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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

Rumsfeld Press Conference at Capitol Hill

Aired April 9, 2003 - 15:47   ET

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

(JOINED IN PROGRESS)
QUESTION: ... U.S. to do about that?

DONALD RUMSFELD, DEFENSE SECRETARY: That's a hypothetical question that we'll address if and when that point arrives.

QUESTION: Do you believe members of Saddam (OFF-MIKE) area?

RUMSFELD: Sure.

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE)

RUMSFELD: No, but we know that we see scraps of intelligence indicating that people are flowing into that country across the border and some family members possibly, and some are staying there and some are transiting and going to other countries.

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, can you respond -- the Iraqi ambassador just said...

(CROSSTALK)

RUMSFELD: You're going to have to speak up.

QUESTION: How do you think confirmation of Saddam's death would affect the course or duration of the war?

RUMSFELD: Well, I guess time will tell.

QUESTION: The Iraqi ambassador said in an interview that the game is now over and that he hopes peace will prevail. Can you react to this?

RUMSFELD: Who was this?

QUESTION: This is the Iraqi ambassador, Aldouri.

RUMSFELD: To what? The Iraqi ambassador to what?

QUESTION: To the U.N.

QUESTION: He said the game is now over.

RUMSFELD: Well, I would say it wasn't a game, first. And I would also say that it was over when President Bush announced that the Saddam Hussein's regime had refused to accept their last opportunity to cooperate with the U.N. resolutions. And it was only a matter of time after that.

Now we had a good day today. However, it is not over. There is going to be a lot of difficult work left. Dangerous work. And there will be additional fights. Let there be no doubt about it.

And while it's wonderful to see the faces of the Iraqi people being liberated and to feel the joy they have to feel to be free of that vicious regime. Nonetheless, the task that the terrific young men and women on the ground there are performing isn't over, and they are going to continue to be in danger until the entire mission is completed, which it is not. And we have to...

QUESTION: Mr. Secretary, may I ask you a question?

RUMSFELD: I'm sorry, not. And we've got to go to the House and speak to those folks.

Thank you.

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