Following is the text of President Carter's remarks yesterday regarding The Washington Post report on the strategic arms limitation talks (SALT).
I understand that on occasion there will be inadvertent inaccuracies in reporting of news, and this is part of our system that I don't condemn. I live with it. But this morning there was an example that I think is serious enough to warrant direct appearance before you by the president of the United States. This story in The Washington Post, "White House Imposes Freeze on Strategic Arms Talks," is totally inaccurate.
And before that story was published, the reporters were informed that the story was totally inaccurate. The editors decided to go ahead with it anyhow. It damages our country, it damages my credibility, and I think it damages the prospect for continuation of the basic policy of our government, which has not changed since I came into office; that is, to proceed aggressively with SALT discussions, to conclude a treaty as early as possible and without delay because of political considerations, and to make sure that that treaty, when concluded, is in the best interests of our country.
This matter has never been discussed, even informally among the three people in our government responsible for SALT discussions, Paul Warnke, the head of ACDA. Secretary of State Cyrus Vance, or myself. We have never even discussed it and I want to make it clear on the record that this story is inaccurate, that our policy is unchanged, and this is the statement I wanted to make to you.