January 18, 1989

The President. Well, we're here for a ceremony this morning that's going to begin with my reading the citations for the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Whether on the battlefield or Capitol Hill, Senator Robert Dole has served America heroically. Senate Majority Leader during one of the most productive Congresses of recent times, he has also been a friend to veterans, farmers, and Americans from every walk of life. Bob Dole has stood for integrity, straight talk, and achievement throughout his years of distinguished public service.

I'm very proud and pleased to present him with the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Bob Michel, a man who could always be counted on by his President, his constituents, and his country. Selfless and devoted in his work as House Minority Leader, Bob Michel steered through Congress some of the most revolutionary and wide-ranging legislation of the postwar era. His legislative skills and distinguished service played a critical role in restoring America's economic and military strength and opening a new era of world peace through freedom.

And I am very pleased and very happy to present the Presidential Citizens Medal. Congratulations.

His 65 years of public service to the country he loves speaks not only to Strom Thurmond's legislative achievement but his character, fortitude, and strength of mind and heart. A former judge, Presidential candidate, and President pro tempore of the United States Senate, he worked to appoint conservative judges and strong performance of constitutional law. The achievement of more than six decades have made the name of Strom Thurmond synonymous with distinguished public service and devotion to America.

Strom, I'm very pleased and proud to present to you the Presidential Citizens Medal.

Thank you. Thank you very much.

Oil Companies Operating in Libya

Reporter. Mr. President, do you plan to relax the restrictions on the five oil companies trading with Libya?

The President. Do I plan what?

Q. There has been some discussion that you may relax restrictions on five oil companies trading in Libya so that they can maintain their own assets and profits.

The President. I can only tell you it's under study right now as to that situation.

Presidential Pardons

Q. Do you have any plans to pardon anyone in the final days? Any plans to pardon anyone?

The President. Well, there are always pardons coming across my desk from the Justice Department.

Q. Patty Hearst?

The President. No, that hasn't come to my desk for attention.

Note: The President spoke at 10:35 a.m. in the Cabinet Room at the White House.