. . . We Need to Go On'
Federal Document Clearing House
Following are excerpts of remarks by Senate Minority Leader Thomas A. Daschle (S.D.) after he and other Senate Democrats met yesterday with President Clinton at the White House:
We just had a very good meeting with the president and the vice president. He shared his feelings and apologized to us personally.
We have expressed the hope that the president will continue to demonstrate his contrition to his family, to his friends and to the American people. And he's indicated a desire to do that.
We've also urged him to cooperate, to cooperate with the ongoing procedure now underway in the Congress. And in that regard, we expressed our strong desire to be as certain as we can be that the process will be a fair one.
The president's story needs to be heard, and we need to get the facts. And so in addition to cooperation on the president's part we need fairness on the part of Congress.
We also expressed the need to bring this to a closure, to allow this country to heal, to allow us to continue to work on the nation's business.
This country needs the president to devote his energies and his leadership to international and domestic problems that need our attention now and in the months ahead.
And so I believe that it was a good meeting, a very constructive meeting, a candid meeting. . . .
We didn't talk about any of the options or any of the scenarios [such as impeachment or resignation]. We talked about the issues at hand, the circumstances at hand and what should we do about it. . . .
I think the American people appreciate the fact that the president has shown his contrition very sincerely, in a very direct way in recent days. And I think they also appreciate the fact that we have an array of challenges and problems that need his and our attention. And they expect him and we to work on it. . . .
I think it's fair to say we all accept his apology, and we need to go on from here. . . .
This is not getting off on the right start, in my view, if the person who is most directly affected and can provide us with his own account of these circumstances is denied the right to do so [before the independent counsel's report is released to the public]. . . .
He was asked [if there are any surprises in the report] . . . and his answer was that no, there were no surprises.
[Asked, "Is the president going to survive?" Daschle replied:] I believe he will.
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