Sen. Clinton reasserts right-wing conspiracy

Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton still believes that a vast right-wing conspiracy was out to get her husband.

Mrs. Clinton told Barbara Walters in an exclusive interview aired last night on ABC that she believes that a mysterious, unnamed group of people was out to destroy President Clinton from day one and brought about his impeachment.

“I would say that there is a very well-financed right-wing network of people that was after his presidency from the very beginning, really stopped at nothing, even to the point of perverting the Constitution, in order to undermine what he was trying to do for the country,” Mrs. Clinton told Miss Walters.

Mrs. Clinton revealed her theory Jan. 27, 1998, on NBC’s “Today,” where she told host Matt Lauer that her husband did not have an affair with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“The great story here for anybody willing to find it and write about it and explain it is this vast right-wing conspiracy that has been conspiring against my husband since the day he announced for president,” she said then.

“A few journalists have kind of caught onto it and explained it, but it has not yet been fully revealed to the American public. And actually, in a bizarre sort of way, this may do it,” she said, adding that she was “very concerned about the tactics that are being used and the kind of intense political agenda at work here.”

Mrs. Clinton repeated her theory to Miss Walters in a prime-time interview that begins a flurry of media appearances and a celebritylike tour to push her book, “Living History.”

Last night, Mrs. Clinton also said she has no plans to run for president.

“Absolutely, I’d say no,” she told Miss Walters, offering her advice to those hoping she would run: “I would tell them to take a deep breath, probably two aspirins, and get a good night’s sleep.”

After Mr. Clinton admitted his involvement with Miss Lewinsky, Mrs. Clinton said she was “furious, and I stayed furious for a long time.”

She said that during an August 1998 vacation after Mr. Clinton’s admission of his affair, the president’s dog, Buddy, “was the only member of our family that wanted to be with Bill.”

Reminded that she had stood by her husband in 1992 when he denied an affair with an Arkansas woman, Gennifer Flowers — but that he’d later admitted the affair under oath — Mrs. Clinton avoided a direct answer to Miss Walters’ question.

She similarly deflected a question about the role of her health care plan in sparking the Republican takeover of Congress in the 1994 elections, saying only that her plan “inspired a lot of opposition.”

Mrs. Clinton’s 2003 summerlong book tour of major American cities will include wristbands, like those used for ticket-buyers at rock concerts, for the first 250 fans.

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