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Former FBI agent attacks
Clintons in new book

the book Feldstein

June 28, 1996
Web posted at: 11:45 p.m. EDT

From Correspondent Mark Feldstein

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- It was a literary feeding frenzy in Washington Friday, as a conservative publisher handed out free copies of a new anti-Clinton book, "Unlimited Access," by former FBI agent Gary Aldrich.

"It's not the kind of book that has mass appendices in it, that has documents in it," publisher Alfred Regnery said. "That's not what Gary Aldrich tried to do."

Aldrich, who worked at the White House from 1990 to 1995, filled his book with second-hand, unsubstantiated sexual rumors about and bitter attacks against President and Mrs. Clinton.

He charges that the first lady is the real power in the White House.

Aldrich complains that White House staff members were "oddly dressed ... (in)jeans, T-shirts and sweatshirts; "wore 'shaggy-hair' and had 'messy' offices. The men didn't give any deference at all to the women." And nobody apparently gave enough deference to the author, who says they "stonewalled" his attempts to conduct FBI background checks.

Aldrich

White House press secretary Mike McCurry was quick Friday to denounce the book. "That is just a piece of fiction and probably a piece of garbage, based on what we're hearing about it."

Regnery countered: "That's what the White House always does, attack the messenger."

Aldrich criticizes the first Whitewater independent counsel, Robert Fiske, for not discovering that the hard-drive disc on the computer of White House counsel Vincent Foster was "destroyed" until "months" after Foster's suicide. Aldrich also takes a few swipes at the FBI, which he claims "did its best to talk me out of" writing the book.

But the Clintons are his primary target. And while virtually all of his charges about them are unsubstantiated, Aldrich does describe one first-hand conversation he claims he had early in the administration with William Kennedy, then associate White House counsel.

According to Aldrich, Kennedy said that prospective White House security aide Craig Livingstone had "character issues in his background" but that "it doesn't matter. It's a done deal. Hillary wants him." The first lady, Kennedy and Livingstone all deny that.

McCurry underscored the unsubstantiated nature of much of the book's content. "Frankly we're concerned that serious legitimate news organizations might take this type of tabloid trash seriously. We hope they won't."

Congressional investigators wanted to question Aldrich about his accusations. But sources say the former FBI agent would not cooperate because he wanted to maximize the publicity for his book tour.

Aldrich is backed by a conservative legal foundation funded by some of House Speaker Newt Gingrich's conservative allies. Aldrich's publisher specializes in conservative books, including a defense of the National Rifle Association and a book by one of the Los Angeles police officers who beat Rodney King.

Aldrich's publicist is long-time Republican operative Craig Shirley, a Dole supporter who also helped arrange the news conference where Paula Jones first accused President Clinton of sexually harassing her.

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