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Friday, April 4, 2008
Morris Hypes Non-Existent Clinton Scandal
Topic: Newsmax

In an April 4 Newsmax column detailing how "Hillary Clinton has manifested a consistently low opinion of the intelligence of voters," Dick Morris lists among alleged Clinton scandals "the theft of White House gifts." Only that really didn't happen.

Morris has been making this less-than-substantiated allegation as far back as February 2001, as noted in a UPI article reprinted by Newsmax:

Sen. Hillary Clinton denied a report by former White House pollster Dick Morris that she kept gifts given to her during her eight years as first lady.

"There is a very specific system. You don't keep something; you don't disclose it," New York's junior senator told reporters Sunday after she attended three black churches in New York City. "It goes to the National Archives, and if it is below a certain value, you don't disclose it."

Her staff provided an accounting of at least 10 gifts mentioned in Morris' op-ed piece in Sunday's New York Post. "Hillary Clinton got many expensive and personal gifts during her eight years as first lady and never disclosed them, as required by law," Morris said.

[...]

According to Clinton's New York press secretary, Peter Kauffmann, the gifts described by Morris were returned to the giver, received before the Clintons entered the White House, sent to the National Archives or listed on a disclosure form.

"It's really regrettable that the people writing and publishing the story didn't call to get the facts," Clinton said. "It is a very unfortunate commentary on the way that these things are handled."

Further, a months-long investigation by congressional Republicans resulted in a 319-page report that found no apparent illegality, according to the New York Times:

The gifts were not disclosed by the Clintons because the couple turned them over to Bill Clinton's presidential library, the investigators said. Under federal law, gifts that the first family do not keep for themselves are exempt from the public disclosure requirement on presidential gifts, the investigators said.

All of this goes unmentioned by Morris -- perhaps because it shoots down the idea that this was an actual scandal.

Morris' column carries the headline "Hillary Counting on Gullible Voters." Sounds like Morris is counting on gullible readers.


Posted by Terry K. at 3:08 PM EDT

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