April 27, 2004

US Troops to Remain in Iraq through Armageddon

From the 4/26 Press Briefing

Q Scott, last week there were some reports at the end of the week about sovereignty in Iraq not being full sovereignty. Is that true, or -- what gradations are there of sovereignty that --

MR. McCLELLAN: Look, at the end of June the coalition will be transferring sovereignty to the Iraqi people. Obviously, in terms of security, there is still a need for coalition forces to work with Iraqis to improve the security situation. And they will continue to -- the coalition forces will remain in Iraq for some time after the transfer of sovereignty. But this is -- at the end of June, the Coalition Provisional Authority will cease to exist, and sovereignty will be transferred to an interim, representative body. That is what Mr. Brahimi has been working to address. He will be coming back in May with some more specifics to that interim body, and they will serve in that interim period before elections are held, under the schedule laid out in the transitional administrative law.

Q So that's full sovereignty transferred, though.

MR. McCLELLAN: I would describe it as, sovereignty will be transferred to the Iraqi people. In terms of security, coalition forces will continue to -- they will remain in Iraq to continue to provide for the security alongside of Iraqi security forces. The Iraqi people want coalition forces to remain until they realize a free and peaceful future. And we will -- we will remain in Iraq to help with the security situation.


On whether or not FOX NEWS is the President's personal mouthpiece:

Q. I don't know if you saw, before we got on the plane, John Kerry was on Good Morning America answering to some charges as to some --

MR. McCLELLAN: One of your all's network.

Q. -- there you go...

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