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Clinton phones Gore, declines comment on Supreme Court ruling

BELFAST, Northern Ireland (CNN) -- President Clinton placed a call to Vice President Al Gore from Northern Ireland on Wednesday, but declined public comment on the Supreme Court's decision to essentially halt manual recounts of undervotes in Florida.

Clinton telephoned the vice president at 10:20 a.m. EST from a private reception area at the Odyssey Arena in Belfast, where he was due to speak on the Northern Ireland peace process. White House aides refused to characterize the substance of the five-minute call, describing it only as a "private conversation."

The White House said Clinton will offer no public comment on the matter until after Gore addresses the nation, which is expected 9 p.m. EST Wednesday evening.

"I haven't had a chance to read all the opinions," Clinton told reporters during a photo opportunity with British Prime Minister Tony Blair and Northern Ireland political leaders David Trimble and Seamus Mallon.

"I may want to make a statement later, but I'd really like a chance to read all the opinions," he added.

White House Deputy Chief of Staff Steve Richetti informed Clinton of the court's ruling at 8:30 a.m. local time (3:30 a.m. EST). White House officials said the president offered no immediate reaction.


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Wednesday, December 13, 2000

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