travel to Haiti. That has not been worked out yet. And he will certainly maintain contact with Congress, with the U.N., and at some point with people in Haiti.

Q And he will meet with Cedras, of course, in Haiti?

MS. MYERS: I don't think that's been worked out yet. I don't think he's going to negotiate with Cedras.

Q Ever since President Clinton announced tougher policies, tougher policies seem to be coming from the Haitian military. They've taken a lot of additional measures that -- Jonassaint is now the premier, also, and from press reports, the allies of the United States don't seem to be interested in a military option.

MS. MYERS: The President said very clearly that he would not rule out the use of force. I think there's been no change in that. More specifically --

Q Unilaterally --

MS. MYERS: I think we're not going to talk about any details within that option, other than the President has not ruled out the use of force, period. At the same time, we are pursuing tougher sanctions, the expanded embargo goes into effect on Saturday, we will continue to work with the Dominican Republic on a factfinding mission going down next week through the auspices of the U.N., which will look at ways that the U.N. and multinational force can help enforce and seal down that border. And I think the Haitian military and its helpers know that we are very serious about this, that we're going to tighten the sanctions, that they're going to very much feel the pain of this, and that we mean business.

Q On processing the refugees, do we have a preference between at-sea processing and third country processing?

MS. MYERS: We're looking for third country, but we are prepared, also, to process refugees and see if that is necessary.

Q Does the hiring of the ships indicate that we're having trouble finding third countries?

MS. MYERS: No, I think it's just we're working through the details. We want to be ready and we're looking and pursuing our options. It's too soon to say.

Q Refresh my memory, I keep forgetting. Why is Guantanamo Bay not appropriate anymore for processing?

MS. MYERS: We are looking at other third countries at this point. We're not looking at --

Q But there is an opportunity at Guantanamo Bay.

MS. MYERS: We're not considering that at this point.

Q Why?

MS. MYERS: Because we prefer to look at other options. We prefer either to do it in third countries or at sea.

Q But if you cannot find any third countries, would you consider using Guantanamo again?

MS. MYERS: That's a hypothetical. I think we're hopeful that we'll either find a third country or that we'll set up a system to process refugees at sea.

Q Guantanamo Bay has been used in the past successfully.

MS. MYERS: It's not being considered at this point.

Q When you talk about these third country centers, are you talking about U.S. personnel doing all the work, or are you talking about people in those countries doing all the work?

MS. MYERS: I think the details of that would have to be worked out. Certainly, U.S. personnel would be present. It would depend, I think, on what country and what circumstances were arranged.

Q On Bosnia --

MS. MYERS: Not all of the refugees would end up being, coming to the United States, necessarily.

Q Dee Dee, on Bosnia on this partition plan, what is going to happen if you are unable or if these participating powers are unable to implement it on the ground?

MS. MYERS: Well, what we've said is that if the parties agree to it, we'll work to help them implement it.

Q possible to do? And what is going to happen to the hundreds of thousands of refugees on the ground? Do you have any --

MS. MYERS: Well, first of all, the parties have not reached a negotiated settlement yet that all the parties accept. So it's premature to say, to discuss what would happen if one was reached, and yet we were unable to implement it.

I think that we've said if there is a negotiated settlement agreed upon by all the parties that we would be willing to look at participating in implementing such an agreement. I think we're going to pursue a diplomatic track which we've been doing. In fact, the contact group is meeting here in Washington on Thursday and Friday of this week to discuss ways to keep the process going. We've had some success.

Q? plan to --

MS. MYERS: I don't know where they're going to meet actually. I don't know whether they'll release it or not. Certainly Ambassador Redman will be one of the, will be leading the U.S. effort at those meetings.

Q The French government announced today that they would put out the 2,500 soldiers from Bosnia by year's end. Any comment on this?

MS. MYERS: No, I don't think it's our place to second guess the decisions by the French. They've had soldiers there on the ground for quite some time. We'll continue to have, the U.N. will continue to have a presence on the ground, a multinational presence on the ground in Bosnia. At the same time, we'll work very hard toward a negotiated settlement and reach peace there as quickly as we can.

Q? Was there mention of that on Friday in the talks in Geneva? Was the Secretary informed by Juppe?

MS. MYERS: I think, certainly, Foreign Minister Juppe had been talking about that as a possibility. You have to check with the State Department to see whether it came up in their, specifically in their conversations.

Q Dee Dee, critics of managed care have always said that the result of managed care is companies get rich by forcing people to limit their options on health care. In that context, is the White House bothered by the fact that the head of U.S. health care earns $10 million a year? Or is that considered an appropriate salary level?

MS. MYERS: I don't know that the head of U.S. health care earns $10 million. I'll take your word for it, but I'll have to take the question.

Q Dee Dee, is there anything more about Friday and Saturday's trip?

Q How about tomorrow?

MS. MYERS: I don't think I have the details. I can give you some stuff generally. Actually, I take that back. I have a lot more details than I thought.

The President leaves here at 7:30 a.m. He flies to San Bernardino Airport -- that was formerly Norton Air Force Base -- for an event there which will be defense conversion probably. He'll leave there and fly by helicopter to UCLA where he'll give the convocation address at Pauley Pavilion at 1:00 p.m., the 75th convocation of UCLA. Then he has some down time in the afternoon. He'll probably pretape the radio address -- down time, and then he has two fundraisers -- actually, one sort of fundraiser and reception that evening for the DSCC. He will overnight at the Sheraton Miramar in Santa Monica.

On Saturday --

Q Does it show whether that is the press hotel, too?

MS. MYERS: It does not. Do you know whether it is? We hope so.

Q? Do you know what time he arrives in San Bernardino? What time is that?

MS. MYERS: That's 10:00 a.m Pacific time. Let me just double check. It might be 10:30 a.m. Actually he arrives at 9:45 a.m. Pacific time. The event will be at 10:00 a.m..

It looks like at this point he has some down time on Saturday morning. Then he will head up to the Sacramento area, will do some kind of an event up there. There is a reception for the DSCC at 5:00 p.m.. That's in Sacramento. And then he flies back to Washington arriving at the White House at about 2:35 a.m.

Q? Have you got anything yet on that second event?

MS. MYERS: No, not yet. We're still working on it.

Q Are you looking at any particular kind of topic?

MS. MYERS: We are, but I think I'll wait until we finalize before I can discuss it.

Q Dee Dee, what was the process by which it was decided the President would award Medals of Honor to those two fallen sergeants from Somalia?

MS. MYERS: I don't know what the process was. That will happen Thursday, I guess.

Q? Monday, I thought.

MS. MYERS: I thought it was Thursday. It was Monday? We will get back to you on that. I don't know what the process was.

Q? Dee Dee, the President said at the school earlier that Senator Byrd was in his office last night and he talked about the Federalist Papers or something. I'm trying to find out, was this also a meeting like the one tonight to discuss the funding for the President's initiatives as the Senate Appropriations Committee that --

MS. MYERS: Yes, generally.

Q Can you tell us about that meeting?

MS. MYERS: Generally, Senator Byrd came to discuss the President's investments. The President is working hard -- as you know, the House and Senate adopted, passed the President's budget which includes a substantial amount, I guess $88 billion in investments which the President would like to see funded.

Q Did the President put in particular plugs for things like the space station or particular programs? Did he prioritize within his investment --

MS. MYERS: I'm not going to discuss specifically what was discussed, but certainly, as you know, the space station is something the President has supported funding.

Q Dee Dee, going back to Sacramento -- is there a town meeting on that schedule?

MS. MYERS: There is not, and I don't believe that one will be added. Well, we're going to add an event. But it won't be a televised town meeting.

Q Anything with kids? I got a call from the station out there.

MS. MYERS: It could be. I mean, it's not resolved, and so I would just caution you from -- I know people get a little excited sometimes and they get a little ahead of themselves.

Q Could you outline what he's going to do after his D-Day events in June? Is he going to be at Oxford on June 8th, or do you know what --

MS. MYERS: He is. June 7th we overnight in Paris. And then on the day of June 8th he'll fly back to Oxford where he will receive a degree, not an honorary degree, a regular degree, and speak at the ceremony for receiving --

Q Did he get the last one?

MS. MYERS: He didn't.

Q He never picked it up?

MS. MYERS: No, he didn't finish.

Q What did he do, take an oral and then get his degree?

MS. MYERS: It's in the form of a crossword puzzle, actually. It's quite challenging. (Laughter.)

Q Joe Califano -- a group headed by Joe Califano reported on Medicare yesterday; said that smoking is one of the biggest costs of all in Medicare. Even though the President's already introduced his health package, is this something that he's looked at to consider whether to have a higher rate for people who smoke, for example?

MS. MYERS: Well, certainly there's a -- we have proposed increasing the tax on cigarettes because of the increase cost that smoking renders for the health care system. So certainly that's something the President is concerned about and something that will help produce revenue to pay for the consequences. I think that's a good plan.

Q Can I go back to the Oxford --

Q Tomorrow -- you can go.

MS. MYERS: Oh, 4:00 p.m. I'm sorry. Thank you, Dave.

Today, as you know -- yesterday, as you may not know, the financial disclosure forms were due. We will release the President's at about 3:30 p.m. -- so in about half an hour. And at 4:00 p.m., Mr. Cutler will do a briefing in the Roosevelt Room. One person from each news organization is welcome to come to walk through what is on the President's financial disclosure form.

Q Is there a reason you can't bring Cutler out here? A compelling one?

MS. MYERS: No, not necessarily. What's that?

Q He won't do it.

MS. MYERS: No, I don't know that. He was in here, as you know, on Friday. I will take that.

Q And he was treated with courtesy and hospitality.

MS. MYERS: He was treated very well, we were very grateful.

Q What does that mean -- the President's financial disclosure?

Q Is the presidential trip -- more details, but something that is omitted is the work in London of the Office of War Information and the Psychological Warfare Division, which did a great deal of work in supporting the allied victory in crossing the channel and so forth.

MS. MYERS: They did, they faked them out.

Q Why is --

MS. MYERS: They faked -- they did a good job, I agree.

Q Yes, I know, but there's nothing in here to indicate that they were even there. The American broadcasting station in Europe was in London, broadcasting all the time, 24 hours a day.

MS. MYERS: I'll look into it. I don't know what provisions have been made.

Q Well, how can I find out about it? Can I call you later?

MS. MYERS: Sure.

Q Dee Dee, can I just quickly go back to Oxford? Why is it not an honorary degree? I don't understand.

MS. MYERS: Why? I think that's a decision that's made by the university college, or by Oxford University more broadly. But they decided to give him a regular degree, or offered to give him a regular degree.

You can call me later, Steve, and I can find out.

Q Doctorate? Masters?

MS. MYERS: I don't know what the British equivalent is.

END 2:58 P.M. EDT