THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY
The Briefing Room
1:57 P.M. EDT
MR. MCCURRY: I'm happy that you could all be briefed by --
Q Explain the pay gap.
MR. MCCURRY: -- by two officials of our government who make more than I do.
Q I dare you to say that women just aren't qualified. Go ahead and say it.
Q Keep them pregnant and barefoot.
MR. MCCURRY: Startling observation, Helen.
Q Thank you for the briefing.
MR. MCCURRY: It was very good. Kitty Higgins, thank you very much. Thank you, Dr. Yellen for a splendid briefing in advance of our event.
Q Where is this big China speech and what's it all about?
MR. MCCURRY: The President will be tomorrow addressing his upcoming trip to China. As we indicated to you last week, and as we often do in advance of a major foreign trip, the President likes to set forth some of his goals and objectives and frame the overall context for our policy, which I expect him to do at 10:20 a.m. tomorrow at the National Geographic Society Building.
Obviously, with his upcoming trip to China coming at a moment that is critical in terms of the U.S. presence in the region and in terms of our own bilateral relationship with the People's Republic, the President will seek to set out the broad parameters that exist in this relationship, the reason why our strategy of engagement at highest levels is working and has worked to produce significant progress in some of the areas that we exchange views with the Chinese on.
And I expect the President will directly answer those critics that suggest that it would be better at this point in human history to isolate the billions of people who live in China and treat that nation as a rogue nation. So I think it will be a very interesting speech, and I'm sure you will all want to follow closely the President's remarks.
Q Did the President -- or did anybody at the White House pay attention to these hearings on the Hill today on forced abortions in China?
MR. MCCURRY: The President was well aware of the hearings being held. There have been a number of issues that have been addressed on the Hill recently, but that particular area is an area that is of longstanding concern to our government. We have raised with the government of China concerns that we have about practices and international norms with respect to family planning.
You know -- or it may or may not have been adduced at the hearing today -- the government of China officially prohibits and tells us that they officially prohibit the use of force to compel people to submit to abortion and sterilization. But we are well aware, and I think that the anecdotal evidence that comes forward suggests that there's poor supervision of local officials who are sometimes under very intense pressure to meet family planning targets. And that results in clear instances of abuse, forced abortion, sterilization. And those are, obviously, practices that we consider abhorrent.
We have raised that at high levels in the past with the government of China; it is part of the working dialogue we have with the government and no doubt will be part of the President's upcoming trip. We have suggested to the Chinese that our expert view is that birth rates could be stabilized without coercion, through voluntary family planning, through reproductive health services, maternal and child health care, basic education for young women, and through fighting discrimination against women, and generally through better practices with respect to human rights. And those are the points we have made in our dialogue. And one utility of this dialogue we have is that we can press our argument in matters like that.
The other thing we've done is to address the needs of those who feel that they have been discriminated against or have been compelled to do things against their wish, contrary to their own free expression of their human rights. In 1996 the President signed into law immigration provisions that make clear that persons who have experienced forced abortion or sterilization, or have reasonable fears of such practices, may be eligible for asylum in the United States. And there have been -- that has led to consideration of some cases, I believe, involving people from China who felt they've been discriminated against.
Q Mike, there's a report today that Chinese authorities have given the White House the go-ahead for the President to do live radio and television broadcasts while he's in China. Is that true, and if so, what would that mean for the trip?
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't seen those reports. I don't have anything at this point indicating that that's something that we plan to do. We are always conscious that a foreign trip is an opportunity for public diplomacy, and the President will choose carefully the ways in which he addresses his own thoughts to the people of China. But I suspect as we develop and finalize the schedule, we'll be able to tell you more about those occasions. I'm not aware that we've got some opportunity to do exactly what that wire report indicated was suggested.
Q Did Sandy have any discussion with the Chinese when he was there about this book that the Chinese were apparently --
MR. MCCURRY: No, and to my -- and we've checked with our embassy and no one at the embassy has, as well. I mean, obviously, you could read a lot worse about Bill Clinton anywhere here in the United States, so it wouldn't be of any practical fact of banning that kind of literature. And one of the things that we are promoting on this trip is freedom of expression, which includes freedom of press.
Q So you didn't ask that it be withdrawn?
MR. MCCURRY: Absolutely not.
Q Mike, while you've been anxious to point to the release of some of the more high profile dissidents, correspondents in China are reporting that a number of people have been rounded up, shipped off to other parts of the country -- people in the specific areas the President's going to visit. There was the Times story yesterday about the effect on students from here who have visited home and been sent back. What are his concerns about the effect of his visit on political activists in China?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, they are identical to the case that we press all the time as we talk to the Chinese about the suppression of dissent, about the ability that people should have to freely express themselves in any society that subscribes to international norms with respect to human rights. They are part and parcel of the dialogue that we have. It has been sometimes the case that the authorities become more intense in and around visits of high ranking U.S. officials and that is a subject that we have raised directly with the Chinese government through our embassy in Beijing.
Q How recently has that been raised?
MR. MCCURRY: I'd have to check and see but I know that our human rights concerns clearly were expressed by the President's National Security Advisor when he was there. Our interest in having a trip that goes smoothly is very well known to the Chinese government, and our views about those who are freely expressing their own political beliefs are very well known to the Chinese authorities.
Q Is that why he's not going to meet with any dissidents while he's there?
MR. MCCURRY: We've not suggested what his final schedule is, and when I'm in a position to brief you on his schedule I will brief you.
Q From his remarks yesterday it seemed the President thinks he's going to have a big impact on the human rights aspect of this. Are there any prior agreements, anything he's going to sign?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the President believes that our engagement with Chinese leadership and our pressing on these human rights concerns that we do have has resulted in some progress, and that's been the point of having this engagement with them and the point of raising our concerns in dialogue with them. And I think there is ample evidence that we've made some progress. There's still a ways to go, clearly.
Q Who's the audience for tomorrow's speech and was there any particular reason that setting was chosen?
MR. MCCURRY: They were looking for a setting that would accommodate the audience they have -- I think it's experts in China policy. We're inviting people who were involved in both opinion-making and policy-making with respect to Asian affairs generally, and beyond that I know that they've contacted several groups. I'm not sure exactly the full mix of the audience.
Q You said that the President's going to answer the criticism about this trip. Is he feeling a lot of heat about this trip, thinks that he has to try to defuse this before it gets much further?
MR. MCCURRY: I think that he believes that a fair amount of politics has been injected into the debate about China. And I think he wants to separate politics from questions of policy and make a substantive policy-driven case on why our engagement with China has been useful and has been manifestly in the interest of the American people. I think that strong case overrides some of the political chatter that has grown up around this issue.
Q Will he specifically answer criticisms about technology transfers?
MR. MCCURRY: That will be an element of the speech, although I will not suggest to you that will be the sole focus of the speech.
Q A lot has been made about how hasty this speech was thrown on. Do you feel that you have been losing the battle on the Hill at least in the P.R.?
MR. MCCURRY: We generally, before a major foreign trip, find some opportunity, some venue, to give a speech that's sort of a curtain raiser for the speech, so that's been my plan to do that for some time.
Q Yeah, but there wasn't a word about it in the week ahead.
Q This is pretty far in advance.
MR. MCCURRY: Mr. Lockhart recalls briefing on this when he did the week ahead.
Q Mike, I'm not sure I understood your answer to Peter. Is the White House concerned about the idea that Chinese dissidents are being rounded up, presumably to make the President's trip go smoother?
MR. MCCURRY: If that is the case, and we clearly have got reports and seen reports to that effect, it is of concern. And those concerns have been expressed generally, and as we get specific cases that we hear about they will be addressed specifically.
Q When does the President plan to handle the issue regarding all of the political contributions? I mean, we've been through this before when Gore went over and said he was going to deal with it, and there was some confusion about whether or not he did. How does the President plan to deal with that?
MR. MCCURRY: I think by sticking factually to the advances that have accrued to the people of America because of policy. That's where the argument lies, and that's where it should lie.
Q Well, no, what about the campaign contribution part?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, what about the campaign? I mean, the campaign contributions come from many different sources, many different people. That has nothing to do with our policy with respect to China.
Q No, I was getting to the allegations that China may have funnelled money to the DNC.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, you know we have had dialogue with the government of the People's Republic on that point and --
Q Was he satisfied with their denials?
MR. MCCURRY: We continue to have dialogue with the government of China on that issue.
Q Is he going to have more dialogue when he's over there? I mean, that's what we're asking.
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not going to preview that for you, and we'll let you know when we're on the trip.
Q What do you say to those critics who say the President's kowtowing to the Chinese government?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, they will get a very clear, forceful response when the President points out the benefits that exist to the American people through a strategy of constructive engagement with the leadership of the People's Republic.
Q Mike, when you say that you have dialogue, I mean, you're not suggesting ongoing dialogue on that, right? I thought it was pretty much left at the status quo: they denied it, you said it would be serious if there's evidence to the contrary, but so far there is not.
MR. MCCURRY: I have not inquired as to when we last raised any concern with respect to that matter. I'd need to do so again, but we have raised that concern at the highest levels in our government in our exchanges with the People's Republic.
Q -- members of the committee for foreign policy and defense -- are going to have a special meeting here at the White House with National Security Advisor Sandy Berger. I would like to know the purpose of this special meeting and when is it?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, they are here in Washington this week. They're going to meet with members of the NSC staff. I'm not aware that Mr. Berger will be meeting with them. Apparently that is not part of the program that has been designed for them. But as is frequently the case with our close friends and NATO allies, when members of their parliaments are here in Washington, particularly members of the committee on foreign affairs in this case, we take the opportunity to exchange views with them at the appropriate level at the NSC or whatever level is there. That's the purpose of this meeting. I imagine there will be a range of items that will be discussed.
Q What was the question? What meeting are you talking about?
MR. MCCURRY: The upcoming visit of three parliamentarians from Greece who are on the committee of foreign affairs in Greece and who will be received here at the NSC tomorrow.
Q Mike, does the President have any further views on what it is that might have prompted Chinese officials to try to funnel money into political coffers -- campaign coffers?
MR. MCCURRY: There's no way, shape, or form I'm going to comment on that, because whether or not that happened is the subject of an effort that the Justice Department is undertaking to look into. And that's -- obviously that's not something I'm going to comment on.
Q I was wondering if the President, as a Southern Baptist, has any feelings on the decision of the Southern Baptists to make sure that women are submissive to their husbands?
MR. MCCURRY: He noted with wry amusement the article this morning and thought about how he might call it to the attention of the First Lady. (Laughter.) And I don't know whether he elected to do so or not.
Q The President noted it with wry amusement?
MR. MCCURRY: There are occasions when the President's views as a Southern Baptist are not always identical to those of the Southern Baptist Convention, or in this case to the amendment that's been made to the Baptist faith and message -- the statement of faith and message. But that is probably true of all of us who, as matters of faith, sometimes depart from orthodoxy.
Q This is one of those cases?
MR. MCCURRY: This is clearly one of those cases.
Q But is he concerned at all that there might be a trend within his church to a more conservative, possibly less tolerant --
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't asked the President's views on that.
Q Mike, the church meeting also today passed a measure saying that moral character matters and should matter to all citizens as they elect their leaders. What's the White House read on that?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm sure the President would agree with that.
Q Does the President consider himself a practicing Baptist, as opposed to a member of that particular faith but who doesn't particularly practice all the tenets and go to the church and all that?
MR. MCCURRY: The theology of that denomination is one that does not require, as a matter of creed, subscription to the statement of faith and message as a condition of membership in the denomination. So they acknowledge that you can, as a matter of conscience, depart from some elements of the statement of faith and message without forfeiting your membership in the denomination. And I think the President, as someone who worships both with his wife in the United Methodist church and occasionally in the Southern Baptist church and then at other denominations as well, would consider himself a practicing and devout Christian.
Q Does he consider himself a member of the Baptist Church?
MR. MCCURRY: He is. He is in Arkansas and he's obviously a member of the Methodist church here, where he worships with his wife.
Q Mike, will you be passing out the list of participants in the meeting the President is taking part in on South Asia this afternoon?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, we can get that list.
Q Are you going to release any documents today -- NSC documents on the Loral and other waivers?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't plan to here, no.
Q Well, does anybody at the White House on your staff?
MR. MCCURRY: I can check with them.
Q Are they making them available to the Hill?
MR. MCCURRY: There have been documents that have been made available to the Hill on and off the last couple of days.
Q Will we have access to them here?
MR. MCCURRY: You can inquire of Mr. Kennedy. I don't know what plans they're making.
Q Does the President have any reason to believe that the sanctions he imposed on Serbia will have any effect in Kosovo?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the President would believe that the steps taken by the United States government, then in concert with steps that other European governments are taking, will have a considerable impact. It's not just -- sanctions, and economic sanctions in particular, work best when they're undertaken in concert with other like-minded governments. In this case there's a strong view that economic pressure needs to be brought to bear on the Belgrade authorities. And because of steps that are being taken by other governments as well, the combined effect will be considerable: the investment ban, the assets freeze, steps similar to that that are taken by the EU and others will have a considerable effect.
Q Does he feel that the Kosovo situation, unlike the early situation in Bosnia, is a situation where economic sanctions is all that would be needed to stop the ethnic cleansing there?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, it would be preferable to stop the violence that has occurred through economic pressure, but irrespective of whether that happens, other measures, as you know, have not been ruled out. And NATO ministers have authorized, and the military committee is undertaking, contingency planning on other options that could be pursued. We are -- and our allies in NATO have in the last several weeks put into motion a number of measures to shore up the stability and security of countries neighboring Kosovo, and in that context we would welcome an early, appropriate NATO exercise in Albania, with practical details such as the form and timing to be worked out by NATO military experts.
Q So does that mean that the focus is on stopping it from spreading rather than stopping what Milosevic is doing in the border areas, inside of Kosovo?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, our interest is in discontinuing any practice that has put noncombatants and innocent civilians at risk. And there's been too much of that practice, which is why on an urgent basis we have been consulting with our friends and allies and other governments in the region on what we can do.
Q The President said yesterday --
Q -- Albania, aren't you talking about stopping it from spreading across the border as opposed to a no-fly zone or air strikes?
MR. MCCURRY: We have discussed in the NATO context a variety of things that we can do both to protect the innocent in Kosovo -- and our interest in that is obviously because of the possibility that any conflict over Kosovo could escalate quickly into a wider Balkan conflict.
Q Well, the President said yesterday, I am determined to stop it, was the operative ending of that. Can we assume that he will follow through on this?
MR. MCCURRY: You can assume he already has.
Q Mike, the purpose of the military exercise -- what is it that you're trying to demonstrate?
MR. MCCURRY: There's been discussions about how, working with Albania, which is a member of the Partnership for Peace, that we could advance some planned exercises that we have there that include an air element. And that's what I just suggested to you as something that we think appropriately ought to be taken up by NATO military experts.
Q But the goal is to demonstrate to the Serbian forces --
MR. MCCURRY: I think the goal is to clearly industry that NATO will define and project its interests in the Balkans in a way that reminds the Belgrade authorities of how seriously we take the violence that has occurred in Kosovo directed against the Kosovar Albanians.
Q Is there a time element on this?
Q -- supposed to take place in Albania?
MR. MCCURRY: Say again?
Q Do you know when these exercises --
MR. MCCURRY: As I just indicated, I think the form and venue and timing is one that we believe should be undertaken early. It ought to be done consistent with NATO military planning.
Q Yesterday the President said he would support a U.N. resolution with "all necessary means" language. But it seems unlikely that China or Russia would go along with that. Does NATO feel it needs a U.N. resolution in order to pursue the possible military options that are on the table?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know that we entirely share your judgment about the disposition of the United Nations if such a resolution proceeded.
Q Do you have any information on the value of the assets that are affected by these sanctions?
MR. MCCURRY: It is not great because of the previous limits that have existed on investments in Serbia. We can see if we can get something on that, although I would not suggest to you it is a significant dollar amount because of our previous sanctions and because of the way in which the outer wall of sanctions which existed on Serbia and remained in place until only very recently had the effect of curbing that kind of investment.
Treasury and the Office of Foreign Assets Compliance at Treasury can probably tell you more directly, but as I suggested to you earlier, I would see our action as one that, in concert with the actions of other governments, particularly European Union governments, can have an impact.
Q This is a show of force that will escalate the whole military scene there. Is there any chance that there could -- you know, it could be misinterpreted by the Serbs and so forth?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, there's been enormous and tragic violence and conflict in the Balkans. And what we're doing in a preventive way in this case, through diplomacy, is to see if we can't find some way to deter that type of escalation. I think it's proper for military authorities through NATO to examine what other steps might be necessary should the diplomatic efforts we have underway not bear fruit.
But clearly we are working urgently on a diplomatic track and now doing some things in the context of NATO planning that is designed to achieve a more desirable outcome.
Q Well, may I just try that again, then. You say he already has. Does it follow, when he says he's determined to stop this, that he will go down the road as far as necessary to do it? I mean, does Belgrade understand -- or will he go to the point of making them understand -- that there is no end point at which the President will say, well, I can't go beyond this?
MR. MCCURRY: I think that we are interested in making clear to the authorities in Belgrade that the danger that exists of a wider escalating Balkan conflict because of taking the wrong steps in Kosovo is of urgent concern not only to the United States, but to the entire North Atlantic treaty alliance. And I think because of that, and because of the things that we are doing and will do, I think that message will be clearly received.
Q Could a military exercise in Albania be used to pre-position either forces or equipment for an eventual NATO activity in Kosovo?
MR. MCCURRY: I would refer that question to the Pentagon. We have considerable NATO-related assets in the region and we operate a lot of air activity out of Aviano already. Beyond that, I would refer you to the Pentagon.
Q On the tobacco bill, when did the President make the decision that he would go along with a marriage tax penalty tax cut?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, remember, we've been working -- it's not necessarily one decision point. The President sometime ago made the decision that we were going to work hard to get a historic piece of public health legislation through this Congress. And we believe we've taken steps in that direction as a result of some of the work that the Senate is doing. But part of that was to head off poison pills, and we have successfully done that.
I think we have sort of deactivated many of the poison pills that some were trying to attach to this legislation. Many of the amendments that are now under consideration by the Senate have been considerably scaled back from what they started out as and we continue to work through those.
Q But you've swallowed some.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, you know, none of them have prove fatal.
Q Is the logjam broken? Is it on track to passage?
MR. MCCURRY: I think we feel very good about the progress that they're making on the bill and there clearly are ways in which -- you know, this legislation has got a ways to go. We're going to try to press to get the House to consider it, particularly if the Senate moves to final passage. And then presumably down the road in a conference committee we can address some of the undesirable things that we've had to swallow. But I think that we feel that we should not miss the underlying reality here, which is we are closer than ever before to a comprehensive anti-tobacco program that will protect America's kids. And that would be a truly great achievement for this Congress and this President.
Q Is one of those things Coverdell -- one of the undesirable things he had to swallow? Could you clarify what you said this morning? I mean, is it so watered down that it's now not a problem, or is it something you want to kill in conference?
MR. MCCURRY: Most of what they did, most of what is in the Coverdell amendment now represents public relations more than policy. They are designed to make statements and not the preference of the Senate with respect to some of the elements there. They as a practical matter don't have the kind of effect that they would originally have had when they started out. Those are the things that I suggested we can deal with in the context of a conference committee or even as it goes through the House.
Q Does that mean you can live with them if they're in the bill? I'm still --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we'll take a look -- as always, take a look at what the overall bill looks like and when we get to final passage. But right now this bill is first and foremost the nation's first comprehensive approach to the regulation of tobacco in a way that will protect kids from tobacco addiction that could be seriously damaging to their health and can shorten millions of lives of young people. That's a truly great and historic thing, so we'll look at what else goes into that mix of things that is important to the Congress. But we're working hard to make sure that it's an acceptable bill to the President.
Q Did Reverend Jackson have anything to do with the President's statements coming this afternoon about Jasper, Texas?
MR. MCCURRY: I'd have to check and see. I don't believe so. I believe they're just people -- many people here at the White House felt that that incident, and given how truly awful it was -- and the President first and foremost among them -- felt that it was something that required his voice.
Q Mike, can I go back to the first topic of the briefing, which was these hearings on forced abortions in China, and you're raising them now as something -- the reason why you should go to China, have dialogue. What will the President offer as an alternative?
MR. MCCURRY: As an alternative to --
Q Will he say there shouldn't be abortion, or there shouldn't --
MR. MCCURRY: No, what he'll do is to urge the Chinese government to embrace the comprehensive approach to population-related matters that were conceived of and adopted by the population conference in Cairo. That is an approach that governments throughout the world acknowledge as being the right way to deal with family-related issues, and I think we'll impress the utility of that. As a practical matter, our money does not go in the programs that are operated by China because of the restrictions that exist in our own law, so there's not a question of U.S. funding. But I think a dialogue with them about the approach that the international community embraced at Cairo is the proper dialogue.
Q Mike, Senators Rockefeller and Gorton are saying the President has signed their bill to reform the nation's product liability laws. Can you give us any information, if you will?
MR. MCCURRY: I can't because I haven't looked into that matter. I don't doubt what the Senators are saying. I know that the White House has consulted with both, but I'd have to check further into that. Maybe the folks here can help you on that. We've done a lot of work on product liability reform with both senators and I know that we've been working constructively with them, but I just haven't checked into that any time recently.
MR. MCCURRY: They'll go run it down.
Q Have you gotten the Iran sanctions bill yet, and when do you plan to veto it?
MR. MCCURRY: We have not gotten it yet and we'll wait and see -- we'll have to let you know when we get it.
Q Can you also just explain why, since he signed D'Amato, Helms-Burton, Pressler, Glenn -- some of them have waivers that are similar to this one -- why is he drawing the line here? Why is he going to veto this one if he signed all the other ones?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, this one, if I understand correctly, does not have nearly the kind of waiver approach that is contained in some of that other legislation. It's not as flexible an instrument. And it also comes at a time -- first and foremost, the reason is it comes at a time when we have worked in a very cooperative and successful fashion with the Russian Federation to address many of our concerns with respect to technology transfers and proliferation, especially as they relate to Iran.
So at exactly the moment when we think we're making some progress addressing the underlying issue, this provides a very inflexible set of handcuffs on the ability of the President to conduct foreign policy.
Q Doesn't the Duma's action now kill any possibility of a Moscow trip this summer?
MR. MCCURRY: It doesn't kill the prospects for ratification of START II. That's of vital interest to the United States and to the people of Russia as well, because it leads to further reductions in nuclear arsenals that will make the world a safer place.
But we don't take the postponement that the Duma has now invoked as the last word on the subject and we still have a great deal of confidence in the ability of the government to press for ratification. We continue to press them for ratification.
Q Might you go to Moscow anyway?
MR. MCCURRY: Look, you've heard me on this subject before. I've suggested to you there is not a direct hard linkage between these two things, but there is a clear design on the part of our government to deal with and advance the arms control dialogue we have with the Russian Federation in an environment in which START II has been ratified.
But we acknowledge that's not the only item on our agenda. We've got a lot of work to do with the Russian Federation, but it clearly will proceed better if it's in an environment in which START II has been ratified.
Q But they're not ruling out a trip, in other words.
MR. MCCURRY: I think I'm not changing what I've told you in the past on this in any way, shape, or form.
Q Didn't the link used to be harder, though?
Q It sounds little bit like you were. It sounds like in the past, Mike, you've said --
MR. MCCURRY: The link has never been that hard; it's been soft. And I've always made it just right -- sort of kneaded it, so it comes out just perfect.
Q As far as I remember, you always said that on the agenda would be START III, and if they haven't ratified START II then what would be the purpose of starting new talks if they haven't done the old talks?
MR. MCCURRY: You take great liberties with the profound and nuanced way that I expressed much that same thought.
Q But he's right. You started backing way two or three weeks ago.
MR. MCCURRY: I'm right.
Q You have to boil it down, though.
Q What are you really saying now, sans nuance?
Q Are you saying you were going? Is their possibility that --
MR. MCCURRY: What I've said, what I'm really saying is, we have not ruled out holding a summit prior to START II ratification. But as I've also noted, the work that President Clinton and President Yeltsin are going to do clearly will proceed in a more fruitful environment if START II has been ratified.
Q But so it's possible that in July or this summer we could be going to Russia?
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't heard any discussions of any particular days and have no announcements for you now and will leave you guessing. And since your travel plans always is the thing that intrigues you more than anything else, it will be a good subject for you to spend a lot of time on because it will take you away from other subjects.
END 2:31 P.M. EDT