Press Briefing by Mary Ellen Glynn

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William J. Clinton

Renaissance Hotel
St. Thomas, Virgin Islands

12:40 P.M. (L)

MS. GLYNN: The President left this morning on a boat called the Lady Lynsey. It’s a huge blue catamaran, 53 feet long. It’s owned and operated by the Ritz-Carlton next door. Brian Heath is the captain, and they, as you know, sailed over to an uninhabited cay called Lavongo Cay. Then they were met by a guide there and they were going to do some snorkeling. And they did a little tour by St. John as they went by. And we expect them back by — sometime in the next hour or so.

Q: They did a tour —

MS. GLYNN: Yes, they went by St. John. And that’s about all I have. The schedule is still undetermined. It looks like your pool will be on tonight. And tomorrow we’ll begin this all again.

Q: Is there a press party tonight?

MS. GLYNN: No. My understanding is that there is not a press party tonight, but it’s tomorrow night. Time and place still TBD.

Q: And the pool is going out tonight?

MS. GLYNN: I think the pool will be on for a while.

Q: What’s he going to do?

MS. GLYNN: I’ll let you know later, but I think you should plan to be on.

Q: What’s he going to do this afternoon?

MS. GLYNN: I’ll let you know as soon as he gets there. I’ll let you know for planning purposes, if you like.

Okay, nothing?

Q: Are we still waiting for the State Department briefing?

MS. GLYNN: We’re still waiting for the State Department briefing. The briefing will be by Stu Eisenstat, who is the President’s — I don’t have my paper here, but I think he’s Special Representative for Cuba, and for the last —

Q: He has a fancier title than that — a very fancy title. It’s on that paper.

MS. GLYNN: Yes, it’s on the paper. He’s been traveling around for the last six months talking to European capitals — leaders in European capitals and to Mexico and Canada. Maybe we’ve got some action. Save me.

Q: Anything more on Hebron?

MS. GLYNN: Nothing more on Hebron. It is dark, Friday night in Israel now, so we won’t have any action probably for the next 24 hours or so.

Q: — this morning or last night?

MS. GLYNN: No, you know, he’s been in close touch with the office. I know he talked to Mr. Panetta yesterday and I think he talked to a few other people, Sandy Berger, just to kind of get updates on things. But today he hasn’t had any significant phone calls. He’s just had his regular foreign policy briefing.

Q: Who is on the boat with him?

MS. GLYNN: Bruce Lindsey, Capricia Marshall, who works for the First Lady, and Chelsea and the First Lady. I think that’s it. A family vacation.

Q: Mary Ellen, I take it you don’t want to talk about this Helms-Burton —

MS. GLYNN: I don’t particularly, considering there’s somebody who has been working on this for six months.

Q: But can he give the presidential perspective on this?

MS. GLYNN: Yes. Just a little background on when this happened. You know, the President has been thinking about this for quite a while, the Helms-Burton decision for quite a while; especially, as you know, on December 16th, Prime Minister John Bruton, who is also the President of the EU as well as the Irish Prime Minister, was here for the U.S.-EU summit. And right around then the President had pretty extensive consultations with Eisenstat about his work and some of the talking that he’s done to date — the briefing has started.

END 12:45 P.M. (L)