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Office of the Press Secretary

For Immediate Release December 17, 1998
                           PRESS BRIEFING BY 
                             JOE LOCKHART 
                           The Briefing Room 

2:10 P.M. EST

MR. LOCKHART: Let me start first with a rundown of what the President has been up to today, some of it I think you probably already know. But as I told you this morning, the President started his day early with a briefing from Sandy Berger, by telephone about 7:a.m., giving him an update on the latest in this military operation. The President came over to the Oval Office at about 10:00 a.m. There he was briefed at about 10:30 a.m. by General Shelton, Secretary Cohen and his national security team, as you all had a chance to speak to him for a few moments.

Since then, the President has been on the phone. He's made a series of calls to foreign leaders -- he has spoken to Prime Minister Netanyahu, President Mubarak, King Hussein, and President Chirac, in a series of calls that were constructive and productive on the ongoing operations. And the President just completed a series of calls to the congressional leadership as part of his ongoing consultations. He spoke to each of the five leaders of Congress.

Q How did they go? How did the conversation with Senator Lott, for example --

MR. LOCKHART: You'll have to talk to Senator Lott about his reactions to that. The President wanted to take the chance to keep the leaders of Congress up to date on the ongoing operation.

Q He spoke with Dick Armey, as well?

MR. LOCKHART: No, I don't believe he did.

Q Give us the list, Joe.

MR. LOCKHART: I think he spoke to Mr. Gingrich, Mr. Livingston, Mr. Lott, Mr. Daschle and Mr. Gephardt. Does that sound right? Yes.

Q But was he pleased with what he heard from the leadership?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think he was doing more of updating on what's going on, and I don't know anything beyond what their reactions are.

Q Did the President solicit the support of members of Congress, or does he think that's important at a time when the United States is engaged in military action?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the President believes it's important to keep members of Congress, especially the leadership, up to date and consulted. He believes it's important -- that it is important for both the public and Congress to support an ongoing operation like this.

Q What messages did he hear from the foreign leaders, Joe?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I'm going to leave it to those leaders to articulate their views rather than do it from here.

Q We can't get to them. What was the general --

Q You just said that he thinks it's important for them to support this, but does he feel satisfied that they are?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think, as you heard the President say this morning, that there has been bipartisan support for this effort, particularly when you look at the members of the House and Senate who take the lead on international affairs and national security issues. If you look at the Senate, we've seen positive statements from Senators Helms, Senator Hagel, Senator Lugar, Senator McCain, Senator Warner. So the President is gratified that there has been this support, particularly from those leaders.

Q But is it enough when you have the Senate Majority Leader not supporting?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think the President makes his decision based on what he thinks is in the best interest of national security and he believes he's gotten strong bipartisan support, particularly from the leaders who are most influential in the areas of national security.

Q What is the report in today's Roll Call that said that DeLay's gut reaction was to attack Clinton, but he thought that criticism coming from the House might damage the impeachment efforts and so he sent word to Lott suggesting that the Senate GOP was better positioned to criticize. What do you make of that?

MR. LOCKHART: I've seen that report and I just can't believe a member of Congress would take such a cynical view.

Q Joe, what was his reaction to Lott's comments?

MR. LOCKHART: His -- to Lott's comments? I think the President understands that there are going to be some members of Congress who take a different view than he does. But he has to act in what he believes is the national security interest of this country, and that's what he's done. And I think he articulated quite clearly, in both his speech last night and in addressing reporters today -- and the American public -- of the rationale for what the threat is and why we needed to act.

Q Joe, did the President talk to Lott about impeachment? And should the House go ahead with an impeachment vote while the U.S. military is engaged in action?

MR. LOCKHART: I don't know if the subject of impeachment came up. As far as whether the vote should go ahead tomorrow, that is clearly an issue for Congress to decide. The President makes decisions based on what he thinks are in the best interests of this country, and the Congress makes decisions on what they think is in the best interests of this country.

Q But Joe, will the President ask Congress to wait? Is that --


Q -- that's not within his prerogatives or purviews?

MR. LOCKHART: No, he believes it is a decision the Congress should make.

Q But, Joe, he has also said impeachment is not in the best interests of this country.

MR. LOCKHART: That is correct.

Q Does he think it has no impact at all on his conduct?

MR. LOCKHART: The President thinks Congress is in the best position to decide when Congress will take any such action.

Q There were reports that Cohen and Shelton, in their House meeting, that ultimately they said, look, this hurts morale. If he agrees with the recommendation of his military advisors, then it would be his responsibility, right, to make this case?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the persuasive argument for the President is that this is a decision for Congress to make.

Q But Joe, aren't you a little bit troubled that they would go ahead with this while a military operation is going on?

MR. LOCKHART: Listen, I think those questions are better put to the leaders in Congress. Again, the President makes his decisions based on what he believes the national interests of this country are, and Congress is so placed to do the same, for the decisions that are within their purview.

Q Joe, has the President tried to call President Yeltsin, or does he plan to?

MR. LOCKHART: Not that I'm aware of.

Q Has the President rescheduled the meeting with Congressman Shays?

MR. LOCKHART: Not that I'm aware of. We have been in -- I know there's been some consultation with his office but, as far as I know, it has not been rescheduled yet.

Q Has he called any other congressmen, the President?

MR. LOCKHART: Not that I'm aware of.

Q Why isn't he going to call Yeltsin, Joe?


Q Why isn't he going to call Yeltsin?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I know that the Secretary of State had a conversation yesterday with her counterpart. They exchanged views on this subject, and if it becomes appropriate for the President or constructive to make that call, we'll let you know.

Q Do you have any indication at all that the whole operation, the Desert Fox operation has had any impact whatsoever on the pending impeachment vote?

MR. LOCKHART: I have no indication of any impact. I would suggest that there's 435 members who are directly involved in that, you should ask them.

Q -- reports that Boris Yeltsin has asked his military to prepare for Iraq. Do we have any idea what his intentions are?

MR. LOCKHART: Say again please.

Q There have been reports that Boris Yeltsin has ordered his military to prepare for Iraq. Do we have any idea what his intentions are?

MR. LOCKHART: I haven't seen any information that supports any reporting like that.

Q I understand you wanting to leave the characterization of the foreign leaders comments to them, but would you describe for us what the President's message was to Mubarak, Chirac and the rest?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the President made the case that it was Saddam Hussein that precipitated this action, that in his efforts to frustrate the will of the international community, more particularly frustrate the work of UNSCOM, that he led us to an unacceptable situation where we had to act and strike militarily.

Q Joe, you said this morning that the outreach on impeachment was pretty much at an end. Why is that?

MR. LOCKHART: I think, as has been reported, there was a temporary halt in any sort of outreach. I think if we, over the last 24 hours, had been aggressively reaching out on impeachment, we certainly would have been criticized for trying to take advantage of this pause and delay in the impeachment vote. So I think we felt it was appropriate to not do that. Except in response to inquiries that might come in to us.

Q Is the White House giving up on impeachment, Joe? Do you believe that you've lost the vote already?

MR. LOCKHART: We don't -- the vote as has been described for us will take place on Saturday. We believe we've made a strong case. We believe that people should be reminded of that case, of the case that over 900 constitutional scholars said this didn't reach the standard for impeachment; that a bipartisan panel of prosecutors came in and said there was no case here; that a panel that the Republicans put together on perjury, when they finished their testimony, all stood up and said the President shouldn't be impeached. So we think that's an important and compelling case.

And ultimately, we think that members, when they go into the House of Representatives and cast one of the most important votes in their lives -- if they move forward based on the facts, the Constitution and the law, we don't believe the President will be impeached. If they can put politics aside, that may happen. If they can't, then we may have another result.

Q Joe, you've been told by Congress that the debate will begin tomorrow, and the vote is likely on Saturday?

MR. LOCKHART: I became aware of that by watching television.

Q You've gotten no official notification, then?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, people who get official word here may have, but I have no reason to dispute what I've seen on television.

Q Joe, you just talked about a temporary halt over the last 24 hours. Will that continue? Has the President himself instructed his staff and supporters not to do any further outreach until the end?

MR. LOCKHART: I think now -- I can't articulate any particular activity, but now that they've scheduled the vote, there certainly could be no perception of trying to take advantage of a delay. And if there's anything that the President does, or any particular effort or outreach that he does, I'll make you aware of it. I'm not aware of it now.

Q But are staff and supporters and Cabinet members, et cetera, now going to resume those efforts over the next 24 hours?

MR. LOCKHART: I would expect, over the next 24 hours, that we will restart and continue some outreach.

Q Joe, has the President been surprised that people on Capitol Hill and world capitals would make the explicit suggestion that the timing of this raid was linked to the impeachment inquiry?

MR. LOCKHART: I think given -- as the President told you today -- given the facts as they are, given the fact that he makes decisions based on what's in the national security interest, that he believes that you can have a debate on the policy, but not a real debate on the timing.

Q Joe, if the President is -- if the House does vote to impeach the President, does he feel that he, then, continues with the same power, authority and influence that he had before? Does it make any difference in how he approaches his job and how he conducts himself?

MR. LOCKHART: No, I don't think so. I think particularly if that were to happen along party lines, I think the public and the world will see this as a partisan effort to try to remove the President based on allegations that really had nothing to do with what the Constitution has talked about as an impeachable offense, and based on sort of vague, unspecific ideas that even members of Congress who came out in the last few days with a decision couldn't adequately articulate the reasons behind their vote.

Q My question is about his behavior. Does he feel that he can govern as effectively and completely, in exactly the same way, if he stands as an impeached President, as he did before that?

MR. LOCKHART: Yes, he does.

Q Joe, a couple of national polls indicate that a majority of the people think the President should resign if he's impeached to spare the country a trial.

MR. LOCKHART: We did this yesterday, Scott.

Q If I could just finish that question. Do those polls influence the President's thinking on whether he should resign?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the President believes, and I think you have seen a demonstration of it, that he can act in what he believes is the best interest of this country and in the best interest of our national security and vital interests.

Q Since yesterday those polls -- you mentioned yesterday that there are different wordings to these questions, but they still show a sizeable number -- many of the polls show majorities of people saying the best way to get this whole matter over with if he's impeached is for the President to resign. And up until now you've said the most important thing is that the American public doesn't want him to be impeached.

MR. LOCKHART: That's right, and that still stands.

Q Well, if the American public wants him to resign, would he take that into consideration?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think you've heard from the President on the subject several times.

Q Why is it legitimate to say that he shouldn't be impeached because the American public doesn't want him to be, but if they want him to resign they're opinions don't matter?

MR. LOCKHART: I haven't -- except for one thing I saw in the newspaper, I haven't seen any evidence that the American public wants the President to resign.

Q What about your own poll?

MR. LOCKHART: I'm not going to talk about our polling.

Q Why does he think it's the best interest not to resign?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the President believes, and I think the country believes, that we have accomplished an enormous amount in the last six years under this stewardship. We have the strongest economy in three decades, with record low unemployment, record low interest rates, record job creation and growth. We have falling crime. We have people moving off the welfare rolls and into work. This has been a truly remarkable six years under the stewardship of this President. But we still have a lot more to do.

The President has articulated challenges from Social Security to education to child care, and he doesn't believe that he should be side-tracked by a group of Republicans who happen to be in the majority now in Congress who seem to be pursuing a course based not so much on the national interest of this country, but on their own partisan advantage.

Q Joe, how can he advance that agenda if he faces a Senate trial that could go on for months and months?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, we work hard here every day and he is going to continue to work hard to advance his agenda.

Q Houghton was here yesterday and met with the President. He is pushing a proposal, censure proposal, where the President would not make his 1999 State of the Union address and would refrain from any Democratic fundraising in the future. Does that kind of proposal meet the criteria the White House has set forth?

MR. LOCKHART: Again, I'm not going to get into a negotiating position here.

Q You told us the Democratic proposal met his criteria

Q But in the past you've said things that were --

MR. LOCKHART: Yes, and I've also said things that come forward with broad support and have a chance of being put on the floor or put before a committee and voted on. Unless the Republican leadership has had some change of heart that we don't know of, I don't know if that's going to be put forth.

I spoke, in the past, Mara, about a vote that was put before the Judiciary Committee because I thought because it was being put forward by Democrats and because it was being considered seriously it was in the interest of the public to discuss the particulars of that censure motion. And we discussed it.

Q You said that being reasonable and being made in good faith were the only two criteria -- not if it has a chance of passing.

MR. LOCKHART: It's a criteria to be considered, but I'm not going to discuss the details of it.

Q On that point, Houghton said that the President objected to a couple of things in his proposal, one of which was that he not give the State of the Union message and the other was that he not be allowed to fund-raise. You're not disputing Houghton's account of what the President --

MR. LOCKHART: I wasn't in the meeting so I'm not in a position to dispute his account.

Q You said put politics aside and yet some of these moderates who have said that they would vote to impeach the President are very likely to suffer politically for that. Doesn't that indicate that maybe this is not being politically driven by the Republicans?

MR. LOCKHART: I would just dispute that.

Q Joe, President Bush has come out in support of President Clinton and so has President Carter. Has the President contacted or talked to either one of them?

MR. LOCKHART: I don't know. I know frequently in times like this we do reach through the National Security Advisor and staff to influential members of the foreign policy community, of which I consider both of those former Presidents to be very influential. But I'm not aware that the President has spoken to them.

Q Joe, could you give us a little more detail on the President's actual mood dealing with both these questions of military strikes on Iraq and talking to the Hill at a time when the impeachment issue is approaching?

MR. LOCKHART: It would be an understatement to say that the President has been tested over the week. I mean, you have left out an important part of our last week, which is dealing with the Middle East peace process, and doing what he can to put that effort back on track. And I think we had enormous success in both the PNC vote and in our efforts to move the Wye Accord implementation forward. So I think there has been a lot going on and the President has been tested. But I think what you can see and what he's demonstrated is he's up to the challenge.

Q If I could follow up on the question. Is it testing him to talk to congressional leaders about Iraq with the impeachment issue hanging over him?

MR. LOCKHART: No, I don't think the President has trouble separating the vital national security interests of this country with some of the domestic politics that are going on.

Q Are you concerned what kind of message, if the President is impeached on Saturday by the House of Representatives, in the midst of this military operation over Iraq -- are you concerned what kind of message that would send to Saddam Hussein and others who are looking at his power right now?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the President has demonstrated his ability to lead both our country and lead within the international community. I can't speculate on what kind of messages -- I think that that's a more legitimate question to put to the leaders of the Congress.

Q What do you think about the prospect of Israeli elections putting off -- basically freezing the Wye implementation for months?

MR. LOCKHART: Obviously, we have spoken at great length about the importance of moving forward with implementing Wye. We think it's manifestly in the interest of all parties in the Middle East that that agreement move forward. As far as elections, I think that's an internal matter for the government of Israel.

Q But can those accords be implemented while elections are going on?

MR. LOCKHART: We believe that both sides have every incentive to move forward. And we continue to urge both sides to implement what they agreed to at Wye.

Q Joe, you said the President has been tested over the last few weeks. But can you say that the American public has been tested as well, over the last few weeks, with this impeachment process, and now, questions about timing, with the air raid on Iraq?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think certainly, anytime the very dedicated and heroic men and women in uniform put themselves in harm's way, it's testing both for them and for the country. I think, separate and apart from that, the impeachment process has also been testing. The American public, in an overwhelming fashion, views this as something that's unnecessary, and they view it as something that's partisan, and they want it stopped.

Q Can they do anything about it?

MR. LOCKHART: Again, here, you're asking me questions that -- I wish I could bring the leaders of Congress down here to stand here and answer these questions, because they're all good questions, and they all should be asked, and they all should be answered. And they should be answered in a satisfactory way to the American public. But I can't answer them for them.

Q Joe, a follow-on to that, though. It's gotten to be more than just a water-cooler issue on the job. I mean, this is really tearing a lot of communities apart -- Democrats versus Republicans. I mean, friends are fighting about, you know, if he's lying, if he's not, and can we believe him about timing. I mean, it really is testing people.

MR. LOCKHART: Well, again, you've raised a series of separate issues. But on the question of the debate that's going on in Congress, it is our ultimate hope that members can put politics aside and do this based on the facts, the law and the Constitution.

Q Joe, have the President's advisors begun contacting members of the Senate in any way to try to lay the groundwork for influencing a trial?

MR. LOCKHART: The people here at the White House talk to members of the Senate all the time. This is an issue that's on people's minds, so I'm certain there's been some discussion. But I can't detail anything in particular.

Q -- back to the heart of the matter. This is the only member of Congress that the President has sat down with for a face-to-face meeting, that we know of, that was solely on the impeachment/censure question, and you don't have any details on that. Are you being kept in the dark by staff on the current efforts to figure out what to do next about impeachment?

MR. LOCKHART: No, I don't think I have. But I don't have any information on that.

Q Did they tell you anything about the only face-to-face meeting the President has had on this question?

MR. LOCKHART: Jim, I got a readout on the meeting, but I didn't get any particular information about those specifics that you've raised.

Q Joe, there's a longstanding tradition in America against removing a President in time of war. Is this -- or the war against terrorism -- considered a war?

MR. LOCKHART: Say again, please?

Q The issue of removing a President in time of war has a longstanding tradition. Is this, or the war against terrorism, considered a war?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I certainly think that there are Americans who are putting their lives at risk every day in this operation and I don't think it matters what label you put on it. This is a serious situation designed to address a serious problem.

Q So what about the war against terrorism? Is that a war?

MR. LOCKHART: I don't know how you define things. It's certainly a serious situation that this country remains ever-vigilant against, and it's an increasing problem for this government, and it takes on an increasing amount of the President's time.

Q Does that mean that the House should not act? The premises of her question -- you just accepted them. Does that mean that the House should not act?

MR. LOCKHART: I understand the premise. And my answer is that the House, and members of Congress, need to make those decisions. We have a system of government here where there are separation of powers -- where the President makes decisions based on what he believes is in the best interests of the country, and Congress makes decisions based on what they believe is in the best interest of the country. It's, frankly, immaterial what I think about that. They need to make those decisions, and they will.

Q Joe, you comment on what Congress does here almost every day. Why on such an important issue would you --

MR. LOCKHART: Because this is an issue that they need to decide, that they have to make the calculation that they're making. That's all I'm going to say.

Q Any reaction of the insistence of the Republicans today in the resolution that they support the troops, but not the Commander in Chief?

MR. LOCKHART: That message only echoes the sentiment that the President expressed this morning, so we appreciate support for those who serve under the Commander in Chief.

Q Back on Iraq, was the President surprised by how quickly Lott came out and as strongly as he did with his initial comments, or in the briefings that had been given by the White House to Lott -- were there indications, were you all prepared?

MR. LOCKHART: I haven't talked in any detail with the President about whether he was surprised or not. Senator Lott expressed his view; it's his view, and if you need elaboration on it, I'd suggest you talk to him.

Q Joe, does the White House think it's fully legitimate for a lame duck House to be considering impeachment? Would he challenge a vote for impeachment somehow through the courts?

MR. LOCKHART: I don't have any specific information on that. I know some interesting constitutional issues were raised by Professor Ackerman at one of the hearings, but I haven't heard any discussion of that since the hearings.

Q Joe, has the President done anything today to try to buck up the spirits of the staff?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, as I told you yesterday, he spoke to his senior staff yesterday and delivered a message that it was important that we remain focused on our jobs. That's what the American public sent us here to do, that's what they expect and they won't accept any excuse for being distracted.

Q Hypothetically about the President's ability to lead in a post-impeachment scenario, does he or anybody in this White House believe that impeachment can be avoided at this point in the House, and is the focus of the staff here now completely turned to the --

MR. LOCKHART: Let me repeat again, that the President, the people here at the White House believe that, if members walk into the House of Representatives and are able to put politics aside, and do this on the facts and the Constitution, and what 900 constitutional scholars urged, and what prosecutors urged and what Republicans' own witnesses at their hearings urged, then the President won't be impeached.

Q But is there any chance of that, in your mind?

MR. LOCKHART: I think that, on a vote this important and this solemn, that, yes, there's always a chance.

Q Joe, does the White House have any information that Saddam Hussein may have been wounded or killed in the attack?

MR. LOCKHART: I have not heard any information like that.

Q Is Hussein, himself, a target of the attack?

MR. LOCKHART: I think Secretary Cohen addressed that.

Q Joe, any details on tomorrow's EU-U.S. summit? What does the administration hope to accomplish?

MR. LOCKHART: Let me take that question, because I don't have anything prepared on that.

Q Joe, any possibility of the President addressing the impeachment issue? Making a speech over the next couple of days?

MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware of the President planning to make any speeches.

Q How about Mrs. Clinton?

MR. LOCKHART: Same answer.

Q Will there be a press conference tomorrow?

MR. LOCKHART: Press conference tomorrow?

Q After the EU summit?

MR. LOCKHART: No, I don't think so. I think the EU leader and the -- I believe it's the Prime Minister of Austria is here -- they may make themselves available in some way.

Q Joe, how does the President feel about the negative reactions all over the world? For instance, in France, people call that the "Wag the Dog" syndrome. How does he feel about that?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the President is encouraged by the positive response he's gotten from governments around the world. By and large, people have been strongly supportive of the President and his actions. And I think the President also understands that we need to continue to make the case and articulate what's at stake here, what the risk is, what happens when we allow someone like Saddam Hussein to reconstitute his weapons of mass destruction and why that is such a serious threat. Because as the President told you last night, this is someone who's used these weapons -- he's used them more than once against his enemies and his own people.

Q Do you think you will succeed to get rid of Saddam Hussein?

MR. LOCKHART: Well, I think certainly the President has articulated the goal that there be new leadership in Iraq, and that if the public of Iraq had a voice in this they would certainly want a new leadership. We can look forward to that, I think, with the Iraq Liberation Act. We will be working with opposition groups to move toward that day.

But the real and clear and present danger that faces us now is Saddam Hussein and his weapons of mass destruction and his ability to reconstitute those and deliver them. And it is a real threat to people around the world. And the American government and military will take the lead in making sure that we contain that threat.

Q Joe, was there ever a determination of how Iraq might have gotten an early warning the last time, when we almost proceeded with this attack? Did the administration ever find out how Iraq came to know that?

MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware of any finding on that.

Q The Republican leadership in the House said that they will reserve their first House bill, HR 1, the President's Social Security proposal. Is there any chance the President might have that ready in January or is it going to be --

MR. LOCKHART: I think you can expect to hear from the President on Social Security between now and the beginning of Congress, and probably expect to hear from him in the State of the Union address Social Security. But our view has not changed -- we're going to do what's in the best interest of getting a long-term solution to Social Security. We're not going to play a game of who goes first on this with members of Congress. And we think we, through the Social Security Conference and the outreach we did before that, have built a strong base to move forward, working with Republicans and Democrats on the Hill, to get a long-term solution.

Q Joe, can you rule out at this point any large public effort by the President to head off impeachment in the next couple of days, no trip to Capitol Hill, no television address?

MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware of any plans to do any of that.

Q Joe, back on Social Security. When they came out of that meeting a week or so ago, Blair House, there was some talk about more sessions like that being organized. Are those being --

MR. LOCKHART: Yes, I think under the direction of Gene Sperling here, there has been ongoing work out of that conference, working with the 60 or so members who have been -- well, I think it's 48 members who are designated and then 12 White House representatives. So those discussions have continued and been ongoing. And I think the Social Security Conference set up a structure by which the members can all work together with the White House.

Q No matter what happens you expect Christmas here, the Clintons celebrate here and go on to Hilton Head?

MR. LOCKHART: Yes, right. I expect them to keep the schedule that we've announced.

Q Can you give any heads-up on what the budget meeting is going to be about today? Are they going to be finalizing anything today, or who is going to be involved?

MR. LOCKHART: I think the meeting is with his economic team to -- we are now well into the budget process with all of the various federal agencies and the complete outlook for the budget for the year. They're going to -- we've gotten to the point where there is some serious work that needs to be done on this in order to have the budget ready for early February -- yes, early February.

Q What time is that meeting with the budget?

MR. LOCKHART: At 4:00 p.m.

Q So long as the military action is ongoing in Iraq, do you expect that the President would have daily visits from his -- would he meet --

MR. LOCKHART: He certainly will be kept up-do-date throughout today and into this evening by Sandy Berger; to the extent that it's necessary he'll be in contact with General Shelton and Secretary Cohen. We'll just have to keep you up-to-date on a day-to-day basis.

Q And access here, particularly late at night and early in the morning?

MR. LOCKHART: What did we decide? I think that we decided that we will keep it open like we did last night.

Q Is he watching any of it on television, Joe?

MR. LOCKHART: You know, I can't -- I don't want to rule that out. In the couple hours I spent up there this morning he was mostly in meetings. I can't rule out that he's caught a little bit of the coverage.

Thank you.

END 3:00 P.M. EST