THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY MIKE MCCURRY The Briefing Room
2:31 P.M. EDT
MR. MCCURRY: Ladies and gentlemen, on behalf of my colleague, the National Security Advisor, Samuel Berger, I'm happy today to say that the President has appointed at long last as Senior Director for Public Affairs at the National Security Council, our new Deputy Press Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Mr. David Leavy. David, welcome back to right here in the Briefing Room. We can't wait to have you up here briefing. In fact, would you like to brief today? There are plenty of questions, I know -- for all those of you who thought you were going live, Mr. Leavy is going to do his first briefing today. Okay, well, maybe not.
We've got some paper that has David's background on it, but I'll say that he has, since the time that -- he started here, as many of you know, in the Press Office working for my predecessor, Dee Dee Myers and did a very good job for her. Then graduated, went to the State Department where he impressed all of my former colleagues who were there working first for Secretary Christopher and then later for Secretary Albright, and really has learned the world and learned the way in which our government deals with foreign issues in a quite remarkable way. And I know he'll be of great service to you. Colonel Crowley, who is here, who has done such a wonderful job, will continue in his post there. And they will be filling out some of the vacancies they've got in that staff.
But anyhow, we're all looking forward to having David at the helm.
Q Mike, is Chuck Ruff on the Hill seeking to delay the release of the Starr report?
MR. MCCURRY: No. And I saw Wolf report that and that is just not accurate in any way, shape or form. Mr. Ruff, Mr. Podesta, and Mr. Kendall sought the opportunity and wanted the opportunity early to go talk with Chairman Hyde, Mr. Conyers, and whoever else they want to have there just to talk about the process that is now going to be underway in the House of Representatives, the requirements that they will have of the White House, the way in which we can cooperate in what is going to be a very solemn process and a process that needs to be a dignified one.
Q Mike, are you saying the White House has given up on asking for an opportunity for the President to respond?
MR. MCCURRY: You keep reporting that we're not going to get one, so -- I think as a practical matter, as I told you earlier today, it's up to the House of Representatives to decide what they're going to do with these documents in their possession.
Q No request has been made for a delay?
MR. MCCURRY: If they talk about it, it will be talked about in an environment designed to reflect the solemnity of this process, and it's not going to be a contentious request.
Q That doesn't answer the question. The question is --
MR. MCCURRY: I can't tell you what's going to come up in their meeting; I'm not there.
Q Does the White House want an opportunity to see the report before it's made public?
MR. MCCURRY: Sure, I mean we argued that -- Mr. Kendall argued that in his --
Q -- you're saying that they're not going to ask.
MR. MCCURRY: Because I don't know what they're going to talk about. I know that the purpose of the meeting, not as you've stated it and reported it, is for them to get this process going and to get it going on the right foot. It's not going to be the last of the meetings that they're going to have with these people on the Hill, to be sure.
Q If the Republicans don't allow the President a glimpse of the report and a chance to respond to it before it's made public, would that be proof, in the mind of the White House, of partisanship on this matter?
MR. MCCURRY: I hope not, and I heard Senator Daschle address that question earlier, and I don't have anything to add to him. It means, as a practical matter, that we can't realistically be expected to have an immediate response to the report because we will have gotten it at the same time that all of you have gotten it.
Q Daschle pointed out that in the Newt Gingrich situation with the House Ethics Committee, Gingrich had an advance. Do you think the statement is comparable?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not familiar enough with how they handled the ethics report on the Speaker. My recollection is that he did have an opportunity to look at the report on him. His counsel had an opportunity to prepare a response, and they were released roughly simultaneously. But I don't know enough about the facts to suggest that that's any kind of precedent here.
Q Mike, how will the White House rebut the allegations in the Starr report? And who will take the lead on that?
MR. MCCURRY: That's not entirely clear. And I think one of the things that we're all attempting to learn more about is what is the process by which this report is made public, how will the House deal with it. We just don't know. We're going to have to, like you, see what happens every day and deal with it.
Q Is there a War Room, like when you've dealt with other big issues?
MR. MCCURRY: It looks like this is the War Room. (Laughter.)
Q In this frenzied atmosphere, how do you suggest they release this report in a solemn --
MR. MCCURRY: I suggest that they be calm, and deliberative -- in fact, I very much agree with some of the things the Speaker said earlier today -- everyone should just take a breath, wait for the facts to come forward, reflect on those facts, not rush to judgment, not try to accelerate a process that's going to require contemplation. I think that was a very sensible thing that the Speaker said.
Q Mike, is the concern of the White House that the release of the report prior to your getting a chance to rebut it poisons the well so much that your rebuttal becomes almost a non-issue?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, no, it's more in the hyper-frenzied environment you're in -- news travels so fast that people don't have any opportunity to see both sides of the story. They might not get any opportunity to sort of hear another side of the story until they've got the summary judgment that's been presented in the report, if in fact, that's the way the report reads.
I think there's -- most Americans are pretty fair, and they know how trials work and they know how legal processes work, and they understand that the prosecution makes one case, the defense is entitled to make a rebuttal case before the facts are judged and judgment is rendered. And I think that's all that's being asked for here, and that would seem, I bet, to most Americans to be a fundamentally fair way to approach this.
Q Do you expect a rebuttal report then, Mike, from Starr or the White House?
MR. MCCURRY: It's not clear to me how we will present that. One way or another we will prepare some kind of response and make some kind of response available to this report. But how that will happen and under what circumstances we don't know at this point.
Q So are you saying, Mike, that the report of the independent counsel is not independent?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know -- I don't have a clue. I don't know what's in the report because we haven't seen it.
Q Mike, on the other hand, Democratic senators said they spoke with the President about the need for quick closure with this. Does the President agree there needs to be a quick closure --
MR. MCCURRY: Yes.
Q -- and how does he think it should be closed quickly?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know that he knows how it can be closed quickly because that's in large part going to be up to the House of Representatives. But I know, and you've heard us say, that he certainly would like to see closure to this matter so we can get back to doing the work that we've all been hired by the American people to do.
Q Mike, the President told the Senate Democrats today that there would be no surprises in the report. Having not seen the report, how does he know there are no surprises?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know if that is precisely what he was asked and I don't know that that's what Senator Daschle said earlier.
Q Mike, is the President contemplating a press conference in the near future?
MR. MCCURRY: We've got one scheduled for next week.
Q Mike, is it still the President's position that he will never resign?
MR. MCCURRY: I haven't heard any discussion to the contrary.
Q -- that whatever Mr. Kenneth Starr -- against the President, William Clinton, it's set up, biased, personal, political, a kind of form of political terrorism -- civil liberties of the American people?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, let's put it this way, I don't blame the Turks for it. (Laughter.) No, I think on the motivation on that, we're just not going to comment on it.
Q Mike, when the President arrived in Russia, he asked President Boris Yeltsin not to sell military equipment to India. But when he was in China he never asked Chinese leaders not to sell equipment to Pakistan, but they were selling missiles and other --
MR. MCCURRY: It would be wrong to say when we were in China we did not discuss our concerns about proliferation. And I don't recall standing here how directly we addressed regional arms balances, but our overall concern about proliferation was certainly on the agenda in China. And our strong views on that were reflected in our discussions, from the President's level on down.
Q Getting back to my question, you say there is one scheduled for next week -- when and what time?
MR. MCCURRY: We've got a state visit with President Havel on Wednesday, and as customary, we will do a press conference, albeit I imagine it will be a brief one. I think you're all aware of President Havel's health.
Q Mike, you said one way or another the White House would make some kind of response to this. Are you preparing a preliminary, at least, report --
MR. MCCURRY: Look, folks, I cannot predict for you the future, and I cannot predict for you exactly how we will deal with what is sailing in uncharted waters. I do know that we will do our best to make the information available to you that we have in a timely way. We'll try to give you as much advance notice of how we are going to proceed. But as I have told you several times now, show up and cover the story every day, and at least from your interest here, you're already planning to do that.
Q What's the focus tomorrow at the prayer breakfast, and what's the coverage going to be?
MR. MCCURRY: The prayer breakfast, as it is annually, will be an opportunity for the President, the Vice President, and others to reflect on matters that are of spiritual concern to the nation.
Q Is the First Lady speaking?
MR. MCCURRY: No, I don't believe so.
Q And what's the coverage?
MR. MCCURRY: Pool.
Q Mike, do you have any developments or progress to report on the Northwest talks?
MR. MCCURRY: No. I know Mr. Lindsey remains in Minneapolis. He's been monitoring the discussions that are underway by the parties. We continue to encourage the parties to try to resolve their differences at the bargaining table. And Mr. Lindsey will remain there monitoring whatever progress is made.
Q Two other questions. Would you call on Ken Starr to end his investigation at this time?
MR. MCCURRY: I wouldn't -- I could call on him to do any number of things; I don't think he would pay much attention.
Q And what do you think about putting this on the Internet? Does the White House concur with that move?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we've got our home page, I guess this is a House home page, presumably. It seems like a smart way to get the information out quickly.
Q The President said yesterday that he has no one to blame for himself. Does he now hold Starr blameless in all of this?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the President was self-evident when he made those remarks.
Q Mike, how is the President dealing with the fact that many Democrats for the sake of cohesion are trying to come out in support of him, but behind closed doors telling reporters that the President just is not going to make this --
MR. MCCURRY: I think everyone is entitled to their own judgment, their own prognostication. They can go place their bets in London to that effect. Whatever they tell you privately, whatever they say publicly is their business.
Q Mike, the President has been addressing his apologies in the last couple of days to specific groups -- donors, Democratic senators, House members. Is there any planning for him to address the nation as a whole?
MR. MCCURRY: I have not heard of any immediate planning to that effect, but I don't rule in or out anything that the President might want to do. He'll do what he thinks is appropriate to address this matter in the way that he feels is necessary. I mean, I can't predict for you how that will happen.
Q You made a quip about this being in the War Room. But you're not telling us there isn't some strategy for the future. You people plan everything.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we've got a lot of people are good at strategy, and some of them have got strategies. And the President probably has one that he has in mind. We're not talking about it publicly because the events will unfold as they unfold. Whatever strategy we have, the last several days make it pretty clear you have to be able to adjust to the development of events as they come along. So I can't predict for you what the news will be this time next week, so I'm not going to tell you that we have an ironclad strategy. In any event, it wouldn't be smart to talk about it publicly if we did have one.
Q Senator Daschle said that Senate Democrats urged the White House to cooperate with Congress. And Senator Mikulski said specifically that she urged the President not to stonewall. What are they referring to?
MR. MCCURRY: They probably referred to our inability to provide straightforward answers for eight months now. I imagine that's what they referred to. But in any event, the President gave the senators very clear indication of his intent to cooperate, and indeed, one of the purposes of having Mr. Ruff and Mr. Kendall and Mr. Podesta on the Hill is to start that process, to start it going in the right direction, consistent with the advice we got from the senators.
Q In connection with that, the Senate Democrats urging the President to -- how to cooperate with the congressional process, would the President be willing to testify under oath?
MR. MCCURRY: He already did.
Q Before Congress.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I'm not going to predict how this process will go forward. I don't think members of the House who are responsible for this process at this point know. You've heard from the Speaker and from the Minority Leader and others; they are going to proceed in a very responsible way that reflects the solemnity and dignity this process requires. And that's exactly how we intend to proceed as well.
Q Mike, will the White House post its rebuttal on the White House web site?
MR. MCCURRY: Good idea. I'll check and see.
Q Mike, the First Lady's public support has been important in previous controversies involving the President. When should the American people expect to hear her talk about this current situation?
MR. MCCURRY: I think the American people well understand that she can only do that when she feels that she is ready and wants to say something. And that's entirely up to her. And I think most Americans would fully understand that and appreciate that.
Q Of all of the apologies that the President is making, how difficult is the one he's going to be making this afternoon with the Cabinet?
MR. MCCURRY: I think they've all been difficult, they've all been heartfelt, they've all been necessary, and they've all been well received.
Q Is it going to be one of the most difficult, though, because he went so publicly out --
MR. MCCURRY: I don't want to give grades to each one.
Q Will they come to the stakeout, Mike?
MR. MCCURRY: It's entirely up to the Cabinet members. We're not -- the White House and White House staff are not rendering any advise to the Cabinet members on that point. If they wish to, that's their business.
Q Does the President believe these apologies are going to deflect the impeachment process in any way, or is --
MR. MCCURRY: No. No. I mean, in some way they're not connected. It's a personal obligation of the President to address what he sees as the serious wrong that he has committed. The other is a process -- is a constitutional process and much different in nature.
Q Mike, can you clear up this thing about no surprises? It was a straightforward question. I think it was Terry that asked Daschle and Daschle said there were no surprises.
MR. MCCURRY: John, your question was, did he assure there were no surprises in the report. We don't know what's in the report. I can't tell you what's in the report, I don't think the President -- the question is -- the President was asked were there any surprises ahead, and my understanding from the answer given was that he indicated there weren't. And that's consistent with the readout of the meeting I got.
Q Why was that question posed, Mike? Why was that question posed to the President? Why was he asked whether there were surprises in store?
MR. MCCURRY: It was posed by a journalist talking to one of the senators. Of the senators, why it was posed I don't know. I don't know -- you'd have to ask the senator who posed it.
Q To return to an earlier question, do you approve of them posting the report tomorrow on the Internet?
MR. MCCURRY: Do I approve of it?
Q Does the White House approve of the idea of --
MR. MCCURRY: Look, we have -- our only interest, as asserted by Mr. Kendall, was to be given an opportunity to review it so we could prepare our response, because I imagine many of you in this room, the minute it is available publicly, will turn right around and ask us for a response. And it's going to be very hard to prepare that response if we haven't seen all 440-plus pages or however many pages it is.
Now, as a practical matter, how do you get things out quickly, I think the use of the Internet is a good idea. That's what we try to do when we've got stuff we need to move around quickly.
Q What do you think the turnaround time would be to effectively prepare some kind of rebuttal report to the specifics?
MR. MCCURRY: Susan, I country predict. I know that the staff here in the Legal Counsel's Office imagines that they're going to have to -- if it, in fact, is posted tomorrow, they're going to have to work most of the weekend. But I can't tell you when they might have something available.
Q -- until Monday or so --
Q Why do you think Starr didn't let you see it?
MR. MCCURRY: I can't predict.
Q How will you describe the President's mood right now?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't need to describe it because you've all seen him today and I think you can characterize it yourself.
Q Would you expect in the prayer breakfast the continuing theme of forgiveness to come up?
MR. MCCURRY: I think it's not proper to predict. I'm going to have to say the same thing I keep telling you, that he will address this matter as he sees fit.
Q You quipped a couple of moments ago that this seems to be the War Room. Does that indicate any kind of White House unhappiness with the media treatment of this?
MR. MCCURRY: No. I mean, we've long -- over eight months, long ago resolved ourselves to your level of interest and attention to this matter.
Q Could you please clarify exactly what Mr. Kendall and Mr. Ruff are or are not asking for today --
MR. MCCURRY: I can't because I'm not at the meeting. I think they wanted -- first and foremost, they wanted an opportunity, as Mr. Ruff explained it to me, to sit down with the Chairman, with Mr. Conyers, to talk about our determination to proceed in a fashion that befits the occasion, to indicate their determination to be cooperative, to understand what the ground rules are for proceeding, and to begin to establish good working relationships in a process that's going to require it.
Now, what all they talk about, I can't predict for you. I don't know -- I imagine that your colleagues up there will try to catch some of the participants afterwards.
Q But isn't the White House resigned to the fact that the report will be released tomorrow without a White House response simultaneously?
MR. MCCURRY: You know, we've made the argument that we should have some opportunity to look at it so we can prepare some kind of statement, response, rebuttal -- whatever it is. And if that doesn't happen, it doesn't happen. Life will go on.
Q Mike, could you clarify the President's statement of last night that his problems could actually wind up strengthening American families?
MR. MCCURRY: I can hazard a guess based on some conversations that I know about. I think that he believes this and this only, I think is all that he meant -- that probably this subject matter has occasioned a lot of people, including married couples, to have more heartfelt talks about their own relationships. I think that's what he meant.
Q Mike, at the prayer meeting tomorrow, are there any religious groups who have backed out who were scheduled to come that you know of?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't have the whole list of who has been invited. They have invited a lot of groups. A lot of people have called who originally weren't going to be able to be here and asked if they could be added. I understand there is one representative who has announced publicly that they're not going to attend. But, whoever comes, comes.
Q And these ambassadors presenting credentials today, do you know if any of them expressed any remorse or sympathy with the President, or do they --
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know, and I think that's just going on now. But usually the presentation of diplomatic credentials is not an occasion for discussions of that nature.
Q Can you characterize any expressions of support the President is getting from Arkansas, from his family there in Hope and Hot Springs?
MR. MCCURRY: I know that he's had strong support from his family, but I don't have any specific characterization.
Q Mike, do you consider the President leaning on many religious leaders right now since August the 6th?
MR. MCCURRY: I think -- I don't know "leaning on them," but I think he has a number of people who have been important to him in his own expression of faith and people who he relies upon for spiritual guidance. And that's always been true, but I think it's especially been true recently.
Q It hasn't been helpful with his -- it seems like he might be going through a state of depression a little bit. Has it been helpful?
MR. MCCURRY: I think he's going through a lot personally and I imagine it has been helpful. But that's personal. He should characterize that.
Q When you said earlier that the First Lady will make a statement when she's ready to do so and it's entirely up to her, are you suggesting she has not yet forgiven him?
MR. MCCURRY: I saw a statement from her press secretary that directly addressed that point that was on the wire. And I don't have anything to add to what I saw said in that statement.
Q Mike, we asked you at the gaggle this morning, but for the record, can you tell us the opinion of the White House of a Yevgeny Primakov, if he's ratified as Prime Minister of Russia?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we have worked very closely with Foreign Minister Primakov, know him well, know his commitment to the policies of President Yeltsin's government. He has been a fierce advocate for the national interests of Russia. He's also been a valuable ally in those times and places where we've worked closely wit the Russian federation. If he is ratified by the Duma, the United States would expect to have a very close working relationship with him and with his government.
Q Mike, do you feel that you can give an unequivocal statement that the President will never resign?
MR. MCCURRY: I feel like I can, but I don't know what that would be worth.
Q A letter regarding Cyprus was released today from the White House signed by President Clinton, addressed to the -- leader -- it says that a special meeting is going to take place here at the White House sometime this fall. Do you know what this is about?
MR. MCCURRY: I don't have anything on that, but Colonel Crowley --
COLONEL CROWLEY: The letter speaks for itself. We will probably have some meetings this fall with Sandy Berger and this group of leaders.
MR. MCCURRY: P.J. indicates, perhaps some meetings this fall.
Q And also, today the Greek ambassador presented the credentials to the President. Any comment?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, we were delighted to receive the diplomatic representatives. In both cases, the President did have an occasion to talk about the importance of trying to resolve the conflict and to continue to work with the parties to address their differences. Beyond just the expression of his determination to do what we can to be of assistance, it was not an extended substantive discussion about the conflict on Cyprus.
Q Mike, if there are members of Congress -- and I understand that there are -- who think that based on what the President has acknowledged to the country so far, that some sort of official reprimand or censure is merited, does the White House have a position on whether they'd be opposed to that or, in the spirit of closure, would welcome it?
MR. MCCURRY: You've heard the President himself say that it would not really be proper for us to suggest what kind of judgment ought to be made arising from the process that's underway. That is really something that the members of the House and members of the Senate are going to have to reflect upon and come to some kind of judgment on.
Q Well, wait a minute. If there are impeachment hearings, obviously you're going to vigorously make the case that they're not justified. You've already done that.
MR. MCCURRY: Well, you didn't ask that question. If there's an impeachment proceeding, the President will vigorously argue that there has not been any impeachable offenses, as counsel indicated yesterday. That's a different question.
Q Is the White House trying to sign on a senior Democrat to act as sort of a liaison with the Hill on this issue?
MR. MCCURRY: I think I told some of you and there has been a lot of reporting that's well beyond what the facts are at this point -- there has been an effort by the White House to think of the process that were about to undertake now, to think of what the requirements for that process will be, to think about who we've got available both on staff and perhaps not on staff who are expert in and knowledgeable about dealing with Congress in this kind of environment, and then to configure a group that will be able to well represent the President as he undertakes that work.
There has been a lot of discussions with a lot of people. My impression is that those discussions are going to continue in the days ahead, and I don't think there is going to be any announcement about personnel or anything immediately. If that changes, I'll try to let you know.
Q Mike, reports are that the Ken Starr report --
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, I'm sorry, say again. (Laughter.)
Q -- alleges obstruction of justice, perjury, abuse of power.
MR. MCCURRY: Oh, we haven't had a chance to read it yet. Tell us more about what you've seen in it.
Q These are the reports that are leaking out.
MR. MCCURRY: Oh, reports that are leaking out -- I see. We don't know what's in it.
Q Mike, your answers on the subject of resignation seem equivocal. Is there a question in the White House about whether that's possible?
MR. MCCURRY: I've heard absolutely no question about that. I think everyone knows Bill Clinton, knows him well enough, and he's quite adamant about it. I just am not going to predict the future.
Q Has it come up in senior staff meetings recently?
MR. MCCURRY: Not at all. And the President is quite clear about it.
Q And the Chief of Staff hasn't gone to the staff and said, look, we're sticking to this to the end -- nothing like that?
MR. MCCURRY: There is no need for that.
Q Have you heard the President himself say "never" again?
MR. MCCURRY: Absolutely.
Q You have?
MR. MCCURRY: Absolutely.
Q Mike, after this live drama every day, what is the future of the President?
MR. MCCURRY: What? After what?
Q Political future -- after this live drama every day, what is --
MR. MCCURRY: The drama has been underway for a while, and I don't think we've reached anywhere close to the last chapter or the epilogue.
Q People in Europe are very shocked by what's happening in the United States. What does the White House want to tell them, and how do you see the end of the story?
MR. MCCURRY: They should be confident that the United States of America, irrespective of whatever domestic debates that we have, whatever domestic controversies arise, the United States of America remains a very strong, vigorous, and determined leader on the world scene. They should have no doubt of that.
Q But how do you see the end of the story?
MR. MCCURRY: I just answered that.
Q Mike, the South Korean Foreign and Trade Minister this morning said that what North Korea launched last week was probably a satellite. Has the White House got any more of a --
MR. MCCURRY: No -- they were probably briefing over at the Pentagon on what we know. If there is a satellite up there, the United States Space Command hasn't been able to hear it, see it, locate it, determine where it might be. So we don't have any information that confirms that there is a satellite up there.
Q He seemed to say that it was possible that they tried to launch one, but it didn't stay in orbit and fell back down.
MR. MCCURRY: I can't assess for you whether or not there was an unsuccessful attempt to launch a satellite, but I think they were going to probably get into that subject over Ken Bacon's way today, I think it's fair to say.
Q Senator Mikulski said that she's getting calls from her constituents, senior citizens, concerned about the continued functioning of the government and whether they're going to continue to receive their Social Security checks. What can you say to --
MR. MCCURRY: I can say that irrespective of anything else, Social Security checks are going to continue to go out. (Laughter.) I think it's kind of a goofy question, but, at any rate, go ahead.
Q Mike, you said that the President said that he's been quite adamant, quite clear that he's not resigning.
MR. MCCURRY: Right. I did not mean to cast any doubt about that.
Q No, no. I understand. I'm just saying in what context did that come up?
MR. MCCURRY: The one that came up when they asked it at the stakeout. It came up at the stakeout.
Q And that's it, it's only been in terms of the press asking it?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. I haven't heard any other serious discussion about that anywhere.
Q Well, Mike, can I follow up Scott's question for a second. If the President says he has only himself to blame for all of these problems, does that mean he now no longer blames Ken Starr for his problems?
MR. MCCURRY: He's been -- it's clear that he is holding himself solely accountable for what's going on right now, is what he said.
Q So he no longer blames Ken Starr?
MR. MCCURRY: He said what he said, Wolf. I'm not going to start -- and I've told you several days in a row I'm not going to interpolate what the President has said clearly. He's been abundantly clear in public and personal about this.
Q Do you expect him, then, to stop complaining about Starr?
MR. MCCURRY: I think he's going to say what he says. And he's saying it, so you can cover it.
Q Mike, you've been pretty magnanimous about the timing of this, if it comes out tomorrow, the report. But does that get the White House and the congressional Republicans off on the wrong foot? I mean, is this not a bad signal to send that they won't give you two or three days?
MR. MCCURRY: We wanted it, we asked for it. I think that their fairness would suggest it would be better if we had it. But if we don't have it we'll have to live with that outcome and the American people will have to make the judgments about the kind of question you asked.
END 2:57 P.M. EDT