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Excerpts from the Press Gaggle by Ari Fleischer, November 5, 2002 (Full transcript)

QUESTION: And so far, has he been heartened or disheartened by the process at the U.N.?

MR. FLEISCHER: The President will make his final judgement after a vote is cast. This has been a slow process, but an important one. The President committed to this process. One of the ironies of this entire debate is the phony charge against President Bush that he would engage in unilateralism. What President Bush has done is demonstrated strength and determination, which has given multilaterialsm a chance. Unilateralism was the way of the '90s, because the multilateral organization known as the Security Council was slumbering, and the unilateralist was Saddam Hussein. Thanks to the President's strength and leadership by going up to New York and saying, this is your chance, the United Nations, to be relevant, the President changed the equation of what it means to be unilateral and what it means to be multilateral.

QUESTION: A couple of quick ones. The Washington Post report about Iraq, U.S. officials saying that they believe Iraq has some small pox stored and may have given it to al Qaeda.

MR. FLEISCHER: We don't know about Iraq. We do not think it's likely that al Qaeda has small pox. But this general issue of small pox does remain a concern that has been focused on and continues to be the focus of the President, along with the Centers for Disease Control and the Department of Health and Human Services, as well as others in homeland security.

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