THE WHITE HOUSE
Office of the Press Secretary
PRESS BRIEFING BY JOE LOCKHART The James S. Brady Briefing Room
2:23 P.M. EDT
MR. LOCKHART: Let me start with a couple of things here. First off, on behalf of the White House Press Office and the President, we want to send along our congratulations to one of our most favorite alumnus, Mary Ellen Glynn, who is being married today to Dwight Holton.
Secondly, let me give you a quick readout of the President's meeting with the Attorney General. I think as some of you saw, she came over here this morning. They spoke for about 45 minutes. In the meeting, the Attorney General gave the President a sense about where they are as far as looking at this. I think they both agreed that the most important thing going on right now is the debriefing process and trying to find out just what happened with the computer tapes. That is the priority, and that's what they're spending significant energy and effort on. For his part, the President agreed that that was the priority, and expressed strong support for the Attorney General.
As far as getting to some of the questions that were raised, I think the Attorney General said that it's her priority to get out as much information to the public as possible. There is some information that's currently classified that they're working hard now on to declassify so they can get it out to the public, and she also said that she's asked the Office of Professional Responsibility to do a thorough review, as is their practice, when a prosecution -- questions have been raised by a prosecution like this one by a judge or others. Again, they both agreed that the most important thing we can do is to try to get to the bottom of this, and that process continues, as far as looking at the tapes.
Secondly, let me read you the statement that we issued some time ago, having to do with the President and the First Lady's guests: Since July 1999, the Clintons have hosted 404 family members, friends and supporters, public officials and others, to stay at their home and Camp David. This list excludes White House staff members, their families, and Camp David guests during the 2000 Middle East peace negotiations.
Attached is a list of those guests who stayed at the White House and at Camp David from July 1, 1999, when the First Lady began her listening tour as a prelude to her candidacy for the Senate, through August 31, 2000. The Clintons will continue to invite guests to visit them at the White House and at Camp David during the President's remaining months in office.
That's what I have as far as announcements. I'll be glad to take your questions.
Q Joe, why were there no dates listed as to when these various people visited the White House and Camp David?
MR. LOCKHART: For two reasons. One, to provide accurate dates and cross-check all the different places we had to go to get this list together would have probably taken another week or so, and I wanted to get this out. Secondly, I think that we have fallen into too easy of a habit in this town of just asserting charges, without checking them out, and I think by putting something like that out without giving some incentive to go check and talk to the people, there would be a number of people around this town who would just say, well, if they gave a contribution within six months of their stay here, there must be something wrong with that. This way, I think you can go and you can talk to the people and do some reporting.
Let me say, for the record, that -- and I just want to for the record and to note my displeasure with how this has all come about -- this list was released after a non-journalist gossip monger on the Internet started this a week ago without any facts. And I stand here today, having the same type of people breaking the agreement that we all made this morning on how we would release this, and having others in this room put it out before the agreed-upon hour. It says something about the way we do business. There's not much we can do about it, and we'll just continue to try to release as much information as we can to show that the campaign of innuendo here is without any basis.
Q The reason, the question about the date, Joe, was because there is some question of whether or not maybe the Clintons weren't there. Were they there when all these guests either stayed here or there?
MR. LOCKHART: Let me address that, which is, the Clintons, the President and the First Lady have a policy that house guests, except for some family members, do not stay in the Residence while they're not there -- one or the two of them there.
Now, there is a possibility that there may be a couple of names on this list where people were coming down -- and the President's schedule changes quickly -- certainly, around the time of Camp David there were many nights he was supposed to be here, he went out. I have not cross-matched the list, but they have a policy that they do not invite guests to come and stay with them when they know they're not going to be here. It is another one of those things that was just asserted over the last week without facts, repeated on the air and in certain publications without any basis in fact.
Q But, Joe, going back through the FEC records back there -- and, granted, you can't necessarily guarantee the name on this list is the same as the name on the FEC list --
MR. LOCKHART: Right.
Q -- but there are a lot of people on this list who have given money to the Gore campaign, the Hillary Clinton campaign and a number of other Democratic campaigns. Should the American public be a little cynical that perhaps there is some sort of perk being given to contributors?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the American public should understand something that makes common sense, which often alludes some people who sit in this room -- who do you expect you would go to if you were running for office other than your friends? Do you think that you would go and try to -- people who don't support you, people who don't like you? It is a basic common-sense issue that your friends and people you would have come stay at your home would also, in some instances, support your effort financially. But any suggestion that there is anything more to that or there is any connection between that is absolutely false and cannot be supported by any facts. It can only be repeated through innuendo.
And I've already seen the political figures who have stood up and made their statements. It probably says a lot -- has a lot to say about trying to hide from real issues when Republicans stand up and make these statements, but they have a right to do it.
Q Is the President making a decision today on the strategic oil reserve?
MR. LOCKHART: When and if the President makes a decision on that, we'll let you know.
Q On the Reno visit, she said this morning that she thought that when the President heard all the facts that he would understand and maybe have a different view. I was wondering if there was any change in his view towards the case at all.
MR. LOCKHART: I think, as the President made clear, he had questions on a narrow part of this, as far as the pre-detention. I think that's one of the things the Office of Professional Responsibility will look to. I think the President looks forward to, there's people on the Hill who look forward to, and the American public should look forward to an accounting there and I think that will be done.
Q So he still has -- I mean, we can still say he has concerns?
MR. LOCKHART: The purpose of the meeting was to talk about how they would go about looking at some of these questions, not trying to fully answer the questions.
Q Was the review precipitated solely by the judge's comments, or was there a formal complaint issued by the Lee family or representative?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not aware of a formal complaint. It's my understanding that the Justice Department, upon receiving the kind of comments the judge issued in his ruling, would take a look like this through the Office of Professional Responsibility. But it's also clear that there have been a number of questions raised here.
Q Has the President already met with his economic team about the SPR, or is he doing that this afternoon?
MR. LOCKHART: There are a series of conversations going on. There are probably -- the President has some time later on this afternoon, I don't know exactly what the schedule will be. But what I can tell you, when and if there is a decision on this, it will be announced in a public way.
Q Joe, the designation of friends and supporters -- what does that encompass? Does that encompass the First Lady's campaign, the President's library, the Vice President? What's under that umbrella?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not sure I understand the question, but let me take a broader stab at talking what the categories mean. Arkansas friends are self-evident -- people who they know, who come from Arkansas, who they have known from there. Long-time friends are -- and, again, these are the general categories we used when we did this in 1997 -- are people they have known and been friends with that pre-date the President becoming President, the First Lady first lady and their moving to Washington.
The friends and supporters as a combination, some of which they met during that campaign or that they have met during their time as President and First Lady. Officials and dignitaries I think is self-evident, based on their positions. And, obviously, the last -- arts and letters in sports, which is kind of a catch-all -- there's various people who are either prominent journalists, prominent actors and others in the arts, a couple sports figures, and then some family and friends that are -- family members which we are not releasing, or friends of Chelsea.
Q Who made the decision? Like a Spielberg -- he would certainly be under supporter, he is certainly under arts. Did the First Lady decide, or the President?
MR. LOCKHART: I think many of these people we just put in the same categories as last time because they were on the last list. They are friends, longtime friends who have come, and when in Washington stayed with the President and the First Lady.
Q Have many of these people stayed more than once, stayed overnight more than once?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm certain some of them have.
Q Supporters does not include Vice President Gore? Strictly supporters of the Clintons?
MR. LOCKHART: Yes. This is a process that, overall, does not include the Vice President. The decisions on who the President and the First Lady invite to the White House as their guests are exclusively the President and the First Lady's.
Q Did you say, on friends and supporters, that some of them they haven't met?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I didn't say that. I said that the friends and supporters are people who they've met since they came to Washington, some of them probably in the campaign, in '92 in the campaign as they traveled around the country. But they're not people they have known over the entire span of their Arkansas days as governor.
Q Can you clarify the sequence of events? I thought you said that this whole thing started with a report on an Internet web site. My understanding was The New York Times had asked you folks for this information prior to that. Is that wrong? I'm just asking.
MR. LOCKHART: No, The New York Times called and asked one question. What prompted what we've gone through the last week was a number of journalists who believe that it was right to follow the direction and lead of Matt Drudge.
Q The Times had not requested a release of the overnight guests prior to that?
MR. LOCKHART: They had not formally made a request to me to release the list. They'd asked a question of whether there was any connection between people coming to stay at the White House and the fundraising operation. The answer was negative, but that didn't stop what we've gone through over the last week.
Q Joe, the transcript that you asked me to look at had no reference to the anti-Boy Scout bill.
MR. LOCKHART: It must have been Thursday.
Q That's right, it was. Right. And you said, "I think the President believes that no one should discriminate, but as a legal matter, the Supreme Court ruled that they have a right to." Remember that?
MR. LOCKHART: If it was in my transcript, I must have said it.
Q This means that the President, who as I understand it is still the national honorary chairman of the Boy Scouts, believes it is a wrongfully discriminatory for the Scouts to refuse admission to girls, doesn't it? And I have a follow-up.
MR. LOCKHART: I'm sorry. Even I couldn't follow that -- (laughter) --
Q No, there have been girls that have filed suit to get into the Boy Scouts.
MR. LOCKHART: I am well practiced at following nonsensical questions, but I couldn't follow that one.
Q Girls have sued. And I have one other question. Does the President believe the Scouts should appoint Scoutmasters, regardless of sexual orientation?
MR. LOCKHART: I've never had a discussion with the President about Scoutmaster policy.
Q Well, could you ask this? Does he believe, for instance, sadomasochist Scoutmasters, who don't spread AIDS like sodomist Scoutmasters -- could you just take the question, Joe?
MR. LOCKHART: Alex, do you have anything on Zimbabwe? (Laughter.)
Q No, but I could move to OPEC really quickly. OPEC officials today indicated, I think, that they don't have a real problem with tapping SPR, but they do warn that Iraq can easily offset any taping. They also say that any price adjustment caused by tapping would be short-lived. Do you agree with that analysis or are these legitimate points?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not going to try to get into any analysis that's being done by others on a policy we have neither decided, nor announced. That's why they have consulting firms, so that you guys can call them up and ask them if they do this, what do you think of that, or if they do that. But that's not what I'm going to do today.
Q Joe, Governor Bush has raised the question why we don't use our influence with our OPEC member friends to have them increase the supply. Why is that?
MR. LOCKHART: I think Governor Bush has been not following this very closely over the last several months if he made that comment. We have worked closely with OPEC. There have been a series of production hikes; OPEC has said publicly they want to get the price down, closer to the historical range. And that's a dialogue that continues.
I'd suggest if Governor Bush wants to enter this debate there is a constructive way he can do it. He can work more closely with members of the Republican-controlled Congress on our efforts to reduce our dependence on foreign oil. When it comes to energy conservation, for every dollar we have requested Congress has returned us a dime. So when everyone goes and spends time worrying about our problems with foreign oil and supply issues, we have a lot of things we can do -- there are things we can do in the short-term that are being considered, but there is a comprehensive plan for dealing with long-term energy issues that the Republican-controlled Congress has blocked over the last several years.
Those who say there is no energy plan are wrong. There is a plan. But there has been a commitment to block it -- I think fueled by their desire to protect special interests, but I'll let them decide why instead of a dollar we all got a dime.
Q Joe, regarding OPEC and the summit next weekend in Venezuela, does the administration have any hope that something good will come out of that in terms of increasing production, or do you think that's a decision that will be delayed until the November meeting of OPEC?
MR. LOCKHART: I can't preview the meeting, only to say that our dialogue has been ongoing with OPEC and oil-producing countries, and that will continue, both before and after that meeting.
Q Joe, can you give us a breakdown of Camp David and the Lincoln Bedroom guests?
MR. LOCKHART: No, they both are considered the residence of the First Family, and so I think that they should be considered as one.
Q How can you know if people stayed, but not know what date they stayed -- I mean, how do you know for certain that somebody stayed and not know what date they stayed on?
MR. LOCKHART: Because some people stay for several days, some people -- this information is not in any one central location. We certainly know that some people have stayed, and those who compiled the list I think went to great lengths to make sure this is accurate, but they indicated to go and try to provide a chronology of exactly when it would have taken additional time.
Q And if I could follow up on that, Joe -- did you suggest that not releasing that information about the dates people stayed would result in the public getting more information about what went on?
MR. LOCKHART: I think it's going to -- it could result and I hope it results in better reporting. Rather than looking at two dates and asserting a fact, if it means you have to pick up the phone and call people and ask them -- and put the question to them and find out the circumstances of why they took the opportunity to stay here and why they may be a supporter of the First Lady, I think the public will have a better picture, and certainly a better picture than they have right now.
Q Joe, does the President agree or disagree with what was reported on page 1, that the city of Denver has decided to exclude Christopher Columbus? Does he agree with this or not?
MR. LOCKHART: Page 1 where?
Q Page 1 of one of Washington's daily newspapers that scoops the other one regularly.
MR. LOCKHART: The one I don't read. Next? (Laughter.)
Q Is there any indication of how much time President Clinton and Mrs. Clinton spent with your staff in compiling this list?
MR. LOCKHART: Not very much, I don't think. I think it was done through a combination of the various places in the Residence. But I think they did have a chance to take a look at it to make sure -- I mean, there's certainly -- some names got on the list that shouldn't have been there because maybe they were invited, but didn't show up, and they knew that -- they would take the chance to make sure that it was accurate. So I know they looked, but I don't think they spent that much time on it themselves.
Q Joe, does the White House know for a fact that there's no one on the list who stayed when the First Lady and the President -- when they were not here and their schedule had not changed?
MR. LOCKHART: There is a policy that the First Lady and the President have of not inviting people to stay as their guests when they're not here. There are some very close family friends that have come through and have stayed, and it may be that they were here for one day and they stayed an extra day or two, but I don't think they fit the category that you would find suspicious. But I leave open the possibility that someone was coming, the President left for Camp David or someplace else. But as a policy -- and I have no example, and will not be able to provide an example because there is not one -- of someone who was invited to come stay here when the President and the First Lady believed they were not going to be here.
Q The President has made a great deal lately about how much he has to do with this Congress and how he's going to make every minute count in the last few months of his term. How is it that he finds the time to do seven fundraisers in three days over the weekend?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, let me put it to you this way. The President works seven days a week, Congress works three days a week. I'll take those odds any time. (Laughter.)
Q When the President and the First Lady have guests here, whether it's one, two or three days, what typically happens? When the President and the First Lady are here, do they typically have to have breakfast, lunch or dinner with the person? I mean, what happens when the stay?
MR. LOCKHART: I think it varies as much as any of you who have house guests in your house. Sometimes their schedules work so that they're able to have dinner together. Sometimes their schedules work where they're able to have breakfast together. But any household where both people work, as I think many of you will know, sometimes they get to do one without the other. Sometimes all they get to do is to visit late in the evening, when whatever event one or the two have gone to they come back from.
So I think it varies, but the bottom line point is -- and this is why I think the American public has less problem understanding this than some of you do -- it is their home, and they have guests just like we all have guests. It just happens to be here at the White House because they're the President and the First Lady.
Q Is the President considering, as he weighs this decision on the oil reserve, the virtual certainty that a decision to use the reserve would be viewed as a pre-election ploy? Is that a factor as he decides whether or not to go this way?
MR. LOCKHART: I think we find that almost every decision we make around here is over-analyzed and the process is covered with overwrought passion. (Laughter.) We tend to try to stick to the basics of the pros and cons on policy decisions and let the politics take care of themselves.
Q Yes, but how many decisions do you ever make around here that aren't political? Come on. (Laughter.)
MR. LOCKHART: I'll think of one. (Laughter.)
Q Joe, is there any one person on the White House staff that is --
MR. LOCKHART: Lester, why don't you come every day -- will you only have one question per briefing, or are you going to just store them up?
Q I come twice a week, with three. (Laughter.) Is there any one person on the White House staff that is assigned to handle the President's sex suits, like Kathleen Willey's? And I have a follow-up.
MR. LOCKHART: The Justice Department handles cases filed against the government, whether they have merit or not. The only regret I have is that --
Q But not the President --
MR. LOCKHART: -- doesn't have the same legal counsel.
Q Is there a person on the White House staff named Marsha Scott, and what is her specific position?
MR. LOCKHART: Marsha works in intergovernmental? It's in the book; check it out.
Q Joe, earlier today I asked you about this -- does the government have any reaction to the news the German government has decided to tap their petroleum reserve by 700,000 barrels?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I actually checked into that, since you asked me. We don't have any independent confirmation of that. We understand there are some things in the works about providing income assistance for the high price of fuel in Germany. It may very well be the case they've done it, but that has not been communicated to us.
Q What's the President's reaction to the Vice President's proposals over the last couple days to tap -- that he says it's a good idea to tap into the oil reserves and he's giving more specific details today?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the President believes it's appropriate for the Vice President, as the presidential candidate, to go out and say what he would do. But we are in a process where we are trying to make decisions. There are number of -- I would say that all of the things that the Vice President has talked about advocating are on the menu of things that we're looking at. We just haven't reached a final conclusion of what items we will choose to move forward on.
Q Has the Vice President specifically asked the President to do what he's recommending?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the Vice President's people, I think as you know, are an important part of our economic team here, have been, whether it's been over the last year in this election or previously. They've made clear where the Vice President is. I don't know that they've talked directly at this, but I don't think there is anyone here who has any doubt about where the Vice President is, and it's an important opinion.
Q Joe, on Wen Ho Lee, did the Attorney General say anything in the meeting today to allay the President's concerns about the pretrial detention?
MR. LOCKHART: I think she gave an overall sense of the case. But I think that rather than trying to make a judgment at this point, we should wait until the exercise that they will commence through the Office of Professional Responsibility is complete before we make any judgments.
Q Just a follow-up. The President is as concerned now as he was --
MR. LOCKHART: I think what I said is that we will wait until the process is complete. We're not going to provide an inning-by-inning analysis of where we are. We have taken an important first step here, but when the process is over, we'll make a judgment.
Q Who was in on that meeting, Joe?
MR. LOCKHART: I know on our side John Podesta and Beth Nolan. I don't know who the Attorney General brought with her.
Q How long do you expect that process to take?
MR. LOCKHART: I would go to Justice for the details on how these things work.
Q Russia in the past, and now France today, have sent flights to Iraq in violation of U.N. sanctions. What, if anything, is the U.S. going to do about it, seeing as the sanctions seem to be falling --
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not sure that I would reach that conclusion on Russia. That was a humanitarian flight in the context of the oil for food program that we received notice on. On the French flight, we did not receive notice on, and we have already taken our strong objections to the U.N. Security Council about the flight. And as early as Monday, this may be discussed within the Sanctions Committee.
Q Was the review of the Lee case something that the President asked the Attorney General to do, or was she doing it before she got here?
MR. LOCKHART: I think the Attorney General made clear that in a case like this, with a judgment like this from the judge, that there would be a review.
Q Did he ask her without her --
MR. LOCKHART: I think as the President said, he looked forward to talking to her about what they would do. When she came over here, she fully briefed him on what they would do, including this review.
Q Joe, yesterday in Maryland, following the Vice President's remarks, Chris Lehane said that tapping the reserve is warranted now because, in his words, "we're on the cusp of a crisis, given the spike in oil prices, the 10-year high." Does the administration agree that it is that dire at this point?
MR. LOCKHART: I think that what we need to look at here is not necessarily the price, because that just reflective of supply. What we plan to do, whatever policy options we choose will be done in light of looking at precautionary steps that can be taken in case supply -- there are supply disruptions or supply problems later in the winter. Some of these things you can't predict, depending on what kind of winter we have, and other issues, but I think we believe that the time is right to look at these things now, before we get any further into the winter, to see what precautionary steps should be prudently taken here.
Q Joe, can you tell me -- I know you can't, you did not break it down by Camp David and the White House -- but just on a quick review, is there a sense of how many stayed in Camp David? A small amount?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't know.
Q Why did it take longer for the White House to release the list then even you guys anticipated? Because last week you were saying maybe two days or three days. Is there a reason that it took longer?
MR. LOCKHART: Because there's information from a number of different sources. We wanted to make sure that it was checked, checked twice, and we didn't have to, two hours later, come up with a new name that would provide the smoking gun on this terrible scandal.
Q Joe, how close is the White House following the Serbian elections this weekend?
MR. LOCKHART: I think we're following them quite closely. I think there are indications that the opposition party has strong support, and its certainly our hope that the Serbian people get a fair election, because they will not rejoin mainstream Europe until the kind of government and policies pursued by Milosevic are gone.
Q Has the President gotten any information about potential fraud in that election, or does he have any reaction to Milosevic's comment that he would stay in power regardless of what the results are?
MR. LOCKHART: I know we believe that fraud, the possibility of fraud is quite high, and that Milosevic will do anything to hold on to power, which is one of the reasons why we're watching this so closely.
Q Joe, did the Vice President's mother-in-law get any medication through the White House medical office?
MR. LOCKHART: You should ask the Vice President's office that. I don't know.
Q Joe, you just released the guest list starting in July 1999. The Washington Post and the paper you don't read reported that she began traveling up there a lot earlier, and her campaign web site was created way far before this.
MR. LOCKHART: We had to pick a date, and the listening tour began I think July 6th through July 7th, so July 1st seemed like an obvious day.
Q Joe, would the White House prefer that the Vice President waited until after the President made his decision on whether or not to tap the Strategic Petroleum Reserve before making his announcement to keep politics out of the decision, or the appearance of it?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I think the White House understands fully that we're in the middle of an election season. Both candidates will come forward on their schedules to tell the American public about what they would do if they were President. We have a clear difference here on this issue. I only take exception with Governor Bush on the concept that we somehow have no energy policy.
Again, I think he's having the conversation with the wrong person; he should talk to the House and Senate leadership. But that being said, they need to do things based on their campaigns. We're following a policy process based on what we think is in the best interest of the country, like we do on a number of different issues, and we'll make our decisions when we think action is warranted.
Q Is there anything wrong with politics entering into this, I mean, if the people of New York or New England feel like they need assistance with heating oil prices, and the White House wants to respond to that?
MR. LOCKHART: I'm not expressing a judgment one way or the other, except acknowledging that we are in a political season and saying that we're going to make our decisions based on what we think are the best policies.
Q Are we any closer to deciding whether the President will actually go out and do some campaigning for Gore, get out the vote stuff, beyond fundraising?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't have anything -- I haven't, to tell you the truth, looked at the October schedule for obvious reasons. You might ask someone who, frankly, cares a little more later. (Laughter.) It's Friday, isn't it? This is one week too early. So I don't know. I know there's some ongoing dialogue not only between the Vice President's campaign and the White House, but the senatorial committee, the congressional committee; obviously, the President and the First Lady talk on a regular basis about her campaign, and we've actually been up there a few times. I expect we will have a schedule that reflects what we think is most helpful and most productive. What that will be, though, I think is something we can't really determine for a couple of weeks.
Q Do you expect him to pick up the pace with campaigning for his wife?
MR. LOCKHART: I think he'll continue at the pace he's at as far as trying to help raise funds for that campaign, and he believes it's effective and she believes it's effective and the campaign believes it's effective, sure. But I think those judgments, again, are some time away.
I think the President, as someone who understands politics well, understands that there's a real limit to what someone else can do for someone else's candidacy. Even if it is, his partner as the Vice President, or his wife as the First Lady in New York, and the burden is on the candidate to actually articulate what they want to do for the voters. There are things you can do at the margins. I think he's willing to do that once a judgment is reached on what would be the most effective.
Q A follow-up about the relationship between the President and Mr. Gore. Gore's aides think that he began to rise in the polls after he made his declaration that, "I stand before you as my own man." Is the President concerned or wary at all about invading his space?
MR. LOCKHART: My guess on that is that if the polls and the pundits think that that is the case, that the President would agree that, as we said for many months, that the convention was the chance to do that. And more to your question, we don't spend a whole lot of time debating those issues here, because I think most of them are false choices. But we will look at what's most effective. And it's something that you will be able to watch as we do it, and report on it well.
Q What's the President going to talk about on his radio broadcast?
MR. LOCKHART: The President is going to talk about what we can do to make sure -- actually, he's going to deal with the issue of gun sales on the Internet -- is that right? I was thinking about something else. (Laughter.) Next week's radio address. (Laughter.)
Q Joe, another question on the guests. Have any guests been transported to the White House on an Air Force jet, and is the government reimbursed for that?
MR. LOCKHART: Well, I don't know specifically the answer to the question because I didn't look at that. But anyone who travels, there are a couple different ways you can travel. If you are a guest of the President and he's on official business, you travel as the President's guest. But if it's a political trip, you have to reimburse whatever -- if it's the First Lady's campaign they have to pay for the person.
So if he wants to -- when we travel, if we travel to Cincinnati, Ohio, to give a health care speech and it was official and he wanted to take a family member, there's obviously no additional cost to put that person on the plane, but they would not be charged. If we were traveling to Cincinnati to do a fundraiser for the DCCC, then the DCCC would be charged a pre-determined rate for any and all guests, as well as most of the staff people.
Q Is there any way to find out how many of these guests have traveled on Air Force One to get here?
MR. LOCKHART: (Makes a motion as if dialing a telephone.) (Laughter.)
Q Do you think people will be receptive to those calls?
Q Did the White House give the people on this list a heads-up? Did the Legal Counsel's Office call?
MR. LOCKHART: No, I'm not aware that there was any systematic effort to warn people that they may be getting calls. I don't to rule out that there wasn't a discrepancy between two sets of records and there wasn't a call to someone to say, did you stay on this date or didn't you. Because I think that was one of the reasons that it took some time to get this together -- because some people were working off of one list of invites, there's another list of who actually was there, and it was getting it all together to make sure we didn't subject anybody who hasn't stayed here to a bunch of phone calls and that we didn't miss anybody who had stayed here.
Q Where will you be working when you leave us, Joe?
MR. LOCKHART: Where will you be, Lester? (Laughter.)
Q I'll be watching you, Joe. (Laughter.) Hey, just human interest.
MR. LOCKHART: I don't know.
Q You don't know?
MR. LOCKHART: I don't have a job, so --
Q There's a large number of offers, I gather.
MR. LOCKHART: I don't have a job, but I hope, as not to be a drag on the unemployment numbers, to find something soon so you all don't have a new excuse to say the economy isn't great.
Q Joe, on the list, you don't believe there's any scandal here; would you encourage the people on this list to talk to the media?
MR. LOCKHART: I think that's a personal decision, but I think that they should have nothing to fear. (Laughter.)
Q Joe, the people who contributed are not just the friends and supporters; presumably, there are other people on the list, including arts and letters and sports, who gave money, right?
MR. LOCKHART: Oh, sure, yes. I mean, I think that there are very few people that I could rule out from looking at this as not having made a contribution. I think there's a prime minister or two. They did not, I can guarantee you, contribute. But --
Q -- didn't contribute either. Neither did Kaplan.
MR. LOCKHART: Yes, that's okay. TV people are cheap. (Laughter.) But again, it goes to what I think is the underlying issue here is that there is not a connection. I think there is a natural -- if I was a public official who had to run for office and raise funds and invited 100 people to my house that were my friends and people who had worked with me, it would be awfully strange if none of them, over the years, had given me money in support of the effort. It is certainly something peculiar to the business of politics. People who own a hardware store don't raise money that way, but I think it would be peculiar if an owner of a hardware store invited people to his house and none of them had ever shopped there.
So I think we need to apply some common sense to this rather than the way we normally do, even though that last sentence completely lacked any common sense. (Laughter.)
Can I do the week ahead?
Q Joe, one last -- does the President invite Republicans to his house?
MR. LOCKHART: Yes. I think you will find on the list there are some Republicans. I can think of one right off -- two, actually, right off, and there you go.
Q Who would that be?
MR. LOCKHART: I think if you follow New York politics, you'll find that Mr. Bretton has indicated recently an affiliation with the Republican Party.
Q How is it that Governor Ryan wound up on the list? He's in a lot of trouble at home, and he's a Republican to boot.
MR. LOCKHART: Because the President invites a wide variety of people. I think he likes Governor Ryan and wanted him to offer the opportunity to stay here at the White House with them.
Q Did Ryan give any money?
Q Do you really know why he invited Ryan?
MR. LOCKHART: Didn't my answer indicate that I didn't? (Laughter.)
Okay, let me do the week ahead, because I'm so close to being in trouble.
Q Can you say with any kind of definition that there won't be an oil announcement today?
MR. LOCKHART: I think my statement covers all potential possibilities, as when we have something to say, we'll say it.
Week ahead. The President's weekly radio address will be broadcast at 10:06 a.m. Eastern time. The President will depart for his trip to California and New Mexico.
President Clinton on Sunday will be in California; on Monday, returns to Washington, D.C. Tuesday, the President has no public schedule. Wednesday, the President will travel to Dallas and Houston. Thursday, the President will host the Dutch Prime Minister for an official working visit. Kok -- Wim, with a W. Do you want to know what they're going to talk about? Didn't think so. Friday, the President will make remarks at a DNC lunch at the Mayflower, and then do his radio address on Saturday.
Q Dallas and Houston are fundraisers?
MR. LOCKHART: Yes.
END 3:02 P.M. EDT