THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
REMARKS BY THE PRESIDENT UPON DEPARTURE The South Lawn
2:24 P.M. EDT
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.
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 a.m. this morning a quarter to three, 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.
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.
END 2:26 P.M. EDT