Informal Exchange With Reporters

May 11, 1987

Reporter. Mr. President, have you heard any of McFarlane's testimony today?

The President. No, and I'm not going to make any comments, Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International] -- --

Q. Well, we want to be sure that you're denying that there was any solicitation that you knew of by the White House of countries or individuals.

The President. Helen, as I say, I can't get into taking questions on that. We're here on a matter of the debt ceiling. It's all important. And I have made answers to those particular questions over and over again and I still stick with them.

Q. Sir, do you think that Mr. Meese should stay on the job while an independent counsel investigates him?

The President. I've issued a statement on that matter with regard to my trust and confidence in him.

Q. How did you like the Vice President's speech on ethics and morality?

The President. I like anything he does. [Laughter]

The Vice President. Get that down, Helen. [Laughter]

Q. It's all down here. It will enhance my story. [Laughter]

Note: The exchange began at 1:35 p.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House, prior to a meeting with Republican members of the House Ways and Means Committee. In his remarks, the President referred to Robert C. McFarlane, former Assistant to the President for National Security Affairs, and Attorney General Edwin Meese III.