WASHINGTON (AP) _ President Clinton will hold his first full White House news conference in nearly a year Friday.

The session, at 2 p.m. EST in the East Room, comes five weeks after Clinton was acquitted in a Senate impeachment trial of charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.

``We haven't done one for a while,'' presidential spokesman Joe Lockhart said. ``The president thought it was about time to do one.''

Lockhart said Clinton would begin having news conferences on a more regular basis. He said it might be ``a little ambitious'' to plan on a news conference every month, ``but we can certainly try.'' Clinton also has begun meeting with reporters in informal, off-the-record sessions to try to repair relations after a scandal-strained year.

Although he has held numerous news conferences with foreign leaders with limited questioning over the last few months, this will be Clinton's first full news conference at the White House since April 30, 1998.