- WASHINGTON (AFP) - A harried NATO host President Clinton left behind the
critical briefcase carrying the nuclear bomb code at the summit meeting
hall Saturday in his haste to greet allied leaders at a White House dinner.
- The aide who carries the briefcase containing
all that is necessary to launch a U.S. nuclear strike had to walk the four
city blocks back to the White House from the Reagan building where the
summit was held after Clinton's motorcade left without him, White House
- "Speaking from experience, these
things happen," said spokesman Joe Lockhart, who himself missed the
presidential plane from Northern Ireland to Moscow last year.
- Aides were quick to try to dismiss the
incident, which they claimed has happened under past presidents hurrying
to pressing events.
- "It was just momentary," said
spokesman Mike Hammer, who explained that Clinton always has an aide with
the nuclear codes close by and that the requirement that he was within
"the time frame factor was not an issue."