Despite more than 50,000 Americans converging on the Mall in Washington DC in an anti-war protest on 18 January, the Bush administration continued to take a bellicose line. Defence Secretary Donald Rumsfeld told Fox television news that the US already had ‘a sizeable coalition of the willing [for military action against Iraq] with or without a second UN resolution,’ and that the Iraqi leader was not co-operating. National Security Adviser Condolezza Rice said that while 27 January, the date of the weapons inspectors’ first formal report to the Security Council, was not a deadline it ‘probably marks the start of the last phase’. On the other hand, Rumsfeld did not rule out the exile of the Iraqi leadership as a means to avoid war – a solution some Arab states are said to favour.