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Clinton Shows Concern for Kennedys

July 17, 1999

WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton reached out to members of the Kennedy family Saturday to express concern over the disappearance of a plane carrying John F. Kennedy Jr., son of the nation’s 35th president.

``He wanted to let them know he was thinking about them, that we’ll do everything we can and that our thoughts and prayers are with them,″ said White House press secretary Joe Lockhart.

Clinton, who is spending the weekend at Camp David in western Maryland, was informed of the plane’s disappearance shortly after 7 a.m. by John Podesta, his chief of staff, Lockhart said. Also on board the aircraft was Kennedy’s wife, Carolyn Bessette Kennedy, and her sister, Lauren Bessette.

Lockhart said that after being told of the plane’s disappearance, Clinton spoke by telephone with Caroline Kennedy Schlossberg, John Kennedy’s sister; with Sen. Edward M. Kennedy, his uncle; and with Housing Secretary Andrew Cuomo, who is married to Kerry Kennedy, daughter of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, D-N.Y.

``He is being kept fully informed of the ongoing search efforts, which are being coordinated by the Department of Transportation, the Coast Guard, the Federal Aviation Administration and the Department of Defense.″ Lockhart said in a statement.

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