For Immediate Release May 10,
THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY
MIKE MCCURRY AND JIM STEINBERG
Grand Barbados Hotel
5:30 P.M. (L)
MR. MCCURRY: The President is in very many ways
with the success of this trip, and now delighted that it's given him an
opportunity for a day of relaxation. He asked me to report that -- I
him if he had any plans to go out, and he said his only travel plans are
the back door to the pool. And that applies, as near as I can tell, to
tonight and tomorrow and through tomorrow night.
So we're going to ask again to see if we can't give you
of a full lid for all day tomorrow, and then you can make arrangements
Mary Ellen and David if you want to just get a little update on anything
we hear from where the President is.
Q So you wouldn't need a pool to hang out then?
MR. MCCURRY: Well, I've asked -- I explained to the
we need about -- given everyone, staff and press and everybody, is
over so many hotels, that we would need time to assemble a group if he
to go anywhere. And he seemed to understand that. But he indicated to
didn't have any plans to go anywhere.
Q What's the Monday outlook, Mike?
MR. MCCURRY: I have no idea at this point. Just no idea
don't even want to speculate.
Q Might they stay --
MR. MCCURRY: Don't want to speculate, Peter, I don't know.
As a general proposition, from Mexico City to Barbados,
President has done a great deal on this trip to reengage with the nations
this hemisphere to follow through on the commitments made at the Summit
Americas and really to set the stage for just under a year of work,
ahead to Santiago and the Summit of the Americas next year.
We think whether the issue is migration, whether it's
drug trafficking, whether it is advancing the economic interests of the
of the United States and the people of this hemisphere, this trip has
about America setting an agenda that looks ahead to the 21st century and
finding ways to grow the economies of this region in a way that benefit
those, so that none get left behind.
And in that respect the President, from his meetings
with the Mexican government, the Binational Commission meetings
to the summit in Costa Rica to the summit here today, is
convinced that this trip has done a great deal to advance our
interests in this hemisphere and to really keep us focused and
engaged on the importance we attach to this hemisphere and
relations in this hemisphere.
So he's delighted with the trip and happy with the
outcome of a lot of the discussions today, which were very
profound. To tell you more about that now, we've got Jim
Steinberg, the Deputy National Security Advisor to the President,
who can tell you more about the summit, if you want to; can
report to you a little bit about the working lunch, which was a
very good discussion that ran overtime.
And then Ambassador Jim Dobbins, who is the Senior
Director for Inter-American Affairs at the National Security
Council is here. He can tell you more about the just concluded
bilateral with President Preval. Meanwhile, we'll try to get a
little bit on the President's bilateral meeting with Prime
Minister Arthur, which is probably concluding right about now.
My colleagues, my friends.
MR. STEINBERG: Thank you, sir.
The meeting today I think was a continuation of a
series of themes that have gone through the entire trip, which is
the President talking about the opportunities that change brings
to this region, but also helping the countries of this region
understand the dangers of change and how the United States is
prepared to work with them, both to take advantage of the
opportunities and deal with the dangers.
The focus of the first session was on the economic
issues. I think what was interesting about the discussion is
that most of these countries accept the fact that as part of the
Summit of the Americas process, that we are moving towards a free
trade area of the Americas by 2005, but there are unique problems
that the smaller economies face in this region. And they talked
a lot about how to deal with those problems of adjustment -- not
in terms of trying to exempt themselves in the long run, but
rather dealing with the transitional problems that they need both
in terms of dealing with specific sectors of their economies,
like bananas, and also in terms of the kind of adjustment they
need -- for example, how do they participate in these
negotiations for the free trade area of 2005 and how that United
States -- the President talked about how we can provide technical
assistance, how we can help them work through these problems to
be part of the process.
The second part of the discussions focused on the
security issues broadly understood, particularly the problems of
crime and drugs and the partnership that we're building here. As
you heard the President say, we've now completed maritime
cooperation agreements with virtually all the countries in the
region, important agreements with Jamaica and Barbados. There
are a number of efforts that are underway both bilaterally and
regionally to try to deal with these problems, which is a growing
concern here. And the President made clear that he understood
from our perspective that there is a relationship between the two
halves of the discussion, that is to the extent that there is
economic opportunity and prosperity here that it's a stronger
base from which to deal with the problems of crime and drugs.
I think it was clear from all of the discussion that
the President's presence here was something that almost every one
of the speakers noted as important to them, as a sense of a real
understanding of the nature of their problems. It was a very
detailed discussion. In many cases, countries had particular
concerns, particular issues that were of concern to them and they
were all discussed.
At the lunch, discussion was quite eclectic. The
group heard President Preval talk about the situation in Haiti
and expressed his thanks to the members of CARICOM and the United
States for their support. He invited them to join for the 250th
anniversary of Port-au-Prince next year, in 1998. And he also
indicated that Haiti would be applying for membership in CARICOM,
which is something I think we've all felt would be a positive
step. And I believe it would be welcome by the members of
There was a discussion of a particular economic
concern that the Dominican Republic and several others had with a
provision of the tax code, section 936, which was recently
eliminated by Congress. They discussed the problem of the
volcanic activity on Montserrat, which was particularly of
concern to the government of Montserrat. And they discussed
environmental issues. And they did have a discussion of Cuba as
you heard foreshadowed at the press conference where they both
agreed on the overall perspective of trying to enhance democracy
and have a discussion about how that best should be done.
Let me now turn it -- unless you have questions in
this, maybe I'll turn it over to brother Dobbins who can talk
about the President's meeting with Preval.
Q Just a -- at the lunch, did the President bring
up the Fletcher case with Sir James at all?
MR. STEINBERG: The President did have an
opportunity to discuss the Fletcher case with the Prime Minister
and indicated his concern and his hope that at the highest levels
there would be an effort to make sure that full due process was
given to the case.
Q Did he give him a satisfying answer?
MR. STEINBERG: I think the President felt that he
was heard, and he's certainly hopeful that that will be the case.
Q How did the President leave it on Cuba? Did you
just agree to disagree or --
MR. STEINBERG: I think that there's obviously a
variety of viewpoints on the question of how to proceed with
Cuba. I think again that everybody agrees that they would like
to support democracy. But as has generally been the case in
discussions in the hemisphere, there are different viewpoints
about how best to do that and what the best strategy is. There's
no attempt to reach any conclusion. There certainly were quite
widely different viewpoints on that.
Q Back on Fletcher, did the President -- was the
President specific about what he meant by he wants full due
MR. STEINBERG: The President had a private
conversation with the Prime Minister on that topic, and they
discussed -- the President raised his concerns.
Q He didn't say anything else?
MR. STEINBERG: I'm not going to say --
Q -- what he meant by full due process?
MR. STEINBERG: I think that's a fair
characterization of what the President said.
Q Did he speak about the conditions under which
the Fletchers are being kept?
MR. STEINBERG: I'm just not going to -- the
President, as I said, had a chance to -- it has certainly been
raised by others, and as I say, the President raised his concerns
about the issue.
Q Raised by others in the administration?
MR. STEINBERG: Yes, at all levels.
Q At all levels, including the highest level?
MR. STEINBERG: I'm saying that the issue of the
Fletcher case has been raised at all levels, and in more detail
it has been raised by the State Department, by the Assistant
Secretary of State for Inter-American Affairs and others.
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: The President greeted Preval,
expressed his admiration and support for the efforts Preval is
making to move forward with his economic reforms, noted that they
had something in common -- both of them had had major
achievements on the budget in the last week or so. The President
had concluded his negotiations in principle, and Preval had
actually secured passage by the Parliament of his budget. And
the President said that he could appreciate based on his own
experience what a significant achievement this was for Preval.
The President expressed the hope that the Haitian
government would be able to move forward with the planned
privatizations that they have announced and that there would be
one or two specific decisions in this regard over the next
several months. He also expressed the hope that the U.S. and
Haiti would be able to conclude a maritime agreement of the sort
that we've concluded with other countries of the region sometime
in the near future.
The President also briefed Preval on several
additional steps which we and others in the international
community are taking to assist Haiti. He indicated that the U.S.
Corps of Engineers had completed a survey of Port-au-Prince
Harbor, based upon which we had discussed with the World Bank and
secured World Bank agreement to dredge Port-au-Prince Harbor,
which would make a significant contribution both to safety and to
the commercial use of that harbor.
He indicated that the U.S. Coast Guard would
organize and lead interagency teams to do surveys of Haiti's
other harbors with a view to both safety and improved commercial
use of those harbors, and that, in addition, that the Coast Guard
was going to survey two additional possible Haitian Coast Guard
bases. There's one small facility in Port-au-Prince and they
will do surveys on the possibility of two others.
We've been assisting the Haitian Coast Guard; they
and we have worked together and there have been a couple of
significant drug seizures as a result, and we want to sustain
The President also told Preval that as a result of
our budget negotiations, we had been able to identify $10 million
in PL-480 agriculture assistance for Haiti that would be
available this year, this fiscal year, and that the revenues
which would be generated by this assistance would be available
for rural credits in Haiti, something that's very close to
Preval, for his part, talked at some length about
his discussions with the World Bank and other international
lenders on some projects that he's personally involved in that
have to do with land reclamation and watershed -- preservation of
watersheds, and he's quite excited about these and talked at some
length to the President about them.
Q Was there any discussion about U.S. troops,
when they might come home, or maybe extending their --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: There was discussion about the
international presence. As you may know, President Preval has
requested an international presence through the end of November
of this year. The President said that we were consulting with
other countries with a view to seeing what the international
communities response to that might be.
Q So it went no further than that? The President
didn't make any commitments?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: No. Regarding international
presence, no. He said we were in discussion with other
countries; we're not in a position to make commitments on that.
Q When does the current mandate end?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: It ends on July 30th.
Q So there's not a lot of time to begin to
discussions if you're seeking an extension of the mandate, is
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: It's been extended about five
times. I'm not saying it will be extended on this occasion, but
the extensions have occurred previously and this is not an
unusual time to be discussing with other countries whether to
extend and on what basis. Each time it's been extended, it's
also been reduced very significantly. So the issue before the
international community is whether to further reduce and extend,
or to leave on July 30th.
Q And what is the President's position on it?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: We're sympathetic to Preval's
request, we're consulting with other countries.
Q Which ones?
Q How many U.S. troops are there now?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: There are approximately 450
troops. They're not part of this international presence. They
don't have a security role. They're mostly engineers, medical
personnel doing civic action type projects -- training and
Q How much international assistance is being
upheld right now, and was there any discussion of when or if it
would be release?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I think that there's a good
deal of international assistance which has been pending based on
specific steps by the government of Haiti in regard to its
economic reforms. The biggest hurdle was passage of the budget,
which has just been passed. I can't give you exact amounts, it's
in the tens of millions of dollars. The IMF, the World Bank will
examine the exact bill the budget passed and all the signs --
either they will find it adequate and release further funding.
Q Does Haiti's unwillingness to service its
domestic debt pose a problem to the release of --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I think that one of the issues
-- it's not that they're unwilling to service it. There was
something in the budget that set a limit on debt servicing and,
in effect, allowed some small increase, or some increase in their
And that's one of the issues that the IMF, the World
Bank will have to look at to see whether it meets the conditions
that they set. The preliminary soundings that I have heard --
and I don't know that they're conclusive -- are that this is not
going to prove a problem. But that was not a definitive judgment
by those institutions.
Q Does the administration think the Haitian
government is anywhere close to being able to cope once the
international security presence leaves? As you know, the
argument is that as soon as the international forces leave, the
guns that's been hidden away are going to come back out in the
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: Well, there's a couple of parts
to that question, I guess. The Haitians obviously have been
getting a lot closer to this since we've gone from an
international force of 22,000 troops to one that's 1,300 troops
at the moment. And those troops have, I think, with one
exception, which was in error, not been engaged at any time in
the last five months.
So, clearly, the Haitian police forces are taking
hold. For instance, they conducted elections which were almost
entirely peaceful and the security for which was almost entirely
provided by the Haitian National Police with very little in the
way of international assistance. So the answer is they certainly
are becoming more and more ready and at some point will be ready.
On the issue of whether there are huge stockpiles of
guns that have been hidden away, personally, my view is that
there aren't and never were huge stockpiles of guns. There are
undoubtedly guns in Haiti, as there are on every other island in
the Caribbean, and I doubt that they're more numerous. In fact,
I suspect that they're less numerous than they are most
Q Just to be clear about the conversation about
peacekeeping, did the President indicate that the U.S. was
sympathetic to the idea of extending the peacekeeping mission or
did he just take a pass and say we're consulting with other
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: He said he was consulting with
other nations in a way which would have led to the assumption
that we thought that Preval's request was a reasonable one and
that we wanted to talk to others as to how it could be
Q How many -- how big is the international force
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: It's 1,300 at the moment.
Q What's the breakdown roughly on that?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I think it's 700 Canadians and
Q And how many -- you said about 350 Americans?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: 450, which are not part of that
Q We heard some fairly candid comments at the press
conference. Could you give us a sense of whether the private
discussions were even more candid? And secondly, it's sort of
unusual for a President to meet with leaders of such small
nations. Could you give us an example of one or two of the
rather small issues that came up?
MR. STEINBERG: I think what you heard at the press
conference pretty much reflected the discussion. There was a
real sense that everybody felt that what they wanted was some
attention on the part of the United States to their issues and
concerns. The fact that the President was there -- I think it
was very striking to them that the President of the United States
was there, was listening. And the President made a point on each
of the issues, like 936 and the like, to respond on specifics.
They had a lot of discussion about the scholarship
program, for example. One of the leaders brought up the fact
that during the Reagan administration a scholarship program had
been started, the so-called Reagan Scholarships. They had been
ended and the President was now preparing to reinstitute them.
And they really had a back-and-forth. They had a
lot -- they had a discussion on aviation safety. They had a
discussion on problems with structures of phone rates. And each
of these countries have very specific problems that they're
trying to deal with. And the President engaged with them on each
and every one of those issues. And I think that that was very
much sort of what they wanted to hear.
They understood, whether it was the larger ones like
bananas, or the smaller ones, not in every case were we able to
give them fully the answer they wanted, but the President was
listening, was attentive and the fact that there is this
continued engagement, including the annual meetings that
Secretary Albright is intending to have with her counterpart
foreign ministers, I think was a real sign that they were not
going to be left behind or ignored in this process.
And it's something we've obviously heard throughout
this trip -- a concern that to make sure that this region, which
is so important to us, is not somehow neglected. And I think the
President feels, and we all feel, that that was a very
significant accomplishment of the trip.
Q Ambassador Dobbins, could you just tell us a
little bit more about what's anticipated in trying to develop a
consensus for extending this mission? Is it consultations with
Security Council partners? Is there anything more than that?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I think it's fairly standard.
I mean, it's discussions with possible troop contributors --
there's two there now -- and it's discussions with the Security
Council. And this is something which in the way the Security
Council does business is just beginning. I mean, these decisions
are made by the Security Council usually at the conclusion of a
mandate. And so it will continue for a month or two.
Q And the extensions in November is what's being
contemplated. Just logistically, does it make sense to extend it
four months at a time or would you be looking for a six month --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: The average extension is six
months, but Preval asked for it through November and that's what
people are talking about.
Q Could you give us a little more information on
the $10 million in agricultural aid? Where is it coming from?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: It's PL-480, there's two types
of PL-480. This is the type where you bring the agricultural
assistance in, it's sold for certain purposes and then that
generates local currency revenue, which is in turn used for other
aid projects. And one of the main possible uses is agricultural
credits to assist small farmers, capitalize them.
Q How long did they meet?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I guess 20, 25 minutes.
MR. MCCURRY: A little bit longer, it was almost an
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: Was it? Half an hour.
Q Why is Haiti not a member of CARICOM now and
what will it take for it to join?
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: Haiti has historically been
rather isolated. And it's beginning, as a result of the
installation of democracy and also the way democracy was
restored, with the participation of many nations -- including, in
particular, all of the CARICOM nations -- to become part of a
broader communities of which CARICOM is one.
My understanding is that it has been invited and
expressed an intention of becoming a member of CARICOM and that
it currently has an observer status. And I honestly don't know
what the specific criteria are that it would need to meet to
become a full member.
Q One more time on the peace keeping force. Is
it the U.S. view that if the force is extended until November
that should be the last extension, or can this go on and on like
Cyprus and other places --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: Well, it's certainly not going
to go on and on like Cyprus. I mean, the force has been
dramatically drawn down virtually every time it's been extended.
So there's no sense that this is a permanent requirement. The
question has just been tapering it off and at what stage.
Q -- mandate -- from the U.N. mandate? Is there
any possibility of being --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: It's hard to speculate. I
mean, nothing is impossible, but I think the first inclination
would be to go through the U.N. and there's no particular reason
not to if that works.
Q Why was the President so reluctant to endorse
and to support Preval's idea for extending mandate as a U.N.
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I didn't say he was.
Q Well, I mean, he did not endorse it. It's
difficult to think that he would -- that Preval would attain
extension without U.S. support.
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: I'm not -- there wasn't a sense
of Preval asking for something and not getting it. These have
been ongoing consultations. What the President said to Preval
was not new. Preval has made this request. He's talked to the
Canadians. He's talked to the U.N. He's talked to us. We told
him that we were anticipating an ongoing consultations.
So we weren't giving Preval any new information on
this. We were simply confirming that the President of United
States was aware that there was ongoing consultations. And the
President of Haiti acknowledged that and acknowledged that he did
have this request.
Q The question still holds, which is, why wouldn't
the President embrace this idea of lend some more public support
for Preval's campaign for --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: Preval's not campaigning for
this. He's made a request. He made it nearly a year ago. He's
said that he stands by that request. He thinks it would be
useful for the international presence to stay until that period.
And we've said, we are consulting with other countries on his
MR. STEINBERG: Let me just answer this. I think
part of the problem may be we're not being clear enough is that
the problem is not the concept of having an extension of the
mandate. The problem is you've got to get the specifics.
And so, what we're talking about is -- there's no
problem at all with the concept of extending the mandate. But
you need to have the support of the Security Council and the
troop contributing forces. So what the President is basically
saying is, yes, I'm trying to work this problem. And that's what
we're discussing here. I don't think -- there was no sense at
all of a divergence on this issue. But until we have a concept
lined up, the troop contributing countries, and have an idea of
what it is, the proposition is still being worked.
Q Do you mean to say that he supports the concept
of extension, they're just simply working out the details?
MR. STEINBERG: I think that -- I mean, the problem
is a lot of the support comes from making sure that we have the
right kinds of people there to do it. And so, I think that he is
-- I think the right way to put it is the President is very
sympathetic to the request, and now he's working with Preval to
get the kind of response that Preval wants and the international
community. So, I would say, very sympathetic to the request,
wants to work with him and with the Security Council and
potential troop contributors to figure out how that would come to
MR. MCCURRY: I'm surprised you're more interested
in this than the movie you've been watching here. (Laughter.)
Q Mike, not to beat a dead horse, but you say he's
MR. MCCURRY: That's what -- you got what you're
going to get on that, I think. (Laughter.)
Okay, any other subjects?
MR. MCCURRY: Immigration.
Q The President said that he wasn't seeking changes
in the immigration law, which seemed a rather -- I don't know if
it's running counter to what Doris Meissner said the day before
yesterday or if they're talking about different things.
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: Let me try to answer that. I
think the distinction is between what the Caribbean countries
were asking and what the Central American countries were asking.
The Central American countries were particularly concerned about
this issue with the cap on the suspension of deportation, which I
think Doris Meissner went in at some length with you on. And
that does -- that would require some changes in the legislation,
and the administration has for the last several weeks been in
consultations with the Congress about that.
The Caribbean were more concerned about this issue
of notification when people who are in our criminal justice
system are returned. And we have established -- we are
establishing and have committed to establish a system of prior
notification. And that does not require legislation that's
MR. MCCURRY: All right, any other subjects?
Q Can you tell us anything about Sir Anthony and
MR. MCCURRY: I don't know much about them. I know
that they are obviously -- it's a fine, long-standing prominent
British family, and they are, I understand -- have a number of
vacation homes around the world. We asked our embassy here to
identify a place where the Clintons could have some privacy for
the balance of the weekend and while they were here for the
meetings. And the embassy worked with a local realtor,
identified this property and Sir and Lady Bamford graciously
Q They don't know the Clintons?
MR. MCCURRY: Not to my knowledge, no. They are
fairly prominent, and they've -- you can find out a lot about the
Bamfords if you want to go do a Lexis search. But they -- to my
knowledge, the President -- the Clintons had no connection to
them, and the embassy worked it out for us.
Q I'm going to go back to the immigration question.
What he said, according to the transcript, is that we pledge not
to engage in any mass deportations. That is not required under
our law, nor was it contemplated. So he's talking about the mass
deportations, not about the criminal aliens who are deported.
MR. MCCURRY: The President's view, as he stated it
in Costa Rica even several days ago, is that mass deportations,
particularly as they affect the Central American populations that
are of concern to those leaders we saw in Costa Rica was
not foreseen by the law, nothing in the legislative history and
the law that suggests that, and we don't believe it is necessary
to fulfill the requirements of the law.
Q Does that mean then that you are going to cease
your efforts, the efforts the administration is making to soften
MR. MCCURRY: That question was explored in great
detail with Commissioner Meissner and I don't have anything to
add to that.
Q But it sounds like it's changing.
MR. MCCURRY: There's no change from -- this is just
as we briefed, just as the President said and just as she
briefed. We've been over that question a number of times.
Q The President and the Commissioner both said
that she was seeking consultations with Congress --
MR. MCCURRY: No change from what we've said. And I
think that if you go back over that transcript, the President
said in Costa Rica there would be no mass deportations. In fact,
I think he said it in Mexico, too.
Q He did, but that's not what I'm talking -- he
also said there were consultations with Congress.
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: There are several different
issues here. The issue of mass deportation is trying to relieve
a concern that somehow we are going to reorient the use of INS
resources away, for instance, from processing people who come
into our criminal justice system or catching people at the border
as they come in, to other types of enforcement which might end up
in large-scale roundups and expelling of large numbers of people
in a manner different than the process. That wasn't what was
contemplated in the law.
What's contemplated in the law is doing more of what
you're doing better, and not reorienting resources in different
directions. And levels of deportations are largely a function of
resources. So the note "mass deportations" is not designed to
suggest we're going to change the law or change the way the law
was intended to be enforced. It's designed to relieve those
kinds of anxieties which are not based on a realistic
appreciation of what are likely to be the deportation rates based
on the application of INS resources, based on the size of INS
budget and based on the priorities that the INS has established,
which the President outlined today. That's one issue.
A second issue is the cap, the limit on suspensions.
The people from Central America who went to the United States
during a period of civil war were allowed to stay in the United
States, but were not allowed to become permanent residents and
thus were not allowed to become ultimately citizens -- who are
now in this status where they've been there a long time, but
unlike other people who have been there a long time they haven't
been able to become naturalized or become eligible for
And the President was talking about that and the cap
on suspensions. That's not an issue here in the Caribbean and it
wasn't addressed in today's discussions with the Caribbean
Q Well, let me ask you one more time very simply
and it's the last time I'll try. Does this mean that the
administration will cease its efforts to try and soften the law
as it deals with the cap or --
AMBASSADOR DOBBINS: No, I just said -- I thought I
just said that what the President said in Central America related
to the cap was that we were in consultations with the Congress to
see whether there could be some way of ameliorating the effect of
that 4,000 cap on suspensions. Those consultations with Congress
have begun and the President has confirmed that he intends to
Q Do you know how long the U.S. forces are going
to stay in Haiti? Is there any --
MR. MCCURRY: Well, that will await the outcome of
some of the consultations that are underway.
Q But they're not there as part of the U.N.
MR. MCCURRY: But their presence there is,
obviously, synchronized with the U.N. mission.
Q Were you going to give us a readout on the
other bilat that took place this afternoon?
MR. MCCURRY: Did you get anything on Arthur? It's
not over yet? Just finishing now? Okay. We'll get a couple of
sentences on it. Maybe David could just post two sentences on
it. They intended to talk about -- review the outcome of the
meeting. There were one or two particular issues relating to
airline issues and telecommunications issues that are of specific
concern here that might have come up. But other than that, I
think it was pretty straightforward. The President wanted to
thank him again for the splendid hospitality of the Barbadians as
he was here.
Anything else? Last thing.
Q Is Chelsea staying in Washington or flying in to
spend Mother's Day with her mom?
MR. MCCURRY: I believe she's staying at home.
Anything else? We'll see you all on Tuesday. There
will be no briefing on Monday because I assume you'll still be
down here. One thing you should know is that -- some people have
asked Mary Ellen -- I think the President's Counsel will file a
writ for cert in the 8th Circuit on Monday. We had already
indicated that to a number of people and it's been, I think,
reported in some of the stories already. But that will go in on
Monday. And we will release that brief on Monday. So, somehow
or other, we'll get it done here if any of you down here need to
And I also expect -- some people have been asking
about the Starr comments today and I think that Lanny Davis was
taking some questions on that. So, just so you know that if you
need anything more on that, you can talk to him.
Q Are you not going to brief tomorrow?
MR. MCCURRY: I'm not here tomorrow, and I don't
--Mary Ellen's plans and David's plans are to be determined, but
I don't imagine they plan to do much tomorrow.
Q I'm sorry, this writ is Monday --
MR. MCCURRY: We had already indicated in Chuck
Ruff's statement at the time the 8th Circuit opinion was released
-- well, when we successfully sought the unsealing of the
proceedings, we indicated that we would appeal the 8th Circuit
decision to the Supreme Court. And they're going to file that
writ for certiori on Monday.
Q Formally file it?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes. It was formally filed and we
will put the pleading out publicly, presumably, since it's a
Q The President has indicated that he was going
to start using a cane Monday.
MR. MCCURRY: The President on the way back will
talk to his doctors about how he will next course of his
rehabilitation. There are some different options and the doctors
really want to talk through the different options with him,
explain what the different risks are, the different things they
might do and let the President decide. I think the President
expressed what his hope is, but the doctors will talk to him and
let him make an informed decision. They were going to talk to
him, I think try to take the opportunity to talk to him on the
way back on Monday.
Q Mike, are you talking about options for his
therapy, cane versus crutches?
MR. MCCURRY: Yes, that kind -- there are different
types of -- different ways that you can structure therapy at this
point that have different levels of risk for reinjury or for
giving the leg more time to heal, and they just want to talk to
him about what the different options are and let him decide how
he wants to proceed. But I think he's already pretty well stated
what his preference is. But I think the docs want to give him a
reasonable basis of information to make that decision.
Q Thank you.
MR. MCCURRY: All right. See you Tuesday, then.
We'll brief on Tuesday.
President Clinton's Tour of Mexico, Costa Rica,