View Header


Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release September 18, 1998
                            PRESS BRIEFING
                    BY BARRY TOIV AND P.J. CROWLEY

                          The Briefing Room

1:10 P.M. EDT

Q What's the response to what happened on the Hill?

MR. TOIV: What's the response? Well, it had been our hope that this process would be bipartisan and fair. Unfortunately, today's action was neither. The Congress has important work to do here, and the American people have a right to fundamental fairness and bipartisan cooperation. Instead of fairness, some Republicans want to rush the release of salacious material, defying the finest traditions of the House of Representatives.

Q Is it meant to humiliate the President more so?

MR. TOIV: I'll stick to what I just said.

Q Barry, it was the White House, though, that had urged the quick and speedy resolution of this. I mean, for the last several days, that's what White House aides have been telling us, that they want this over with as quickly as possible. So aren't you getting precisely what you asked for?

MR. TOIV: Well, I think that if you -- we're going to rely on what a number of members of the committee coming out of the room have had to say about the process. I think they can best describe the process since they were in there, and I think they can --

Q I understand that they're coming out saying that it's highly charged, highly partisan, but my question to you is how does this go against what the White House wanted, which was, ostensibly, let's move on this as fast as we can?

MR. TOIV: Well, clearly the way they've conducted this process does not meet the standards of fundamental fairness and bipartisanship.

Q Do you want the videotape out or no?

MR. TOIV: Well, that's a decision that's up to the Congress, up to the judiciary committee.

Q The President seemed to indicate that he was fine with it coming out even though he didn't expect it, so do you have any objections to it coming out?

MR. TOIV: You know, the President stated those views, and as I've said, it was up to the judiciary committee.

Q Why wouldn't it then -- why wouldn't you want the public to see the President expressing his view since, as David suggested, we were told by people that once we heard all the details, once we saw the documentation, that it would be more favorable to the President. Why isn't this something you would welcome?

MR. TOIV: This is a decision that was up to the judiciary committee to make. It's clear, though, that the process did not move forward in a bipartisan way and in a fair way. I hope that's not a signal for the way the process is going to operate in the future.

Q We're not asking about the process; we're asking about the result. Shouldn't the public be able to look at this?

MR. TOIV: This was a decision that was up to the judiciary committee, and the President, as you pointed out, expressed his views on that earlier.

Q Barry, I understand that the process wasn't bipartisan, but why was it unfair?

MR. TOIV: Well, I think that the --

Q Are you equating the two?

MR. TOIV: I think that as you hear a number of members coming out of the committee, you can hear their description of the process. And I think that will explain it all.

Q We hear complaints about the unfairness. Can you tell us what specifically they relate to? Is it the videotape? Is it the supporting material? Is it the insufficient redaction? What specifically is unfair?

MR. TOIV: A number of members of the committee are coming out and describing the process. I was not in there, so I cannot describe it. I'm only going based on what members of the committee coming out have had to say.

Q Were you surprised at all by the way it went down, though? Didn't you expect it to go down this way?

MR. TOIV: The result or the process?

Q The process.

MR. TOIV: I mean, first of all, in terms of the result, that was a decision that was up to them. That was a decision that was up to the committee. In terms of the process, no, I would have hoped for -- we would have hoped for a process that was bipartisan. Last week, it seemed like they were headed in a direction towards bipartisanship, and they seem to be going in the other direction now.

Q Does the White House think that the accuser's testimony -- Linda Tripp -- should also be made public?

MR. TOIV: Again, that's up to the committee.

Q Barry, the principal objection seems to be haste. How long do you think it should take to be fair to look over all these materials before they start releasing them?

MR. TOIV: I don't have a view as to what specifically should be their timeline. But --

Q Why are they releasing it now before the hearings begin?

MR. TOIV: Why are they doing it? You would need to ask them that question, Helen.

Q Do you think that this sours the mood for the prospects for fair and impartial impeachment proceedings?

MR. TOIV: Well, it raises serious questions about the direction they are heading in. Again, last week, there were signs that this would be a bipartisan process. This is very important work that they have to do. It's a very important process. It needs to be bipartisan. This does raise questions about that. It sends the wrong message.

Q One thing that's still not clear -- is it that you think people should not be able to look at the videotape? Or you think they shouldn't be able to look at it now? I don't understand --

MR. TOIV: The decision was up to the committee and, again, you heard the President's views on that.

Q But what's your objection to it? You clearly have an objection.

MR. TOIV: What I'm objecting to is the lack of bipartisanship, lack of fairness in the process, and members of the committee coming out of the hearing room are in the best position to describe how that happen.

Q Well, Barry, based on that logic -- you're concerned about the partisanship, but you won't give us specific complaints about the result -- how could it not be -- why isn't it that perhaps the Democrats are responsible for the unfairness for their refusal to participate in a bipartisan process with Republicans?

MR. TOIV: No, it's clear that the leadership of the committee -- that the Republican leadership of the committee made it a partisan process based on what members are saying coming out of the committee. As we understand it, there was a bipartisan agreement at the staff level on how to handle this issue that was overridden yesterday. Now, I don't know what the final result has been, but clearly, based on what members are saying coming out, this was not a bipartisan process.

Q You're criticizing the release of salacious material. Is the President denying any of the salacious incidents?

MR. TOIV: I don't have any comment on that.

Q Barry, can you explain why it would be fairer to release the videotape, say in a week or a month or a year? Why would that be fairer to the President than releasing it today or this weekend?

MR. TOIV: Again, that was their decision to make, to release the material. Clearly, they were rushing to put it out, though.

Q Barry, do you think that this could backfire on Republicans?

MR. TOIV: I'm not going to discuss any political implications.

Q Barry, the comments coming out of Europe and elsewhere in the world characterize this whole process around the Starr investigation as a constitutional coup, a lynch mob. The Chinese government has banned the Starr report from being published because they say not only is it an insult to the President, but it's an insult to the United States to have this on the Internet. But here in the U.S., it seems to be treated more as kind of a soap opera. Why do you think that that's such a diametrically opposed views in the U.S. and in the world at large?

MR. TOIV: I don't know. I'm not an expert in international relations. Maybe P.J. can help you with that later. (Laughter.)

Q The testimony was videotaped, and the premise was in case some grand jurors would not be absent. Apparently, the grand jurors were there. In hindsight, do the President's lawyers feel they were taken, or snookered, in any way, shape, or form?

MR. TOIV: I don't think I could say anything more clearly than Mr. Kendall's statement yesterday on that subject.

Q Barry, it's been the White House's position that this scandal is not significantly interfering in the President's ability to do his job. Last night, Senator Feinstein indicated that she hadn't spoken with the President in some time and there was some kind of personal problem that would prevent the two of them from speaking at least about this. Doesn't that fly in the face of what you're trying to say if the President can't talk to key Democrats on the Hill?

MR. TOIV: The President has been talking to a number of key Democrats. He's met with a number of key Democrats in recent days. He's talked with a number of key Democrats on the phone. I'm sure that if he really needs to talk with Senator Feinstein in the coming days over an important issue, I suspect that they will be able to do that if it's really necessary.

Q Barry, there's been considerable media coverage of the President's three new clergy advisors but little or none about his physician or physicians. I have a two-part question. Are there now three times as many clergy advisors than presidential physicians, and if so, why? And I have a follow-up. Why does he need three times as many clergy advisors than medical advisors?

MR. TOIV: I'm not sure -- are you looking for the number of physicians in the Medical Office?

Q Yes, how many are there? No, I mean, how many are said to be his physicians?

MR. TOIV: The President -- (laughter) -- is this a trick question?

Q Yes.

MR. TOIV: There is one physician to the President, a number of physicians who actually serve in the office and actually work with the President when necessary.

Q My follow-up is, since The Washington Times list --

MR. TOIV: And most of you have met them when we've traveled, that sort of thing.

Q Since The Washington Times list of questions for the President includes express concern that the stained dress indicates unsafe sex, can we be assured that his doctor or doctors have advised him about the need to set a good example?

MR. TOIV: Excellent question. Next question. (Laughter.)

Q That isn't much of an answer, Barry.

Q P.J., as far as foreign policy is concerned, this matter is taking a lot of time, and the President is talking on a regular basis with world leaders, and the world is laughing not at the President, but at the U.S. So how are you handling -- how is the U.S. handling this matter --

MR. TOIV: The President is continuing to do his job. He's continuing to talk with world leaders. He's doing it very effectively, as well. So that's how we're handling it.

Q Barry, I just want to try this one more time. You clearly object to the process; we all understand that. Does the White House object to the videotape being released to the public?

MR. TOIV: The President expressed his view on that subject a few days ago, and we have stated continually that we did not have a view on that subject from the White House, that it was a matter that needed to be resolved by the Judiciary Committee.

Q The President seemed to say that he wasn't really that bothered by it, so I'm trying to figure out why the objections here seem so strong to the process but so little about the actual outcome. You're more concerned about what went on in the committee than the fact that the tape is being released?

MR. TOIV: We're concerned about the message this sends in terms of partisanship versus bipartisanship within the committee.

Q You're afraid it's a bad sign of things to come?

MR. TOIV: We're concerned about the message it sends as to whether this will be a bipartisan process.

Q Does the White House believe that Chuck Ruff and/or David Kendall should have had the opportunity to review all these materials with the committee before it was released?

MR. TOIV: I think that the process -- the concerns that were raised about the process were raised very effectively by the members who came out of there, and I'd like to rely on their description of the process.

Q -- as to whether they should have had the right of any attorney to go in and review this material before it's released?

MR. TOIV: I think that a number of our counsel have raised concerns about whether the White House -- whether the President's attorneys had an opportunity to see some materials before they were released. I believe that concern was raised before the original report was released.

Q Barry, how did the President find out and when did he find out today about the videotapes being released?

MR. TOIV: I don't know, April. I'll have to take that question.

Q Barry, The Washington Post reported yesterday that White House officials have started "to enlist help from Democratic lawyers and lobbyists, pollsters and media experts." And my question is, do you know, Barry, of any person or organization that checks on the honesty and accuracy of the polls, other than their owners?

MR. TOIV: You're asking me a

Q It's another trick question.

MR. TOIV: This is another trick question, isn't it? I don't know what --

Q I don't know of anybody; I just wondered -- now, you're in a position where you would know.

MR. TOIV: I don't know what pollsters are being consulted, and I'm not about to stand here and vouch for the accuracy of any polling that's done by outside organizations.

Q In other words, what you're saying is you don't know of anybody that checks on the accuracy of these polls, other than their owners. Isn't that right, Barry?

MR. TOIV: No, but I know of a few people who are skeptical.

Q Can you talk about the world economy, which is also affecting -- the U.S. economy. IMF loans are not approved on the Hill and how the President is going to take --

MR. TOIV: The President is deeply concerned about the inaction in Congress on the full funding for the IMF. The House action yesterday was irresponsible. It's clear that there is a consensus among people ranging from Chairman Greenspan to businesses, CEO after CEO, to farmers, that a strong IMF is critical to the stability -- maintaining the stability of the world economy, and, unfortunately, the Congress is -- or, at least the House of Representatives is just sending the wrong message completely on that subject.

Now, fortunately, the Senate has overwhelmingly voted to approve the full funding for the IMF, and so we're hoping that wisdom will prevail when they get together in conference. But right now the House bill is irresponsible on that subject.

Q Barry, is the President still as resolved as ever not to resign?

MR. TOIV: Yes.

Q Both Majority Leader Lott and Speaker Gingrich and the Christian Coalition today pointed to the White House in regards to planting this Henry Hyde story. Why do you think there is such a reluctance on their part to accept White House denials, and have you done anything in the last day to try to trace down whether anyone here is responsible?

MR. TOIV: Look, if any member of Congress, if any private citizen, if any member of the press has any evidence to suggest that that is true, then they ought to bring it to this White House, because there is zero tolerance in this White House for that kind of activity. But anybody who continues to say it without having the least bit of evidence is engaging in rumor and innuendo; frankly, the same kind of rumor and innuendo that Chairman Hyde has been the victim of.

Q What do you think of Gingrich's comments this morning that Congress not give money to appoint socialists, referring to the IMF? What do you think of that sort of language? What kind of impact does it have internationally?

MR. TOIV: The Speaker opposes IMF funding now?

Q Without deep reform. He says he doesn't want to give money to a "French Socialist," referring to Camdesus.

MR. TOIV: The fact is that there is, as I said, an overwhelming consensus that a strong IMF is critical to a stable world economy, which, of course, is critical to our own economy. And there was a hearing just recently in the House in the Congress on this issue, and person after person, business leaders, CEO after CEO, expert after expert got up and said that the best way to ensure a strong IMF is to provide the full funding that the administration has requested.

I'm not the first to have put it this way, but we have a series of fires on this issue. We have a series of fires around the world in terms of economic situations in Asia and elsewhere. And if members want to argue about what kind of hose the fire company is using to put it out and not provide the resources that they need to put it out, they're doing a real disservice to the people of this country.

Q Barry, I want to follow up on something Mr. Berger mentioned earlier today. He said that the Lewinsky matter doesn't come up in the kinds of meetings that the President has with world leaders; however, I think we've also been told that a number of world leaders, when speaking with the President, have offered them his best wishes and mentioned the Lewinsky matter. Which one of those is an accurate statement?

MR. TOIV: I think sometimes, foreign leaders offer their best wishes with the understanding that the President's going through a difficult situation, but they don't raise it specifically.

Q There was a report that the videotapes be will released at 9:00 a.m. Monday morning. Is there a plan here at the White House to respond to that, to comment on it? Will the lawyers come out? What's the thinking on how you will deal with that?

MR. TOIV: When the videotape is played? I don't have information for you on that yet.

Q How do you think that will reflect when the President goes at 10:00 a.m., one hour later, before the United Nations General Assembly?

MR. TOIV: Well, the President is going to deliver the speech that he's planning on giving, and Sandy described that earlier. And he will continue to do the work that he was elected to do, and he will represent this country at the U.N., and he will undoubtedly do it with distinction, and it will not have an impact.

Q Barry, there are already articles appearing -- there was a column in The Wall Street Journal a few days ago that said if the President is to salvage his presidency, the only arena left for him is on the international stage. And I just wondered what the White House reaction is to that in terms of him being a weakened President on the domestic side.

MR. TOIV: No, that is part of what the President will do. The President has responsibilities abroad and he obviously has responsibilities here at home, and he will continue to do both. And I think that you will see in the next month or so, as Congress works towards adjournment, that this President will be actively engaged in fighting for his agenda on the Hill for health care, for education, to save Social Security and to prevent the use of the surplus. And I think you will see him in action on those issues, and I think that as you have seen in the past, I think he'll do reasonably well, as Congress is heading towards adjournment, in getting his priorities accomplished for this country.

Q Barry, in retrospect, does the President now wish that, like Mrs. Clinton, he had just appeared before the Grand Jury rather than making that blockbuster video at the White House?

MR. TOIV: No. The President did what he thought was the right thing to do.

Q What would be your assessment, the U.S. assessment of the situation along the Iran-Afghanistan border right now -- you or Mr. Crowley?

MR. TOIV: Are we on to foreign policy issues, because P.J. will come up and --

Q Barry, I'm wondering if the White House has any response to Speaker Gingrich's charge that the President's putting on a misogynist defense in this case?

MR. TOIV: We would disagree with the Speaker.

Q Why would you disagree with that?

MR. TOIV: Because it's just not true.

Q P.J., follow-up to Helen's question -- when the President visits the U.N. in New York, will he be effective without paying the U.S. dues to the U.N.?

MR. TOIV: P.J. will handle that. Anything else for me?

Q Thank you.

MR. TOIV: Ok, I'll come back and do the week ahead.

Q Do we get a preview of the video at all before it's shown to the world?

MR. TOIV: You're asking the wrong people. (Laughter.)

Q Why?

COLONEL CROWLEY: Allow me at the start to pay a brief tribute to two organizations that I am affiliated with. Today is the 51st birthday of the National Security Council, and it's the 51st birthday of the United States Air Force.

Q Happy birthday.

COLONEL CROWLEY: This commercial announcement brought to you by -- thank you very much. Now on to other business.

Q I asked at the start about the U.S. assessment of the situation along the Iran border with Afghanistan and how serious it is and whether it might be under consideration at the United Nations.

COLONEL CROWLEY: In fact, on Monday afternoon, we will have what we call another in a series of what we call six-plus-two meetings at the United Nations -- this is a group that was formed last summer by the U.N. special representative to Afghanistan Brahimi -- and search for ways to end the conflict in Afghanistan, and it will be a meeting at the ministerial level, so it will include Secretary Albright. So those countries include -- the six are Pakistan, Iran, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, and China -- the six countries that border Afghanistan, plus Russia and the United States.

Overall, we have been encouraging both the Taliban and Iran to settle their conflict peacefully. We have condemned the killings of the Iranian diplomats and have called on the Taliban to investigate that fully. But this will be something -- clearly it will be on the U.N. agenda as a meeting that was called by Kofi Annan for Monday.

Q How serious a situation does the United States view this?

COLONEL CROWLEY: Well, Afghanistan is a country that we've always viewed with -- that has strategic significance for the South Asia region. Obviously, we have a wide range of national interests to maintain regional stability in South Asia given the situation with respect to India-Pakistan, the situation with respect to development of the oil resources within the Central Asian republics. Obviously, we are hopeful someday for a government-to-government dialogue with Iran.

So it's an issue of great -- the region is an issue of great importance to us. Afghanistan will play a role in the continued stability in that part of the world. So, obviously, putting into what is already a fairly tense part of the world yet another source of conflict is of great concern to us.

Q Does the U.S. government believe that the Iranians are, in fact, moving troops towards the Afghan borders as was reported in the last --

COLONEL CROWLEY: The Iranians have been engaged actually in training in that part of the world, although the troops have stayed near the border. It is something that we view with great concern. We are talking to both countries to encourage them to conduct dialogue and to resolve the situation peacefully. That will be continued on Monday at the U.N.

Q Do you think the President will meet with the Iranian president?


Q Not at all.

COLONEL CROWLEY: Well, we have offered Iran for some time and encouraged them to begin official government-to-government dialogue with the United States. We have a triad of issues that we want to discuss with Iran, including their opposition to the Middle East peace process, their pursuit of weapons of mass destruction, their state sponsorship of terrorism. We hope someday to have that opportunity. So far, Iran has not taken us up on that offer.

Q These are all accusations, aren't they? Is there anything on their side --

COLONEL CROWLEY: These are the heart of our concerns that we want to address with Iran if we are to eventually move into better relations between the two countries. We're certain at the same time that Iran has issues that they wish to discuss with us. We have offered that government-to-government dialogue, and we hope someday Iran will --

Q In what forum?

COLONEL CROWLEY: We want an official dialogue between representatives of our two governments that both countries can acknowledge and both countries have the authority to work on the issues that are of concern to each of us and see if we can make progress.

Q The United Nations -- the President is going to New York to address the U.N. Do you think he'll be effective without the U.S. paying their U.N. dues? And some countries are calling that the U.S. should be expelled or should not have voting rights until U.S. pays its dues. Why hasn't the U.S. --

COLONEL CROWLEY: Well, as Sandy Berger said this morning in the trip briefing for Monday's opening of the U.N. General Assembly, it is an odd fact that we are both the U.N.'s greatest benefactor and the U.N.'s greatest debtor. We are concerned about that. We have been working this issue hard up on the Hill. We do face the prospect that on December 31st we face loss of our vote within the U.N. General Assembly if we continue at the level of arrears that we are currently at. We are concerned about it, and we continue to work that issue hard on the Hill.

Q What's the problem why the Congress or why dues are not paid?

COLONEL CROWLEY: Well, it has been -- I think there actually has been a growing understanding that we need to deal with the situation with arrears. We also at the same time have been pushing the U.N. to make progress on its reform effort, and in fact the U.N. has made progress on its reform effort. Unfortunately, at the same time, this and several other important initiatives have been stalled with the attachment of other controversial issues, which are important in their own right. But we think the U.N. issue is something that we really need to resolve sooner rather than later.

Q Congressman Bartlett of Maryland and a number of others on the Hill claim that actually the U.N. owes us money because of the number of U.N. peacekeeping organizations and things that we have provided. What's your answer to that?

COLONEL CROWLEY: Well, these claims are based on the erroneous assertion that the U.N. should pay for any U.S. contributions to military operations. Some of these operations, such as Desert Storm, for example, were authorized by the Security Council but were actually conducted on a coalition basis.

Q That isn't in his list, P.J.

COLONEL CROWLEY: I'm just saying that there are -- this has been a source of back and forth. It is not something that we agree with just because the Security Council mandate that recognizes that there's a threat to, say, regional peace and stability in a certain part of the world --

Q Bosnia. Bosnia is one of them. How much have we paid in Bosnia -- $5 billion, isn't it, or is it $8 billion?

COLONEL CROWLEY: But the U.N. should and does pay us credit for some of our contributions -- let me finish my answer. The U.N. should and does pay us credit for our contributions to all U.N. formal peacekeeping operations authorized by the Security Council and organized and led by the U.N., such as our participation in the preventive deployment in Macedonia. However, the Bosnia operation is a NATO-led operation; it is not a U.N.-led operation. So this is not a part of that scheme.

Q P.J., the Albanian parliament has revoked the immunity of ex-President Berisha. How would you view his arrest? What kind of security implications would you take from that?

COLONEL CROWLEY: Obviously, we think that the political factions in Albania need to have a dialogue and move towards political accommodation and agreement on some form of common action and that they should avoid new violence. This is particularly important because of Albania's proximity to Kosovo, which is a dangerous situation in its own right. But the parties ultimately need to sit down, find an accommodation, and see if they can't move forward along the lines of their constitutional principles.

Q P.J., what about an arrest of Berisha? Would that be an undemocratic sort of act?

COLONEL CROWLEY: I can't speak specifically on that. It depends on the circumstances. There should not be arrest just on the fact that opposition figures are conducting a protest. We also believe in democracy and free political expression. By the same token, they need to end the violence, they need to end the confrontation. They need to sit down and try to reach some accommodation that leads Albania on a path toward greater stability.

Q P.J., we just heard a report from the back of the room that Beijing has banned the distribution of the Starr report. Is the Clinton administration grateful, appalled, neutral, or what? How do you feel about that?

COLONEL CROWLEY: As an impartial observer, it probably seems to me that's something the American people might be willing to take under advisement.

Q Does the President have any plans to meet with the Prime Ministers of India and Pakistan while they are in New York next week?

COLONEL CROWLEY: The President, as we announced this morning, will be meeting on Monday with Prime Minister Sharif on continuing the dialogue that has been conducted for several months by Deputy Secretary Talbott with both representatives from India and Pakistan. He currently has no plans to meet Prime Minister Vajpayee. He will not be in New York that early, at the time --

Q Who is going up with him?

COLONEL CROWLEY: Who is going up with the President? Obviously, Secretary Albright will be there, National Security Advisor Berger will be there. I think Gene Sperling will be there. Because, of course, not only do you have activities at the U.N. General Assembly, but you have the bilaterals involving Prime Minister Sharif, Prime Minister Obuchi, and Prime Minister Prodi. And Secretary Rubin will also be a part of --

Q In the meeting with Obuchi, will there be any specific trade issues discussed?

COLONEL CROWLEY: This is the first meeting between President Clinton and Prime Minister Obuchi since he's taken office. I would expect we will go through the full range of issues that mark our special relationship with Japan, so that will include economic issues, security issues, trade issues. I expect all of them to be touched on in their meetings.

Q They haven't met before?

COLONEL CROWLEY: They've met before when Prime Minister Obuchi was Foreign Minister, but not since he has taken over.

Q Since the Indian Prime Minister will not be there while the President will be in New York, do you think he will ask him to come to Washington -- or any future plans during his stay --

COLONEL CROWLEY: I think the next meeting with Jaswat Singh, the Special Envoy from India, will take place on Tuesday with Deputy Secretary Talbott, continuing their discussion.

Q P.J., if they could throw our representative out of the General Assembly, could they do the same thing with the Security Council?


Q They couldn't? Oh, I see. But why? Why not just let them?

COLONEL CROWLEY: I think as we've outlined here, world events are important enough that they look to the United States for leadership, and much of that leadership occurs within the Security Council.

MR. TOIV: Thanks, P.J. The preset for the event in 450, folks need to meet outside the Briefing Room now for an escort.

Let me just do a quick week ahead. Tomorrow is the Radio Address. The President will deliver the Radio Address live. The subject will be the Congress's work on the budget and taxes. We'll have stills only coverage. And in the evening he's going to address the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner at the Washington Convention Center.

On Sunday the President will depart at 6:00 p.m. for New York, and he has a bilateral meeting that evening with Prime Minister Prodi. I think you already know the schedule for Monday and Tuesday from Sandy's briefing. Then Tuesday -- he returns on Tuesday and then that evening he'll host a reception for African American religious leaders here at the White House.

Wednesday the President will award the Congressional Gold Medal to President Nelson Mandela at a ceremony on Capitol Hill. He'll meet with Prime Minister Goh of Singapore that afternoon, and then he will address the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Dinner that evening.

On Thursday the President will have a working lunch with the Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia. He'll meet with the Congressional Black Caucus here at the White House and host a reception for DNC members that evening here on the South Lawn.

Friday the 25th, the President travels to Chicago. He'll attend a lunch for our gubernatorial candidate there, Glen Poshard. We will probably add another event to the schedule in Chicago and we'll let you know that as soon as that happens.

Q Will he be doing any fundraising for Carol Moseley-Braun while he's in Chicago?

MR. TOIV: I don't see that on here, but we'll check on that for you.

Q You mean he's going to neglect Senator Moseley- Braun?

MR. TOIV: That evening he will attend a DNC reception in San Jose and he'll overnight in Palo Alto. The President will depart Palo Alto on Saturday for Rancho Santa Fe, California.

Q Will he see his daughter?

MR. TOIV: Will he see his daughter? Is that what you're asking me? I would expect so.

Q Also, while he's in California, Mrs. Clinton's doing a fundraiser with Barbara Boxer. Is the President doing a fundraiser with Barbara Boxer as well?

MR. TOIV: I don't see one listed on the schedule. As you know, he did a lot of fundraising for Senator Boxer earlier in the year. But I don't know whether anything is planned for this particular trip. He'll be going to Rancho Santa Fe, which is near San Diego, I believe, for a Unity dinner. You all know the Unity fundraising. I'm sorry, that's a DNC fundraising lunch in Rancho Santa Fe, and then a Unity dinner in Los Angeles. And he'll overnight in Los Angeles Saturday.

On Sunday the President goes to Texas for additional events, and then back home Sunday evening.

Q Barry, I have one question. A lot of kids are watching all of these unfolding events right now, and there is even supposedly a 15-page Internet report, a Ken Starr report for kids. What's the moral of the story from the White House's standpoint for the nation's children who are actually finding out -- some of them are finding out about sexual activities through this report.

MR. TOIV: Well, as far as the decision to put those kinds of materials out, to release them on to the Internet, again, that's a decision that the House Judiciary Committee has made, and we're not really in a position to judge that, except that I think you've -- I've described -- I've talked about the process a little bit. And that's a decision that they're going to have to live with.

As far as the impact on families, I think the President spoke to that a little bit in his remarks to the religious leaders earlier this week. I think he expressed in very heartfelt terms what he hoped the impact on all these events could be for families and --trying to look at it from a more positive point of view, and he's already responded to that.

Q He is going to the Hill for the Mandela -- he's going to personally present what -- the Congressional Gold Medal, is that what it's called?

MR. TOIV: That's correct, yes.

Q And he will go to the Hill for that?

MR. TOIV: He'll go to the Hill for that.

Q Will Mandela be here at all?

MR. TOIV: I don't know yet.

THE PRESS: Thank you.

END 1:57 P.M. EDT