Newly uncovered audio sheds light on the state of mind of the White House during the Clinton administration toward a “right-wing conspiracy” years before Hillary Clinton ever uttered the phrase.
Former Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS) Donna Shalala, interviewed in 1994 by the late Pulitzer Prize-winning reporter Haynes Johnson, shed light on the early attitudes of the Clinton White House. “They’ve become paranoid. Paranoia. They think people are out to get them – this right-wing conspiracy stuff,” Shalala said at the time.
The audio, which you can listen to below, was first acquired by The Washington Free Beacon from the Wisconsin Historical Society at the University of Wisconsin. Quotes from the interview were featured in the 1996 book, The System, written by Johnson with David Broder, which focused on the 1990s health care debate, but were not attributed to any specific person until now.
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“There is a feeling in the White House,” Shalala said, “and I don’t know whether it’s [James] Carville or [Paul] Begala or who’s giving them the materials. But sitting on the desks of their staff there’s these materials on this right-wing conspiracy. My reaction to that is, ‘So what? So what’s new?'”
“[The Clintons are] feeling sorry for themselves. They talk about [conspiracies] all the time,” she added. “That there really is a conspiracy out there to get us. That we don’t have a chance, people don’t understand how much good we’ve done. Our message isn’t getting across because these people are beating us up.”
Shalala is now leaving her post as president of the University of Miami and will lead the Clinton Foundation.
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In 1998, Mrs. Clinton told NBC’s Today that special prosecutor Kenneth Starr was part of a “vast right-wing conspiracy” to target her husband in the wake of the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
“I think as this matter unfolds, the entire country will have more information, but we’re right in the middle of a feeding frenzy right now, and people are putting out rumor and innuendo,” Mrs. Clinton told Matt Lauer, advising Americans at the time “just to be patient, take a deep breath, and the truth will come out.”
Was there a vast “right-wing conspiracy” to get the Clintons? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
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