White House's Big Lie Sure to Be Exposed

By Nesbit, Jeff | The Washington Times (Washington, DC), April 4, 1997 | Go to article overview

White House's Big Lie Sure to Be Exposed


Nesbit, Jeff, The Washington Times (Washington, DC)


For months now, we've been hearing that businesses with ties to foreign governments and other non-U.S. interests were not directly solicited within the White House grounds to help fund the Clinton-Gore re-election effort.

Spokesmen for the White House have offered numerous explanations of the events: Businesses with foreign ties weren't actually solicited in person, or they weren't directly solicited by the president or vice president, or they weren't asked to contribute directly to the White House re-election effort.

Once congressional hearings start, the big lie will shortly come unraveled. The reason is that at least some of the testimony a federal grand jury is now hearing contradicts White House statements on all of the above. Congress - and the public - will hear some of it for the record once hearings start.

By far the most important thing Congress and the public will hear is that President Clinton actively took part in the big-money "coffees" in the White House Map Room and that he was present when the money was directly solicited for his re-election effort by his business liaisons and top Democratic National Committee officials. Make no mistake. The White House coffees followed roughly the same formula:

* Mr. Clinton went out of his way to be solicitous and helpful at the White House donor coffees, offering either small favors with agencies, help with access to administration officials, or endorsements of business consortiums and policies.

* Top DNC officials and White House-directed business liaisons generally flanked the president.

* Businesses with foreign ties were arrayed around the room, brought together by the business liaison network set up and nurtured by the White House.

* The president's men made a direct pitch for money to these business interests. There was no fine line between hard and soft money in these pitches. It was made very clear that they were contributing directly to the president's re-election effort.

To give just one example, when John Huang and DNC National Chairman Don Fowler convened one of these coffees, Mr. Clinton sat between Mr. Fowler and Mr. Huang. Seated in the room were mostly Asian-American businesspeople with extensive interests in Thailand, Hong Kong and China.

During the course of the meeting, Mr. Clinton pledged to help the group with its efforts to establish U.S.-Pacific Rim trade.

In return, Mr. Fowler informed the group, the president expected the members of this group to contribute to the DNC. The president was in the fight of his life, and he expected these businesses to help fund the DNC, which would then support the president's re-election. …

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