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For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
April 2, 2004
Press Gaggle with Scott McClellan
Marshall Community and Technical College
Huntington, West Virginia
12:20 P.M. EST
MR. McCLELLAN: I'm ready. A couple of quick updates on the schedule. The President this morning called the President of Uzbekistan to express our condolences on the recent terrorist attacks. The President reaffirmed our commitment to continue working closely with Uzbekistan in the -- to win the war on terrorism.
And I do want to bring a couple of things to your attention. I said that I would keep you posted on discussions that we have with friends in OPEC and others around the world on the whole -- on the whole oil price issue. Last night, Prince Bandar met with Dr. Rice, and he went to the stakeout last night. And he -- if you don't have the comments, he -- these are direct quotes from Prince Bandar.
He said, "We will not allow any shortages in the market." He said, "Saudi Arabia's policy is consistent." And he went on to say that, "The President and the Crown Prince have been in touch on this subject for a while now. Both leaders feel strongly that higher energy prices have a negative impact on the world economy." So we appreciate that commitment.
The Kuwait Foreign Minister, again today, met with some State Department officials and made some similar comments. We remain actively engaged with our friends in OPEC and other producers around the world to address these issues. And I just wanted to bring that to your attention.
With that, I'll be glad to take whatever questions you have.
Q Are Uzbekistan's problems local, or are those of concern to the global fight on terror?
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, we work closely with them in the global war on terrorism, and we will continue to do so. And I think that if you can -- specific questions about recent attacks, that would probably be best addressed to Uzbekistan about who is responsible.
Q -- (inaudible) --
MR. McCLELLAN: Well, look, this President remains focused on making sure that we are doing everything we can to create as robust an environment as possible for job creation. That's what he will continue to do. Today's numbers are a powerful confirmation that our economy is growing stronger. The tax relief that we passed is working.
However, we are in a changing economy. There are a number of high-growth sectors in our economy. And as the President talked about today, we need to make sure that our workers have the skills to fill these high-paying, high-skilled jobs. And that's what the President will continue working to do. There is more that we can do to create an even more robust environment for job creation.
Q Did the President get a heads-up on the numbers last night?
MR. McCLELLAN: I think he -- I think the standard process is that he is informed through a memo right before the numbers are made public.*
Q But the White House has access on the night before. The CEA -- but you don't know --
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, there's a standard process in place where -- and everybody that's involved in that understands the importance of respecting the confidentiality of those numbers until they are released.
Q Scott, what about this issue of the Clinton documents which have been withheld from the 9/11 Commission?
MR. McCLELLAN: Yes, I'm glad you brought that up. A couple of things. One, we have been fully responsive to the commission's request, and any allegation to the contrary is simply ridiculous. The commission wanted the White House to be the facilitator in this process. It was mutually agreed to -- it was a mutually agreed to process between the White House, the Archives, and the commission. And we follow the same standard for our administration as we do for documents from the previous administration. And if the commission now wants to go back and verify that some documents are duplicative or non-responsive to their request, then we are more than happy to work with the commission so that they can do so.
Q Are you going to release additional documents?
Q Scott, that's a key question. Are you releasing additional documents?
MR. McCLELLAN: I said, we'll work with the commission to make sure that they are able to verify that those documents are non-responsive to their request, or that -- or that they're duplicative. We're more than happy to do that, if they now want to verify -- verify that. But we -- we have been fully responsive to their request. And we will continue to do so. We have worked to make sure they have all the information they need to do their job.
And I'm sorry, but we've got to go. The President's leaving.
END 12:26 P.M. EST
* the night before the numbers are made public.