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 Home > News & Policies > November 2003

Excerpts from the Press Briefing by Scott McClellan, November 4, 2003 (Full Transcript)

MR. McCLELLAN: Good morning. Let me go through the President's day. He had his usual briefing earlier, en route to California. And upon arrival, the Freedom Corps greeter today will be Sue Mayberry. She is an active volunteer with the American Red Cross, she has been since 1992; and she is a team leader with the Southern San Diego County Disaster Action Team of the American Red Cross. And she has volunteered more than 100 hours in the past week assisting San Diego residents who were forced to evacuate because of the wildfires.

Following that, we will board the helicopters and the President will participate in an aerial tour of areas that have been damaged by the wildfires. The Governor and Governor elect will join him on board Marine One, as will the division chief of the California Department of Forestry, Bill Clayton, and FEMA head Mike Brown.

And then the President following that, the President will participate in a walking tour of the Harbison Canyon community that has been damaged by the wildfires.

Then the President will receive a briefing on the wildfires from area fire chiefs.

QUESTION: Is that fire division chief spelling in the schedule, the name of Bill it sounded like Playton?

MR. McCLELLAN: Sounded like what?

QUESTION: Sounded like, Bill Playton, is that name in the schedule, the fire division chief?

MR. McCLELLAN: We're going to get you a backgrounder that will have all this information in it.

Then the President will participate in a greeting and make remarks to off duty firefighters and volunteers. I expect the President will touch on the strength and the character of the people in the area in the face of great adversity and I expect he will talk about the concern they have shown for one another during this time period. And I also expect he will personally thank the firefighters, the first responders, rescue workers, emergency managers, military personnel, volunteers and other state and local and federal officials who have been involved in the response and recovery efforts.


QUESTION: Is the President going to announce any additional aid, that has not yet been announced, for California?

MR. McCLELLAN: Well, I think today he'll, one, receive a briefing on the state and local and federal response and recovery efforts. He's going to hear from the officials that are involved in those efforts firsthand. We already some of this information will be in the backgrounder, as well. We have already provided a significant amount of assistance from the federal level in the response and recovery efforts from the grant money that is going out to help individuals and families who have been affected by these wildfires, to the one stop centers that have been set up by FEMA. So there are a number of efforts already underway.

QUESTION: Do we know if federal aid has been provided?

MR. McCLELLAN: I think that that will be in your backgrounder, kind of the latest numbers, some $3 million in grants has already been provided.

QUESTION: Did I read there was more put into the supplemental yesterday for that, as well?

MR. McCLELLAN: Into the wartime supplemental? I'll check that, I don't know. I don't know about that.