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Special Event

President and Mrs. Clinton Hold Impromptu News Conference Outside New Home in Chappaqua, New York

Aired January 6, 2000 - 11:18 a.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

DARYN KAGAN, CNN ANCHOR: And we are live now in Chappaqua, New York, listening to President and Mrs. Clinton talk about their first night in their new home.

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON, FIRST LADY: ... that aren't done yet but are going to have to be tended to.

QUESTION: So you're going back to Washington today (inaudible) that?

RODHAM CLINTON: Yes. I'm going back today and we'll be packing up more things and moving more things in the next couple of weeks, so that it'll be a process. You know, we're not going to be totally moved in and everything in place for a while. But it's a lot of fun for us to be able to do this again for the first time in such a long time.

Because we of course worked very hard in the White House and spent an enormous amount of time and effort trying to keep the White House in good shape and do some additional work that needed to be done there, but it's different when you're doing it in your own home.

QUESTION: Have you thought any more about a schedule for how often you'll both be here?

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) days ago said that both of you, the Clintons, he said, have been egregious violators of soft money, both in how it's collected and how it's distributed. Your reaction?

RODHAM CLINTON: We're going to talk about our house this morning, which we are very happy about being in and being New Yorkers, and we'll leave that to another time.

QUESTION: Mr. President, are you going to Lazard Freres?

WILLIAM J. CLINTON, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No. No, I keep reading all these things. I've not given very much thought to this. I'm going to work very hard on finishing my library and center, and I'm going to devote all my attention being president. I've got a lot -- a big agenda this year.

We're going back now, and I have to go back to Shepherdstown this afternoon. But I've had no discussions with anybody about that kind of move. And I was amazed to see that in the paper. No one's even suggested that.

QUESTION: Mr. President, last night the vice president debates said the Hill asked military commanders about their feelings on gays serving in the military before appointing people to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. Is this litmus test the way it should work?

CLINTON: Well, I think the real problem is -- let me go back to what happened, because as you know my view was, and I will restate my view, the Uniform Code of Military Justice prohibits homosexual contacts. So my view was if someone was willing to take the pledge to observe the Uniform Code of Military Justice, they shouldn't have to lie about being gay and being in the military.

Then let me remind you what happened. The Congress voted by a veto-proof majority against that position. So that's how we got to "don't ask, don't tell." My focus has been on trying to make the policy work the way the military commanders said it would work back in 1993, which it has not been doing. No one disputes that.

To Secretary Cohen's credit, back in August he announced some new guidelines which have now been implemented for training and for implementation, which I think will significantly improve the present situation over the next few months.

Now, the vice president and Senator Bradley say they want to go back to the position that I advocated in '92 and '93. In order to do that, the Congress will have to change the law, I believe. I don't think that the military and the president have the authority to do it. Now you could go back and look at the constitutional arguments...

KAGAN: We've been listening to comments from President and Mrs. Clinton. This turned into a kind of an impromptu news conference, making their comments from outside their new house in Chappaqua, New York.

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