July 19, 2000
Mrs. Clinton Ends Slur Charge Talk
By Marc Humbert
ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) -- Hillary Rodham Clinton said Wednesday she was done talking about allegations that she used an obscenity-laced, anti-Semitic slur during a heated discussion with a campaign aide to her future husband 26 years ago.
''I've said all I'm going to say about this. It wasn't true, it didn't happen and I'm not going to allow it to distract from the real issues of this campaign,'' the first lady told a news conference in Albany, where she picked up the endorsement of the 2.5 million-member state AFL-CIO.
Her Senate campaign, though, was facing questions about a memo in which a campaign aide asked Jewish supporters to call two reporters working on the story for Jewish newspapers and express their outrage ''as concerned citizens.''
''It is important that you do not say that you (are) calling because the campaign asked you to, but because you are outraged with what was said about her,'' said the memo to the campaign's ''Jewish Advisory Group.'' It was from Karen Adler, an adviser to the first lady on Jewish affairs.
When asked why Adler had sent the memo, Clinton campaign spokesman Howard Wolfson said, ''We had received a lot of calls from people who wanted to help.'' He wouldn't comment on why the memo asked potential callers to hide the campaign's encouragement to them.
Wolfson said the advisory group was made up of ''leaders and supporters in the Jewish community,'' but he wouldn't reveal recipients of the memo. Adler wasn't taking phone calls from reporters.
Dan McLagan, a spokesman for Clinton's Republican rival, Rep. Rick Lazio, said, ''It's outrageous that Mrs. Clinton's campaign would ask her supporters to lie for her.''
One of the reporters, Adam Dickter of the Jewish Week newspaper, said he did become ''somewhat suspicious'' because of the ''large number of calls from people who wanted to be heard about the subject.''
Earlier Wednesday, Paul Fray stuck by his claim that an angry Hillary Rodham had called him a ''Jew b------'' in 1974 on the night Bill Clinton lost a congressional race in Arkansas. Fray was the campaign manager.
In the interview on ABC's ''Good Morning America,'' Fray offered to take a lie detector test and truth serum to back up his claim.
''He can do whatever he wants to do. I have nothing to say about it,'' the first lady said later Wednesday.
In Washington, eight Jewish Democratic lawmakers held a news conference at the Democratic National Committee to support the first lady.
''I have known Hillary Clinton now for eight years,'' New York Sen. Charles Schumer said. ''She does not have an anti-Semitic thought or an anti-Semitic bone in her body.''
Copyright © Associated Press. All rights reserved.