Excerpts from the Press Gaggle by Ari Fleischer, February 4, 2003
Q How confident is the President that after Powell's speech he'll get a second resolution?
MR. FLEISCHER: I'm sorry?
Q How confident is the President that after Powell's speech, he'll get a second resolution out of the U.N.?
MR. FLEISCHER: We'll see. First of all, we'll see whether there will be a second resolution or not. But I think that the American people are going to be very interested in Secretary Powell's remarks tomorrow. I wouldn't be surprised if it was broadcast by the networks, although I have no reason -- I have not talked to them about it. It wouldn't be my place to talk to them about it. They make these judgements independently.
But I think the American people are going to have a very keen
interest in what Secretary Powell will have to say. And the American
people had a very keen interest in what the President said in his State
of the Union about the threat from Saddam Hussein and his possession of
weapons that he swore he didn't have, when we know he does.
Q Ari, what comes after that, Powell's address. What are
we expected to see in the couple -- next couple weeks from the
President regarding Iraq?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, I think really, we will see. The one event
that the world still waits for is Saddam Hussein's next move. Saddam
Hussein's next move should have been the move he made months ago, which
was to do what South Africa, other nations have done, and disarm, once
and for all, cooperate once and for all, to comply once and for all.
He has not done any of the three. He has not disarmed, he has not
cooperated, he has not complied.
Q Did President Bush and President Putin discuss any new
MR. FLEISCHER: They consulted. And I'm not going to get into any
more of the specifics of the call beyond that.
Q How long was it?
MR. FLEISCHER: Fifteen minutes, including translation.
Q There's a lot of talk about weeks, not months. Not to be
technical, but anything over eight weeks is months, right, so it's got
to be less than that. And there's reports out that it's six weeks. So
it's got to be somewhere in that timeframe, right?
MR. FLEISCHER: Well, the President indeed said, weeks, not
months. And I've been trying to caution the press to not make any
judgements about exactly how many weeks that could be, because I've
seen a lot of guess work in the media. I've seen a report that said
seven to eight weeks, then I saw a report that said three weeks. Now I
see a report that says six weeks. So I guess by process of
elimination, if every week is covered, one of them may turn out to be
But there's no basis that I have seen that would allow anybody to
make any type of authoritative statement with more precision than the
President has given. The President gave a rather tight timetable. But
he didn't define with specificity how exactly tight that timetable is.