Excerpts from the Press Gaggle by Ari Fleischer, February 4, 2003 (Full Transcript)
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 resolution?
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 right.
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.