Informal Exchange With Reporters on South Africa

July 18, 1986

Q. Are you going to change your policy on South Africa and impose sanctions?

The President. I am very much opposed to punitive sanctions.

Q. Do you think the women of America are afraid to give up their diamonds?

The President. No, but I think what you all ought to worry about is the violation of the journalistic rules that led to that story. Because that story, according to the transcript which I've read, is a complete distortion of the truth.

Q. What's the truth?

The President. It didn't happen that way.

Q. What's the truth?

The President. You can have a copy of the transcript. We'll be happy to give it to you.

Q. Well, what about that economic argument?

Note: The exchange began at 1:12 p.m. in the Rose Garden at the White House.