THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
The Briefing Room
1:15 P.M. EST
MR. MCCURRY: I promised I would give just a brief update on the President's plans for his opening statement. I expect the President, at his press conference at 4:00 p.m., will speak for about five minutes to open. He will obviously continue to discuss the federal budget, the efforts to achieve a balanced budget agreement, and he will have some things to say about the effort the federal government is making to work with local communities to respond to the recent East Coast snowstorm.
Q Mike, do you know if the President is planning to take with him on this trip to Bosnia a film or tape crew from his campaign?
MR. MCCURRY: He has no plans whatsoever. That rumor was going around earlier and I can say that there is absolutely no plans to take any film crew or TV crew for political purposes.
Q Unlike President Bush?
Q Is there one on the ground already?
MR. MCCURRY: There is not, to my knowledge -- not one there and I've not heard of anyone suggesting that there is one from the advance people who are on the ground there. That was just someone -- someone got a false rumor going earlier in the day.
Anything else before I go?
Q So those are the only two -- it's limited to those two -- snow and budget -- the opening statement?
MR. MCCURRY: That's what he'll talk about in the opening, yes.
Q Do you know who will be televising besides CNN, or have you had any word?
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't heard a final word on that. My indications from some of the networks earlier is that several of them plan to carry it live, and that's appreciated by the White House.
Q Is there a hard start?
MR. MCCURRY: 4:01:30 p.m. is what I was told by the -- Q And how long will it go? MR. MCCURRY: It'll go -- I don't know, 30 minutes, 40
minutes, whatever -- usual length, customary length.
Q What is the White House role, if any, at this point, in responding to Mayor Barry and his request for a state of emergency?
MR. MCCURRY: Let me hold that until 4:00 p.m.
Q Has the President talked to Senator Dole today or yesterday?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes.
Q And when was that, today?
MR. MCCURRY: Why don't you ask the President later? (Laughter.)
Q Have you scheduled a meeting for next Wednesday yet with the Republicans? Have you scheduled any meeting for next week?
MR. MCCURRY: That was agreed upon when the negotiators left the White House.
Q And didn't Gingrich get the word?
Q But is it scheduled for any time, or --
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know that they've set a time yet.
Q There's a report in Money Magazine, I think, that the Clintons are on a collision course with bankruptcy because of their legal bills. Is that an accurate report coming from --
MR. MCCURRY: I believe that was -- Money Magazine went and looked at the financial disclosures that are available from the presidential legal expense trust, concluded, based on that, that, given the extraordinary legal bills that the Clintons face as a result of some of the matters that people are pursuing, and given the contributions to that same trust, all of which, by the way, we have publicly disclosed, and given the calculation they estimate that they're facing some real financial difficulties. That's true, and the President has acknowledged that. There's not much he can do about it, because he's got to make sure he has proper and adequate legal defense.
At the same time, any complete disclosure, we will do as the President's required to do when he files his annual financial disclosure.
Q In Japan, Socialist Party member Kubo was elected as Finance Minister. Do you have any concern about that?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I'm not. I have not been in a position today to follow any developments related to Mr. Hashimoto's effort to form a new government, so we'll have to hold that over until tomorrow.
Anything else I can take off the table for the big guy?
Q You're wouldn't want to elaborate a smidgen more with Dole, would you? I mean, did they talk about the budget?
Q You're going tomorrow?
MR. MCCURRY: They talked a lot. They talk often.
Q Did he talk to Gingrich too?
Q Did they talk about the meeting coming up, or what?
MR. MCCURRY: Not that I'm aware of.
Q Are any of these guys going to Bosnia? Dole or Gingrich?
MR. MCCURRY: If the President wants to share anything further on that, he'll do so at 4:00 p.m.
Q We still don't know the congressional delegation that's going.
MS. GLYNN: But I'm working on that.
MR. MCCURRY: Ms. Glynn is working on that.
Q You're going tonight, right? You're not going to be here?
MR. MCCURRY: Unfortunately, yes. No, I shouldn't say that. I love going to Nashville. I remember last time I was in Nashville.
Q Were you singing or dancing? Opryland?
MR. MCCURRY: Would you like me to? Is that an invitation?
Q Grand Ole Opry. We get it every day. (Laughter.)
MR. MCCURRY: I hear the train a comin'. All right, I'll see you guys later on.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 1:20 P.M. EST