THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary (Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts) _______________________________________________________________________ For Immediate Release August 27, 1997
PRESS BRIEFING BY BARRY TOIV
Edgartown Elementary School Martha's Vineyard, Massachusetts
11:08 A.M. EDT
MR. TOIV: Good morning. I have no announcements. Any questions?
Q What's the President doing today, Barry? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: I think the pool will find that out when they get there. We're not sure yet what they're going to do today. I don't think they're sure what they're going to do today. But he did golf yesterday, and he seems to be in a bit of a pattern, so -- of not golfing every day.
Q Are you going to expand the beach perimeter before they go swimming again to check for photographers?
MR. TOIV: Next question? (Laughter.)
Q Can you describe to us the President's activities yesterday which resulted in a picture of unknown origin in a major metropolitan daily newspaper?
MR. TOIV: I think it was pretty clear that the President and the First Lady took a swim.
Q I don't see them swimming.
MR. TOIV: James.
Q I know it's your last day, Barry, I've got to ask -- have you been able to determine what the President got for his birthday? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: Thank you, James, and the short answer is no. I could give you a longer answer, but I don't think I'll bore you with it.
Q Barry, can you refresh our memories on what the rules are about raising money from the White House for presidential campaign, both as it applies to the President, the Vice President, and to any member of the Vice President's staff who would be making fundraising calls from the White House?
MR. TOIV: Well, I think that that's been -- I don't know that I need to review that here. That has been -- we've discussed that from the podium on a number of occasions. And, presumably, you're referring to the information released by the Vice President's office yesterday. Clearly everything that they discussed yesterday, all those activities were legal and appropriate.
Q So you think it's appropriate for the Vice President's Chief of Staff to make fundraising thank-you phone calls from his government office?
MR. TOIV: Well, I'm not aware of any solicitation -- direct solicitation phone calls that were made in that respect by the Vice President's staff. I'm not familiar with what his activities might have been.
Q If Mr. Quinn were to have made a fundraising phone call -- according to the documents released, showing the call sheets from Mr. Quinn, 32 people to call, made from the White House, call sheets indicated Mr. Quinn's handwritten note showing to whom he spoke and when -- would that be legal?
MR. TOIV: I'd have to find out what the Vice President's office has said about his activities.
Q Where is the Vice President?
MR. TOIV: The Vice President is on vacation, I believe.
Q Do you happen to know where?
MR. TOIV: I believe in North Carolina.
Q But where in North Carolina?
MR. TOIV: Not exactly, no.
Q Figure Eight Island.
Q Do you know when Chelsea is coming back?
MR. TOIV: Still don't know for sure. Still expect her this week, and she's not back.
Q Was the President briefed on the North Koreans breaking off the talks? Is there any reaction to that?
MR. TOIV: As I've said before, he's being kept fully informed on all national security issues. As for reaction to that, as you all know, North Korean officials early this morning informed us that the North Korean delegation will not participate in missile talks scheduled to begin today in New York City. North Korea has cited the U.S. decision to allow the North Korean Ambassador to Egypt Chang and his family to come to the United States as their reason for not participating. While this decision by the North was not unexpected, it is nonetheless disappointing. We see no linkage between the defection and missile talks, and we believe it is in North Korea's interest to remain engaged in the talks.
Q Yesterday you folks were saying that you did expect the talks to forward.
MR. TOIV: Well, I think I've just addressed that.
Q The question was, Barry, yesterday, you said, oh, no, the talks are going forward, we're going up, and then today you go, it's not unexpected. So did you -- were you not saying the truth yesterday or today?
MR. TOIV: Was not unexpected, is nonetheless disappointing.
Q Why is there no linkage, Barry? Why wouldn't these two events be linked?
MR. TOIV: I'm going to refer you to the State Department for any further discussion of that. We remain committed to the four-party process. We believe it's in the interest of all of the parties, and we believe that North Korea continues to see the value of the talks as well.
Q There was a report yesterday that September 10th is the date you all are sending fast track up. Do you know if that's correct?
MR. TOIV: I think I would rather leave that at the week the President comes back and not give you a specific date. I don't think we've announced a date yet.
Q For what?
MR. TOIV: Introduction of fast track.
Well, if there are no further questions, as you know, this is my last briefing up here and it's been a great pleasure, but I know it's been frustrating for everybody not being able to receive every last detail of the President and the First Lady's vacation. But I do have here a few details that I haven't been able to give you, but I figure it's my last briefing and, what the heck, Joe can clean up the mess. (Laughter.)
First, our biggest mystery has been solved. The answer, "Sit down, Alice," question: What did the President used to say when his previous Budget Director argued with him at the Cabinet table. (Laughter.)
Secret work project. Mrs. Clinton has been working on her weekly column. As millions of Americans head out for late summer vacations, she explains to them in her column the benefits of vacationing with a traveling press corps. And she reminds her readers, her husband has been available at a moment's notice if they can't find their own.
Nobody's smiling at that one. It's a joke, guys.
Biggest scandal: The President took two mulligans while taping the radio address. And, finally, the saddest moment of this vacation. The President, the First Lady and Chelsea all sitting down, watching Air Force One, perhaps for the last time as a family. They all shed a tear at the movie's most poignant moment when the terrorist brutally assassinates the deputy press secretary. (Laughter.)
That's it. Good-bye.
Q Barry, before you leave, one late item we just got off the wires that the Federal Grand Jury today indicted Mike Espy on 39 counts of illegally accepting gifts and favors. I know you're probably not in a position to comment now, but could we ask --
MR. TOIV: I was not aware of that, so I have no --
Q It just moved a moment ago on the wire. Can we ask for some White House comment on that?
MR. TOIV: Yes.
THE PRESS: Thank you.
END 11:15 A.M. EDT