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 You are in: Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice > Former Secretaries of State > Former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell > Speeches and Remarks > 2004 > March

Remarks After Interview on Face the Nation

Secretary Colin L. Powell
Washington, DC
March 28, 2004

(10:55 a.m. EST)

QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POWELL: Good morning. How are you?

QUESTION: You said today on CBS that Condoleezza Rice is getting a little bit of a bum rap. Do you think she should have testified publicly in front of the commission? What are your thoughts, comments on this?

SECRETARY POWELL: There is a precedents problem here, and I think I described it on the program just now. Condi would like to testify. She has testified in private for four hours. She's willing to do a lot more. But for a presidential advisor, her position, to provide sworn testimony before a congressionally mandated group is inconsistent with the precedent and the practice with respect to presidential advisors.

And I've been in that position. I've been National Security Advisor. I had that job many years ago, and I didn't testify and wouldn't testify. So I think it's a problem with precedents, and I respect that the President has an obligation to protect the Office of the Presidency, and that's what I think he's doing.

QUESTION: Good morning, Mr. Secretary.

SECRETARY POWELL: Good morning.

QUESTION: Several news reports in Arab press have indicated the Arab summit in Tunis was canceled due to U.S. pressure. Is that true or not?

SECRETARY POWELL: No, we had nothing to do with it. I was hoping the summit would be able to go ahead. I understand it's been postponed, and I'm sure I'll be in touch with Arab foreign ministers in the course of the next day or so to get their assessment of the situation.

Thank you.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. Secretary.
2004/337


Released on March 29, 2004

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