For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
September 11, 2001
Press Briefing to the Pool
By Ari Fleischer
Aboard Air Force One
1:47 P.M. EDT
MR. FLEISCHER: While on the
ground at Barksdal, the President spoke to the Vice President several
times ? the Vice President, of course, being at the operations center
at the White House.
He spoke with the Secretary of Defense; he
spoke to Senator Schumer; he had spoken to his wife prior to landing in
Q Do you know where
MR. FLEISCHER: She's at a
Q And his
MR. FLEISCHER: They're also at
a secure location.
Q Are they with her
MR. FLEISCHER: No, no, they're
at their respective schools.
So he spoke to several members of the
national security team, and I mentioned Senator Schumer. And
he has been receiving information ? information will continue to come
in and it'll continue to be evaluated. There will be a National
Security Council meeting later this afternoon, in which the President
will participate via teleconference.
And, needless to say, all elements of the
United States government are now doing their part, not only to help
those who have been hurt, but to collect information, to analyze it and
to provide it to the President.
Q Does the
President now know anything more about who is responsible, the
coordinated attack, and whether this is it or --
MR. FLEISCHER: That information
is still being gathered and analyzed. And I anticipate that will be an
ongoing process for a little while. Often, at a time like this,
information comes in, it turns out not to be true. The
proper procedure is to carefully, thoroughly evaluate all information
and do so in a ?
Q Had there been
any warnings that the President knew of?
MR. FLEISCHER: No warnings.
Q Does the
President ? is he concerned about the fact that this attack of this
severity happened with no warning?
MR. FLEISCHER: First things
first: his concern is with the safety of people who have
lost their ? the health and security of the American people and with
the families of those who have lost their lives. There will
come an appropriate time to do all appropriate look
backs. His focus is on events this morning.
Q Has he been given
any estimate of what the American casualties may be?
MR. FLEISCHER: I don't believe
Q Has he spoken
with Mayor Giuliani or Governor Pataki?
MR. FLEISCHER: He spoke with
Governor Pataki. He plans to speak with Mayor Giuliani.
Q Who is with him
on the plane?
MR. FLEISCHER: Chief of Staff
Card, Karl Rove, Dan Bartlett, myself, Gordon.
Q -- that's it?
MR. FLEISCHER: Yes, as I
indicated, we?ve pared everything back so
that we can ?
Q And does the
President feel hunted or in jeopardy? I mean, he is kind of
trying to stay out of ?
MR. FLEISCHER: The President is
looking forward to returning to Washington. He understands
at a time like this, caution must be taken; and he wants to get to back
Q What's he doing
MR. FLEISCHER: He's talking to
people on the phone from his cabin.
Q In his cabin?
MR. FLEISCHER: Yes.
Q Thank you for
bringing us whatever you can, in terms of information on what he's