Informal Exchange With Reporters Prior to a Meeting With Yuriy and Tanya Zieman
The President. Ladies and gentlemen of
the press, we just wanted to come out here for a few seconds and introduce our
friends to you -- newcomers to our country -- the Zieman
family and their daughter and son-in-law, who have been living in America. And
now the family is reunited. They came out of the
Q. Mr. President, if we're not negotiating with the Iranians as they claim, what do you think their motive is for saying that there are negotiations on the hostages ongoing?
The President. I've never been able to explain, Bill [Bill Plante, CBS News], the Iranians and what their strategies are and what they do. But obviously we could not do any negotiating with them unless and until the hostages are released.
Q. Mr. President, did you sign two orders, directive intelligence orders, which appeared to circumvent the assassination directive -- ban on assassinations?
The President. Helen [Helen Thomas, United Press International], I saw that, and I was quite upset by it because -- no, back in 1981, I issued a directive that the United States would not permit assassinating anyone in any of the things that we were doing. And that continues to this day.
Q. So, what was the meaning then of that language which says that good faith would not -- that nothing would be done to someone who ended up killing someone in good faith? What was the meaning of that language?
The President. I don't know what language you're talking about. I'd have to review it. But I do know that following that -- reaffirmed that our conduct would be governed by the directive [Executive Order 12333] that I had -- --
Q. Why did you rescind the directives?
The President. I didn't rescind it.
Q. -- -- '84 and '85?
The President. Still in effect.
Mr. President, has Mr. Singh given the
The President. I have heard or been told nothing that would indicate that. We desperately are hoping and continuing to try.
Note: The President
spoke at in the Rose Garden at the White House. Mithileshwar
Singh was the chairman of