CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL
White House Press Briefing
Aired November 26, 2002 - 12:44 ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
MARTIN SAVIDGE, CNN ANCHOR: Ari Fleischer at the White House now, with a press conference going on. The sticky issue we've already talked about. Saudi Arabia and possible money to terrorists.
ARI FLEISCHER, WHITE HOUSE PRESS SECY.: ... trying to hide their money in places where western banks are not able to use the sophisticated resources of Western technology to find money trails.
And so, the money and the individuals hide deeper. No matter where they hide, no matter how hard they try to hide, this government will work with other governments to bring them to justice. And that's something the president has made repeatedly clear. And so, as the fight goes along, the efforts go along with it.
QUESTION: So you're saying the Saudi government could do more? There seems to be a level of frustration at a lower level that you are not expressing when there is at least a discussion about an ultimatum, about trying to get the Saudis to crack down on the wealthy individuals who do contribute money to these...
FLEISCHER: What is the name of the individual who said something about an ultimatum?
QUESTION: I said an individual.
FLEISCHER: What was his name? Who speaking for the administration said it?
My point is that whether or not there is one anonymous quote from somebody who didn't even put their name behind it or not, the point is that this president is working around the globe in concert with our allies -- and Saudi Arabia is an ally in the war on terrorism -- to push every nation around the globe to do more.
We as the United States continue to push to do more in the war on terrorism. It's a long war. And as we adopt one tactic, we have wily enemies who change their tactics to get around the new tactics that we employ. So yes, we will continue to push nations around the world to do more. We will continue to push America to do more.
But the president thinks that Saudi Arabia has been a good partner in the war on terrorism. And they are a good partner who can do more.
QUESTION: They can do more, in other words?
FLEISCHER: Every nation around the world can do more. That includes Saudi Arabia. That includes Saudi Arabia.
QUESTION: What is the theory behind making the Millennium Challenge Corporation separate than the Agency for International Development? And part two, how does that fit into smaller government, which is part of the president's agenda?
FLEISCHER: Well, on March 14th, if you remember, the president called for a new compact for global development that focused on accountability for both rich and poor nations alike.
The president wanted to have a focus on aid that would reward countries and provide greater contributions as incentives to countries that follow transparency, rule of law, vigorously fought corruption so that aid programs would not poor money into nations where the money didn't go to the people who needed it and went instead to rulers of those countries.
QUESTION: But why separate than the agency for International Development or the State Department?
FLEISCHER: Because this is intended to accelerate development in those countries that receive international assistance and to encourage best practices, as I indicated, ending government corruption and increasing transparency. It's not a substitute for other development assistance. Our levels of aid have not changed.
But we believe this is a way of enhancing the existing institutions to provide development assistance on a formula around the world to create greater incentives for nations around the world to combat corruption and to have transparency.
SAVIDGE: Listening to Ari Fleischer there at the White House briefing. Today, they were talking heavily about the Saudi Arabia money trail.
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