THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY COLONEL P.J. CROWLEY AND BARRY TOIV
The Briefing Room
1:43 P.M. EDT
COLONEL CROWLEY: Good afternoon. Welcome to the White House, Friday afternoon. Just to bring you up to date on what has transpired since you heard from the President a little while ago, he has had the opportunity to talk to our chief diplomats in both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam. He first talked to John Lange, the Charge in Tanzania, and then to Prudence Bushnell, the Ambassador in Nairobi. He expressed again on behalf of the American people our thoughts and prayers to the American community during this difficult day and its aftermath. He expressed to them both our willingness to provide whatever assistance we can, and I'll talk about some assistance that is about to get underway and head for Africa in a moment. He again expressed his determination that we will ultimately, in cooperation with the two host governments, find out who is responsible for this attack and bring them to justice.
He had the opportunity to hear from the two diplomats in terms of the situation on the ground there and for most of those details -- I know you have many questions about the status on the ground. I think the State Department later on in the day will have a more detailed briefing of what has transpired there.
And the two Ambassadors spoke in glowing terms about the response of the American community in both countries, the fact that, as I think Ambassador Bushnell spoke about the American community in Nairobi in particular -- they are performing as true Americans, very tough, trying to help steady the situation on the ground there. And they spoke glowingly about the response that they've received from other countries, particularly the embassy staffs in both cities, who have offered tremendous assistance both in terms of helping with the humanitarian needs that exist on the ground and also with the security requirements. So each of those conversations lasted about 10 minutes.
Throughout the day the President has been fully engaged on this issue, starting at 5:30 a.m. this morning, when he was first briefed by the National Security Advisor, Sandy Berger. He has had update briefings through the course of the morning and into the afternoon. Sandy is chairing a principals committee meeting as we speak to review the situation and what we know. And I would expect later on this afternoon the President will probably have the opportunity to talk with the Presidents of both Tanzania and Kenya, both to thank them for the initial response that they have provided in response to this attack, also to express our condolences to each country because, while it's clear that this attack was directed at our facilities in each city, the death toll and the injuries have primarily been borne by the citizens of Kenya and Tanzania. And I think you can expect that the President will stay engaged in this issue throughout the weekend.
Q What can you tell us about the reported shootout at the U.S. embassy in Kenya just before the explosion?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I have no information on that.
Q How many American casualties?
COLONEL CROWLEY: Helen, I think, if you don't mind, I'll defer to the State Department on that, primarily because we are in the process of notifying next of kin. We have, as the President said, had several Americans killed in Nairobi as a result of this attack. We are not aware of any Americans killed in Tanzania. But I'll defer to the State Department later on to provide those kinds of numbers.
Q Is there still no claim of responsibility? Do we have any idea who did this, who's responsible?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I'm not aware of any public claim of responsibility. Obviously, we are already underway in terms of investigating what has transpired.
In connection with that, within the hour we should have an aircraft leaving Germany with medical supplies and a small security team, surgical team that will be on its way to Nairobi to provide some assistance to our American community there. We also have other medical evacuation aircraft on standby in the event that they are needed. We have an interagency team that consists of communication experts, counterterrorism experts, investigators, additional security personnel that will be departing shortly and heading to the region to help spearhead the investigation.
Q The surgical team is on the same plane?
COLONEL CROWLEY: The surgical team, no. We have a worldwide response to this. We have Marines coming from the Central Command region that will help provide security as well. So there are lots of things that are in the process of getting in train to respond to the requirements we have on the ground in both Nairobi and Dar es Salaam.
Q P.J., is the administration aware of the Islamic Jihad message that was sent from Egypt to Agence France yesterday that complained about three of its militants being extradited from Eastern Europe and pledging to punish the United States for that?
COLONEL CROWLEY: Scott, let me just say that terrorism is a fact of life in the world today. We are very conscious of threats against American facilities, against American people, around the world. We take those threats very seriously. It's not my place here to get into any particulars. These aspects will be thoroughly investigated and, as the President expressed, we are determined that we will find out who did this and we will bring them to justice. We've had some success: some cases that you've heard about, some cases you haven't heard about. We don't forgive. We don't forget. And ultimately, whoever is responsible for this attack will brought to justice.
Q P.J., that note that I mentioned, though, is there any particular reason to give it a higher degree of credibility than anything else?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I expect that we will thoroughly investigate this. I'm certain that we have some ideas already as to who might be responsible. It's not my place to cite that information here -- lots of it touches on intelligence matters. Threats that we get against Americans every day around the world we take very seriously, we take appropriate security precautions. But terrorism is a fact of life. It's something that has reared its ugly head before, and I'm afraid it will again.
Q What's the President's thinking about the security at embassies around the world? And does he think it's adequate, or does he think more needs to be done?
COLONEL CROWLEY: It's very difficult to give a blanket response to that. Obviously, say, in recent years we have experienced terrorist attacks around the world. It's something that the administration has had as one of its highest priorities since the Clinton administration started, and even as a United States government priority before that.
For example, just in May, if you recall the President's speech at Annapolis, he talked about emerging global transnational threats of which terrorism is perhaps the most significant. We have through the years taken tremendous precautions to try to upgrade our security at facilities around the world, at embassies around the world. And we will continue to do so.
By the same token, this appears to have been a very well-coordinated, very well-planned attack, clearly not the work of amateurs. And there is, unfortunately, at the end of the day only so much you can do to guard against terrorist attacks.
Q I guess my question is, these two embassies were chosen and others weren't. Is there some reason to believe that these two embassies were less secure or less protected than others?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I think again, that's the kind of information that the State Department, the folks who are responsible for diplomatic security -- will be a part of their briefing this afternoon. I think that's the kind of detail that I would probably defer to them.
Q P.J., has in the past been any inklings of any problems in Tanzania and Kenya? Both countries seem to have great relations with the U.S. Has there been any --
COLONEL CROWLEY: I mean, it's entirely possible, going back to Mara's question, that sometimes facilities are selected primarily because you have -- you would not expect to have that kind of problem in one place and not another. I mean, this is the kind of thing that will be investigated.
Q As we follow up on what I think you called hunches earlier about who might be responsible, has the United States contacted any other governments for help in either trying to find certain individuals or touching base with certain organizations?
COLONEL CROWLEY: We have already launched our investigation. I am sure that we are checking within the intelligence community to see what we know, what other governments where we have had some success in the past may know. Again, this will be something that we will thoroughly investigate as we go forward. I would expect that the President may well make some future calls to heads of state to follow up on this.
Q P.J., what sort of cooperation do you expect from Tanzania and Kenya on this investigation?
COLONEL CROWLEY: We've had some excellent cooperation so far. They have helped us in terms of securing the site. Obviously, one of the keys to the investigation will be preserving evidence on the scene so that when our experts get there, they will have the full resources available to be able to conduct their investigation -- looking at situations like Oklahoma City, for example, where even the tiniest fragment of evidence ultimately is the key that unlocks the door that leads to a successful investigation. So these will be the kinds of things that are happening on the ground right now in terms of securing the site so that the evidence will be there when the experts arrive.
Q When will those experts arrive? Is that the FBI team that's on its way, or can you tell us a little more --
COLONEL CROWLEY: It will be the interagency team; the FBI will be involved, other investigators, other experts in the area of counter-terrorism. Again, we are determined and we will do everything that we need to do. We will leave no stone unturned until we find out who is responsible.
Q Are they on their way now, those experts?
COLONEL CROWLEY: If they haven't physically -- if they aren't wheels up yet, they should be shortly.
Q On another subject, slightly, are we aware of a new secret guided missile that Israel was firing at Lebanon?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I have not heard that information.
Q There is a -- could you try to find out?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I'll see what I can find out.
Q You say they will be brought to justice. The record in the past of bombings against our embassies overseas has not been one of being able to bring anyone to justice. I know that when Klinghoffer (sp) was pushed into the ocean, we forced an Egyptian airliner down, but then Italy let the people go. What makes you believe that somehow this time we're going to be able to find these people and bring them to justice?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I think it's very premature, but I can -- I don't want to get into too many specifics, but you had the case of the killer of the CIA employees outside of Langley, you've had the case of an aircraft bomber Rashid who we have recently brought to justice. So the President is very determined about this. As I said, we do not forgive; we do not forget. This very well could take a number of years. But we will find out who did this, and we will bring them to justice.
Q P.J., did anyone U.S. installation anywhere in the world receive a warning that there was a reason to believe that a terrorist threat was imminent?
COLONEL CROWLEY: Scott, we're aware of terrorist threats every day around the world. I will --
Q Any special message in the last, say, 72 hours that there was something afoot anywhere?
COLONEL CROWLEY: Again, these are the types of things that we will investigate thoroughly. I think it's very difficult for me here to judge what information was available worldwide. All I can tell you is the intelligence community sees this as one of the highest threats, the preeminent threat that we perhaps face in the world today. We devote a great deal of attention to it. We take threats very seriously. When we do gauge threats as serious, we put out appropriate warnings to facilities around the world. In fact, since this attack, we have taken appropriate steps both in the region and around the world in light of the two bombings today.
Q P.J., the question is did any such message as you just described go out in the last several days?
COLONEL CROWLEY: Again, I cannot comment on any specific information at this point from this podium.
Q You're saying you don't know or you can't say?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I'm not going to say.
Q P.J., what do you say to suggestions that cutbacks to the State Department's budget in recent years may have undermined security or the ability to monitor threats to U.S. installations overseas?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I think as a large issue, we have been concerned overall about the amount of resources that are devoted to conducting our foreign policy. And I think Secretary State Albright and others have been very vocal on the Hill in expressing concerns. I think I'll defer to the State Department to address any specifics in terms of the specific aspect of our foreign policy budget that may be devoted to security. I don't feel I'm qualified to do that. But, obviously, it is an issue that we have been concerned about, that over the years the amount of resources devoted to foreign policy and the conduct of our diplomacy have been cut back.
Q Just on a related question, there was a study of embassy security in the early-mid 1980s after the Beirut attacks. A number of embassies were either reconstructed or remodeled with extra security. Do you know if these two embassies were part of that program?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I do know that security reviews have been conducted at all of our embassies around the world. These two embassies did not have the setbacks that perhaps other embassies around the world have had. I can't judge at this point how that might have contributed to the attack.
Q When was the last security review?
COLONEL CROWLEY: Again, probably -- I'll defer to the State Department; it's their diplomatic security, it's their normal review of security at all of their posts around the world.
Q You don't know if it's yearly, or you don't know --
COLONEL CROWLEY: I think Pat Kennedy, for example, will be among those who will be at this briefing this afternoon.
Q P.J., to follow up, these were not sort of the fortress-like embassies that one might see in Jordan or some other countries where they're way back from the road, there are huge walls?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I think it's safe to say that we set the security at particular posts based on the threat that we know at any particular time. But again, I'll push this to State. I think they're much more qualified to respond.
Q One of the complaints of the intelligence agency is that when they come across information and pass it along, some claim that it doesn't get proper consideration in the administration here.
COLONEL CROWLEY: I can't think of an ambassador, I can't think of a commander, who wouldn't act appropriately when given prompt information from the intelligence community on a specific threat. I don't have anything to say that that was the case in this particular instance.
Q Is there any information as yet as to what type of explosives, how it was delivered, anything from that review that would lead you to believe, a guess or a source of where it might come from?
COLONEL CROWLEY: At this point, I think, obviously, the attack only happened earlier this morning. I think those are the kinds of issues that will be thoroughly investigated as soon as our experts get on the ground.
Q Is the U.S. going to head the investigations and the Tanzanians and Kenyans have agreed to that?
COLONEL CROWLEY: I think both countries have agreed to cooperate fully. Part of what -- each of diplomats told the President in the call today that they will pledge full cooperation. I think, as you know, embassies are a sovereign territory of the United States, so I think we will have the ability to do the investigation.
MR. TOIV: Hi. Any questions?
Q Is the President meeting with his attorneys today?
MR. TOIV: I don't know. He'll be meeting with them frequently between now and the 17th, but I don't know if he's meeting with them today.
Q What is on the President's schedule this afternoon?
MR. TOIV: If they come in, I'm sure you'll see them. There's no remaining public schedule today.
Q Does the President have any reaction to yesterday's reported testimony by Ms. Lewinsky?
MR. TOIV: No. The President, as he said last Friday, is not going to have any comment on this situation between now and the 17th.
Q Is he concerned by what he sees in the newspapers and sees on television?
MR. TOIV: He's not going to have any comment between now and the 17th.
Q Does he or do you have any reaction to the fact that so much appears to be coming out of what she said in the supposedly secret environment?
MR. TOIV: Well, we've seen four years of leaks and rumors and innuendo. And we haven't -- we've tried not to comment on it before; I'm not going to comment on it today. But that's essentially what we've been seeing.
Q Why do you consider these leaks since the only way they would be leaks is if the independent prosecutor is giving them?
MR. TOIV: Why would they not be leaks in that case?
Q No, what I'm saying is, you're assuming that they're coming from the independent counsel, is that correct? Because otherwise then they're not leaks --
MR. TOIV: I didn't say where they're coming from. I said that we've seen four years of leaks, rumors, and innuendo in this case, and I haven't commented on it before, and I'm not going to comment on it today.
Q Can you address whether there is validity to any of these stories?
MR. TOIV: No, that would probably come under the category of commenting on it.
Q Barry, is there any conceivable set of circumstances that would change the President's intention to testify on August 17th?
MR. TOIV: No. The President plans on testifying on the 17th, and he plans on testifying truthfully and completely.
Q And there is nothing that you know of that would change that in any way, shape, or form?
MR. TOIV: No, I've heard no such indication.
Q Do you see him every day privately to find out what to tell us?
MR. TOIV: I have not seen him today.
Q Did you see him yesterday?
MR. TOIV: Yes.
MR. TOIV: Privately, just him and me? No.
Q Does he give you instructions of what to tell the press?
MR. TOIV: The President told you himself that he would have no comment on this before the 17th, Helen.
Q He didn't say into perpetuity. (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: You're absolutely right, Helen. He said only to the 17th.
Q I think we're curious because yesterday you made a point of saying that the President hadn't given any reaction, but then you said you would give your reaction, and you were certain that he agreed with you. And I wondered if you hadn't seen him and he hadn't told you, how did you know he was going to agree with you? I mean, it's curious.
MR. TOIV: Because I felt very comfortable that he would agree with that. The opinion around here was unanimous on that point.
Q -- today about yesterday, and maybe he will agree with that. (Laughter.) Well, why not, under the same logic?
Q Are you going to stonewall now until the 17th?
MR. TOIV: Well, I'm not sure what you mean by that, Helen.
Q It's quite legitimate, you know. If they are rumors and leaks and innuendos, then knock them down.
MR. TOIV: It's a long time between now and the 17th. The President is going testify on the 17th. And I know you have a lot of pages to fill and a lot of air time to fill, but I can't --
Q -- stories are out there. And we wonder, you want them to hang there in the air for two weeks, a week?
MR. TOIV: The President is going to testify on the 17th.
Q Will he then tell us what he has told the grand jury, which is his right, of course?
MR. TOIV: Well, there's no -- the President is not going to have any comment between now and the 17th. And I don't have any information as to whether there would be any other comment. But as of right now, there are no plans for any comment -- any public comment on this.
Q What does he say in private?
Q What does the White House think about the fact that Monica Lewinsky now apparently has formally -- has called the President a liar. Does the White House staff --
MR. TOIV: I think that the previous answer applies to that.
Q What's the previous answer, again?
MR. TOIV: The previous answer is that we've had four years of rumors, leaks, and innuendo.
Q Some of them have turned out to be true, unfortunately.
MR. TOIV: Well, I can only respond to fact, and I'm not sure that we're dealing with fact here. We're dealing with nothing more than leaks as far as I know.
Q The FBI confirms it has a dress.
Q You're not disputing the fact that a witness or his or her agents have the perfect right to disclose any and all of their testimony?
MR. TOIV: I don't know who has disclosed anything. I don't know what the facts are here.
Q So you're saying that the White House still thinks there's a chance that Monica Lewinsky testified and backed up the President's --
MR. TOIV: No, all I'm saying is I don't have any fact to which to respond. That's all.
Q Barry, do you think the President's standing by his denials --
MR. TOIV: The President has spoken to this, and he is going to testify truthfully and completely.
Q Well, that's not --
Q That wasn't the question.
Q Is he still sticking by his story.
MR. TOIV: I have no reason to think otherwise.
Q Does the White House have any surveys which indicate whether --
MR. TOIV: Sorry, I didn't use the exact words.
Q Does the White House have any surveys which indicate whether most of the public believes the President or believes Lewinsky at this point?
MR. TOIV: Do we have any survey information on that?
Q What's your indication --
MR. TOIV: I don't --
Q Gut feeling, reaction?
MR. TOIV: I don't know.
Q Barry, yesterday I asked you if you could check on whether the President is still reading newspapers and watching television news, and you would check if he is indeed watching and monitoring the news, and if so, whether it's less or more than he used to be. Did you have any answer?
MR. TOIV: I'll have to do that. I have not had a chance to do that.
Q Barry, what's he doing this weekend?
MR. TOIV: This weekend? Well, tomorrow morning, he will deliver the radio address live on the subject of the --
Q Tomorrow morning?
MR. TOIV: Tomorrow morning, yes -- Saturday morning -- on the subject of the bombings at the embassies. And other than that, he has no public activities.
Q So will he be preparing with his lawyers?
MR. TOIV: I don't know for sure.
Q Will he be here or at Camp David?
MR. TOIV: He'll be here. By the way, we'll have -- there will be stills for that, given the gravity of the current situation. We'll have stills in there for the radio address, which we don't usually, of course.
Q How about television videotape?
Q -- timing of these bombings is any way connected to the President's legal problems, the squabbling over campaign finance, the perception overseas that maybe the presidency is weakened and vulnerable at this time?
MR. TOIV: P.J. can probably speak best to that issue, but I have no reason to think that at all.
Q P.J., could you answer that, please?
MR. TOIV: He probably wouldn't say --
Q -- Kosovo if I were you, I mean, if you had a choice.
Q Barry, you've said a few times now that the President would testify completely and truthfully. When you say completely, does that mean that he'll answer each and every question that's put to him on the 17th?
MR. TOIV: Well, I can only tell you his words, which are "completely and truthfully."
Q Will he try to invoke executive privilege of himself on certain questions?
MR. TOIV: I cannot tell you exactly how he will testify because I can't -- because he will do the testifying. But he has said that he will testify completely and truthfully, and he will do that.
Q On the week ahead, we have the three days. Is there anything Thursday and Friday on his schedule -- for the week ahead? We have the three-day travel.
MR. TOIV: Right. Do you want the week ahead now or do want me to wait until the end?
Q What's the level of confidence the President has in the FBI Director, Louis Freeh?
MR. TOIV: No change from the statement that Mike has made in the past.
Q Is the President concerned that Freeh and Reno have come to different conclusions -- is the President concerned that Freeh and Reno have reached difference conclusions about appointing an independent counsel to look into campaign fundraising?
MR. TOIV: Well, that's a decision that the Attorney General needs to make based on the facts and based on the law. And she will do that.
Q Can we go back to what the President thinks about Louis Freeh?
Q What does the President think of the citation yesterday by the committee?
MR. TOIV: Well, it's very interesting because, as you know, we're not involved in that directly. The only thing I could point out to you is that the Attorney General and the Director of the FBI and the lead investigator all feel unanimously that the documents should not be turned over. That's the only thing I can say from here. We're not involved directly in that.
Q But isn't the President concerned that --
Q Could we go back to Louis Freeh for a second? Since the President hasn't had a chance to express his feelings about Louis Freeh for sometime, what are his feelings about Louis Freeh right now?
MR. TOIV: And there is no change from what Mike has said in the past.
Q Could you refresh our memories? What was the last operative statement on Louis Freeh?
MR. TOIV: I don't have it in front of me to read to you, but Mike has stated that and --
Q Mike gave an incredibly tepid endorsement of Louis Freeh for the President --
MR. TOIV: Well, I'll let you --
Q It was pointed and cutting -- no, I'm asking you.
MR. TOIV: I'll let you characterize it.
Q -- is that how you -- you certainly have some memory of that.
MR. TOIV: Well, you've characterized it.
Q No, but what is your characterization?
MR. TOIV: I'm not going to characterize it.
Q Well, why can't you say what the President thinks about Louis Freeh?
MR. TOIV: Because Mike has said that from this podium and that's --
Q Many, many months ago.
MR. TOIV: That's right, and it still stands.
Q On the documents the Attorney General said she left -- she has an open mind, so does that imply if she changes her mind and turns them over, then this is all a moot issue, right? The subpoena would be -- the censor would be withdrawn?
MR. TOIV: The one thing I will not do is speak for how Dan Burton will act or respond to anything.
Q Isn't the President concerned that his chief law enforcement official is being held in contempt by a congressional committee? Isn't this going to affect his carrying out his agenda?
MR. TOIV: Well, the Attorney General is handling this issue, and she obviously has the support of the law enforcement officials who wrote these memos to her. They're deeply concerned about what the House committee is trying to do. So, of course, the President is watching that and he's well aware that that's happening.
Q Barry, the Court of Appeals is planning to release a lot of leak-related information this afternoon. Does it remain the White House's position that the independent counsel's office is behind most of or a lot of the leaking of grand jury information that went on?
MR. TOIV: I'm going to wait -- we're going to wait, I should say, until that is released this afternoon. And I will refer you to Mr. Kennedy for a response to that when that happens.
Q The Washington Times had a story that Ambassador Richardson did not have a vacancy in his mission at the time that he offered Monica Lewinsky a job, even though he has testified that he did, in fact, have a vacancy. What are the facts?
MR. TOIV: I don't know and I don't have any information on that, and I would refer you to Mr. Kennedy on that issue as well.
Q Well, the President would be concerned if his U.N. Ambassador had not told the truth --
MR. TOIV: I will refer you to Mr. Kennedy on that issue.
Q Week ahead.
Q President Clinton has made clear he doesn't want any of the surplus to be used for tax cuts. Are you looking at an idea to put any of this estimated $63 billion into some form of federal reserve account? Or where do you want the surplus to go?
MR. TOIV: The President is very clear on the fact that we should not spend one dollar of the surplus, and that's what he fully intends to be the policy. And we're very concerned, of course, about proposals in the Congress that would spend any of that surplus, because he believes we need to save that surplus and give us an opportunity to save Social Security first.
Now, the proposals you're talking about have been suggested in the Senate. I believe Senators Domenici and Gramm have made a proposal of that kind. And we appreciate that the Senate Republicans, at least, are talking about ways of protecting the surplus. They have made some suggestions and people here have taken a look at them. We're prepared to listen to their ideas on that, but the important thing is that we need to do what we can to save Social Security first and protect the surplus. And we'll look at those ideas.
Q Barry, in terms of the difference between -- I mean, if you don't do what Domenici is proposing, then the President wants -- I guess by default all the surplus goes to repay the debt. Is that correct?
MR. TOIV: It would stay in the -- right, it would not be spent, and therefore --
Q -- repays the debt, as opposed to being earmarked for Social Security, which is what they're proposing.
MR. TOIV: It would not be spent and it would give us an opportunity to enact next year a comprehensive Social Security reform plan.
Q Right, but what's the -- why would what they're proposing not give you an opportunity to enact a --
MR. TOIV: I didn't say it wouldn't. They've made these proposals. We've looked at them. But right now they have a number of ideas; there are some concerns about some of their ideas about how to do that, but we have not endorsed any particular proposal.
Q Week ahead.
Q Barry, has Signal been instructed not to --
MR. TOIV: I'm trying.
Q -- process any pages from members of the White House press corps to members of the Counsel's Office?
MR. TOIV: Say again?
Q Has Signal been instructed not to process pager messages from the press corps to members of the Counsel's Office?
MR. TOIV: I have no idea.
Q Pager messages?
MR. TOIV: I know what he means, but I don't know the answer to the question.
Let me give you a week ahead here.
Q Will you look into that?
MR. TOIV: Sure. I know they process your questions to the -- your pages to the press office, of course.
Q We'll test that later tonight just to be sure.
MR. TOIV: Not too late, please.
Let's see. Tomorrow, as I told you, is the radio address, live here. And then on Monday morning --
Q We have a schedule.
MR. TOIV: Yes, you have a press schedule. You have Monday through Wednesday. The President departs the White House for Louisville, and he'll do an event in Louisville on the patients' bill of rights. Then to Chicago, where he will do the second Unity '98 event at the Chicago Historical Society. Overnight in San Francisco.
On Tuesday there is a switch here from what I told you the other day. San Francisco on Tuesday morning the President will do an environmental event, and that's at 11:00 a.m. And then later in the day he will do a couple of events for Gray Davis, a gubernatorial candidate. And then on Wednesday -- he'll overnight in Los Angeles.
And in Los Angeles Wednesday morning there will be a crime event, scheduled for 10:30 a.m. right now. Then to Milwaukee for a Democratic Party reception, state Democratic Party reception. Arrives home around midnight.
On Thursday --
Q Is he going to see Panetta in California and tell him off?
MR. TOIV: I think we saw Mr. Panetta when he was there for the oceans event, had a very warm reception on both sides.
Q Well, you still like Leon Panetta, don't you? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: Sure do.
Thursday, August 13th --
Q -- operative statement on Louis Freeh -- (laughter.)
MR. TOIV: No, I think I can be a little more definitive in this case.
Thursday the President, at 2:45 p.m. Thursday afternoon, the President hosts the 1997 WNBA Champion Houston Comets here at the Rose Garden.
MR. TOIV: No, Comets. Did I say NBA? Excuse me, WNBA.
Q You said it right.
MR. TOIV: I said it right? Thank you. Thank you, Terry.
And the Houston Rockets didn't win the 1997 Championship anyway -- yes, in the Rose Garden.
Q -- the band will be there then? (Laughter.)
MR. TOIV: Sam, you've been here long enough to know the Marine Band performs most of the time when we have guests out there, before and after the event.
Q Some of the people from the press office are trying to put out the word the Marine Band is always there in Rose Garden --
MR. TOIV: I don't know if it's always, but whenever there are guests there, they usually perform to entertain.
Q Why do they lock and load -- (laughter.)
MR. TOIV: I can't tell you the list of rock groups they wanted me to read for the events next week.
And on Friday, the President attends a DNC lunch here in town.
Q That's it?
MR. TOIV: Yes, that's it right now anyway.
Q What about Saturday?
MR. TOIV: Saturday, nothing is -- well, the radio address is broadcast -- I don't know whether he is going to do it live or tape it on Friday.
Q Do you know what time he goes to the courtroom -- I'm sorry -- what time the testimony here begins on Monday?
MR. TOIV: No, I don't. No, I don't -- a week from Monday.
Q Will there be stills for that?
MR. TOIV: -- and at least as of right now, Mr. Kendall is still the place to go for questions like that.
Q Well, at least right now, Mr. Kendall is not answering any questions.
MR. TOIV: Well, it must be for a good reason.
Q Has a room been set aside for this?
MR. TOIV: I don't know, Scott.
Q When's he going to Martha's Vineyard?
MR. TOIV: Sometime after the testimony. I don't know yet whether it will be on the 17th or a later day --
Q Barry, Congress has gone home, you've got this three-day trip, you've got patients' rights, environment, crime. Is this the beginning of the congressional campaign?
MR. TOIV: No, this is the beginning of the two-month period until the end of this congressional session. We hope to get a lot done still. We still hope that we can get a patients' bill of rights, a real patients' bill of rights. We still hope that we can get a number of pieces of legislation done -- on crime, the juvenile crime legislation. We very much hope that we can get this Congress to act.
We had a very great thing today here. We had a great bipartisan event which reflected the kind of bipartisan work that really accomplishes things for the country. We had Republicans and Democrats out there, the people who worked on the Work Force Investment Act, Senators DeWine and Kennedy, Senator Jeffords --
Q He wasn't there, though --
MR. TOIV: Yes, I know, but they worked on the legislation -- Congressman Goodling, Congressman Kildee and a number of others who worked very hard on this legislation with this White House and with this administration -- Secretary Herman, of course, and the inimitable Gene Sperling. And they worked very hard on this and they worked in a bipartisan way. And we can still have some important accomplishments this year if the Congress chooses to do so.
Q Is the President actually going to announce anything new with patients' bill of rights, or is he just going there to drum up support?
MR. TOIV: I'm not aware of any new announcement.
Q Thank you.
END 2:20 P.M. EDT