News

ACCESSION NUMBER:219239
FILE ID:PO-402
DATE:03/12/92
TITLE:WHITE HOUSE REPORT, THURSDAY,MARCH 12 (03/12/92)
TEXT:*92031202.POL
WHITE HOUSE REPORT, THURSDAY,MARCH 12

(Israel/Patriots, China, retail sales/the economy)  (410)
NEWS BRIEFING -- Press Secretary Marlin Fitzwater covered the following
topics:

COMMENT WITHHELD ON PATRIOTS
Asked repeatedly about news reports that U.S. intelligence sources fear
Israel has transferred Patriot missile technology to China, Fitzwater
declined comment, but he cited an Israeli denial stating that it "did not
transfer Patriot missiles or missile technology to China" and that "these
reports have no basis."  He said "that's the only statement we have."
According to wire service reports, a spokesman for the Israeli defense
ministry branded news reports to the contrary as "lies and totally
baseless."

Asked if Washington accepts the Israeli version, he said the administration
doesn't comment on what it knows about intelligence determinations.  Asked
if the administration does not believe the Israel version, he said the
administration has no conclusions it is willing to discuss in public.

Pressed by reporters, Fitzwater said there have been "contacts and
consultations between us and the Israelis," and he acknowledged there are
administration "intelligence...conclusions."  But he reiterated that the
administration is "not willing to comment at this point."



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