- WASHINGTON - President Bill Clinton is more likely to be hit by a meteor
than to resign, U.S. Vice President Al Gore said in a CNN interview released
- Gore, speaking on CNN's "Both Sides
with Jesse Jackson" program that will air on Sunday, said anyone who
thinks Clinton will resign following his impeachment by the U.S. House
of Representatives on Saturday does not understand the man.
- "He will definitely not resign,"
the vice president said according to a transcript provided by CNN. "He
is more likely to be hit by a meteor than he is to make a decision to resign.
- "If he was going to make a decision
like that, he would have given up a long time ago -- earlier in his life,
with all of the hardship that he had: His father died before he was born,
he grew up in poverty, he overcame the odds to be elected," Gore added.
"He is not going to resign."
- Clinton on Saturday became the second
president in U.S. history to be impeached by the House, putting his fate
in the hands of the U.S. Senate, which is expected to hold a trial on whether
to remove him from office.
- The House, voting largely on partisan
lines, approved two articles of impeachment charging Clinton with perjury
and obstruction of justice stemming from his effort to conceal his affair
with Monica Lewinsky, a former White House intern.
- An informal poll carried out by Senate
Minority Leader Tom Daschle on Wednesday confirmed the conventional wisdom
that Senate support for removing Clinton from office falls short of the
two-thirds majority required under the Constitution.
- The Senate is preparing to begin a presidential
impeachment trial for only the second time in history -- and the first
time since Andrew Johnson survived by a single vote in 1868 -- when it
reconvenes on Jan. 6.
- There is much talk among senators of
crafting a censure resolution that would spare the country an unseemly
trial that would focus on Clinton's sex acts near the Oval Office with
a woman half his age and his statements about it.
- Clinton initially denied the affair in
public and only admitted to it after it became clear that independent counsel
Kenneth Starr had physical evidence of the liaison.
- A Senate trial would also have to concentrate
on Clinton's statements about the affair under oath when he was interviewed
on Aug. 17 before a grand jury convened by Starr.
- A number of Republicans have insisted
that any censure must include Clinton's admission of lying under oath,
something he and his lawyers have steadfastly denied.
- In the CNN interview, Gore would not
be drawn on whether Clinton might change his stand.
- "The president has said that he
did not lie under oath," Gore said. "He has acknowledged that
he gave statements that were less than helpful to his interrogators, and
he was misleading. But that's a very different proposition."