by WorldTribune Staff, June 4, 2018
Former President Bill Clinton, in a June 4 interview on NBC’s “Today”, portrayed himself as a victim and says he doesn’t owe Monica Lewinsky an apology.
“A lot of the facts have been omitted to make the story work,” the former president said. He was backed up by longtime political ally and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe.
Meanwhile, political observers are being reminded that long before Russian cash to Clinton causes became an issue, much deeper Chinese pockets were involved.
Micah Morrison wrote for Judicial Watch’s Investigative Bulletin on the “rise and fall of Clinton-era conspirator” Ng Lap Seng, who was connected to the 1996 Clinton campaign finance scandal.
At the time, Ng “was a mere millionaire with connections to the Chinese government and Asian organized crime. Now he is a billionaire. Last month, more than twenty years after he first appeared on the U.S. scene, federal prosecutors in the Southern District of New York nailed him in a bribery scheme and put him away for four years,” Morrison wrote.
In an attempt to turn Macau into the “Geneva of Asia,” Ng paid off two United Nations ambassadors – Francis Lorenzo of the Dominican Republic and John Ashe of Antigua and Barbuda for their support for a multi-billion-dollar UN conference center.
“Ng spent $1.5 million in the illegal effort,” Morrison wrote. “He set up a phony NGO and funneled $30,000 a month to Ambassador Lorenzo. More payments flowed to Lorenzo’s brother, to Ambassador Ashe, and to Ashe’s wife. In return, the ambassadors put a UN imprimatur on Ng’s construction plan. They drafted and circulated official UN documents in support of Ng and the Macau conference center.”
By 1994, “Ng had set his sights on the Clintons,” Morrison wrote. “Finding a partner in Little Rock restaurateur Charlie Trie, Ng wired more than $1 million from accounts in Macau and Hong Kong to Trie’s accounts.”
Ng and Trie funneled hundreds of thousands of dollars in foreign funds to the Democratic National Committee, according to a Senate report on the campaign finance scandal.
“This generosity won Ng ten visits to the White House between 1994 and 1996, including at least one with President Clinton,” Morrison noted. “In 1995, Ng and Trie organized a reception for then-Commerce Secretary Ron Brown at Hong Kong’s Hotel Shangri-La. In 1996, they were seated next to the president at a fund-raiser in Washington.”
Ng “vanished when the campaign finance scandal heated up,” Morrison wrote.
The Senate report noted that “The source of Ng’s funds and what he or those behind him hoped to gain through Trie remains unknown,”
But, Morrison wrote, “Beijing seemed pleased with Mr. Ng. In 1998, it named him to a post at the largely ceremonial but influential Chinese People’s Consultative Conference. Twenty years later, he’s still there.”
In his June 4 appearance, Clinton was asked if he felt he should privately apologize to Lewinsky, Clinton said “No, I do not. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public.”
“I apologized to everybody in the world,” Clinton said.
During the interview, Clinton also complained that legal bills he incurred as a result of the scandal left him destitute.
“Nobody believes that I got out of that for free,” he said. “I left the White House $16 million in debt.”
Clinton is worth about $80 million today thanks to a heavy schedule of speaking events – many of which paid him six-figure fees for individual appearances.
The 71-year-old ex-president is on a book tour to promote his new book, “The President Is Missing”, co-written with best-selling author James Patterson.
Patterson defended Clinton by comparing his sexual affairs in office with those of two preceding Democratic presidents.
“It’s 20 years ago, come on!” Patterson said. “Let’s talk about JFK. Let’s talk about, you know, LBJ. Stop already!”
Clinton piled on.
“You think President Kennedy should have resigned? Do you believe President Johnson should have resigned? Someone should ask you these questions because of the way you formulate the questions. I dealt with it 20 years ago, plus.”
Long-time Clinton pal and former Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, asked if Clinton should have resigned over the Lewinsky scandal, said “This was 25 years ago, it was difficult – different standards. [A]t the time we dealt with this 25 years ago, it wasn’t the standards we have today. I think if it happened today, I don’t think you’d be having the same argument that would go on with the new #MeToo movement. But 25 years ago, as I say, it was a different standard.”
Columnist Cheryl K. Chumley, writing for The Washington Times on June 4, noted that “Actually, the standard was pretty much the same 25 years ago as it is today. It’s a standard that says thou shalt not commit adultery – thou shalt not commit false witness. Don’t lie; don’t cheat. Same standard during Bill Clinton’s time as now.”
McAuliffe is “trying to sell a story of morality and concerned conscience,” Chumley wrote.
“I think it was a horrible thing 25 years ago,” McAuliffe said, of the way the Clintons “victimized” Lewinsky, as his interviewer put it. “As you know, we’re very good friends. I told the president back then it was a horrible thing. I wrote about it in my book. He paid a horrible price. … But clearly the behavior was horrible and wrong, and I told the president it was wrong.”
“Well bully for McAuliffe,” Chumley wrote. “But let’s not forget that while he was supposedly busy telling Clinton how ‘horrible and wrong’ was his behavior, he was also busy raking in the dough to help the family rise in political rankings.”
Chumley continued: “It’s bad enough the American public had to endure Bill Clinton’s finger-wagging lies about Lewinsky, and Hillary’s shrill ‘what difference does it make’ questioning of truth during testimony about Benghazi – as well as all the ongoing shadows about Clinton Foundation funding, email servers and the handling of sensitive classified information. But having to stomach McAuliffe pretend he was a moral compass for the Clintons is too much.”