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Larry King Live Weekend

Looking Back on Interviews With the Rodhams and Roger Clinton

Aired February 24, 2001 - 9:00 p.m. ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

SENATOR HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON (D), NEW YORK: You know, I did not have any involvement in the pardons that were granted or not granted, you know, and I'm just very disappointed about my brother's involvement.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

LARRY KING, HOST: Tonight, controversy over Bill Clinton's pardons, now involves brother-in-law Hugh and half-brother Roger. We'll revisit our interviews with these problematic presidential relations next on LARRY KING WEEKEND.

Thanks for joining us. The firestorm over Bill Clinton's last minute Presidential Pardons has now entered its second month, making headlines this week with news that Hillary Rodham Clinton's brother, Hugh, represented two recipients of her husbands clemency and earned $400,000 for his efforts.

Though that money has been returned, New Yorks Junior Senator still says she is heartbroken over her brother's involvement in the mess.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: He's my brother. I love my brother. I'm just extremely disappointed in this terrible misjudgment that he made.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: We first sat down with Hugh Rodham in late February of '94, long before a pardon problem. At that time, he was focusing on his own political plans.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: I was telling Hugh, right before we went on, I was at a dinner Friday night, I MC'ed the big Don Schula Foundation in support of breast cancer, which took his late wife, Dorothy. And he and his new wife, Maryann, were there and a thousand people were there, and among the people there were Senator Mack and his wife.

And Mrs. Mack said to me, "Hugh Rodham is on your show Monday". I said, "Yeah". He's going to announce. He's going against us, like she was, she couldn't believe it. Are you going against them.

HUGH RODHAM, ASSISTANT PUBLIC DEFENDER, DADE COUNTY, FLORIDA: I think that that's in the cards. I think that we have to look at what the issues have been and what his voting record is. I think that some of the issues that are very important to the people of Florida, for instance, crime is very important to my fellow Floridians, and we think we need to have an accountability as to what's gone on in the past.

KING: When do you expect to announce?

H. RODHAM: Probably tomorrow, in Tallahassee first and Tampa second and hometown, Miami, third.

KING: Well, this is, obviously, you're going to announce. Because this is the way Ollie North did it. He comes on here the night before and the next morning he announces.

H. RODHAM: I'm in such august company. I just can't ...

KING: This is the prelude to announce?

H. RODHAM: Yes, it is ...

KING: So, you are in the hunt? It'll be official tomorrow, but you're going in?

H. RODHAM: Actually, I do have something for you, I think.

KING: OK. You can see it, here's a first. This is what it's going to look like, Rodham, U.S. Senate. So, it is official. How does your sister feel?

H. RODHAM: My sister and I have always had such a tremendously close relationship, Larry, and I think a lot of people know that that's true.

However, we have been known to have our differences of opinion, as most brothers and sisters will, and I think that she knows I'm very strong-headed about the things that I believe in and I think she's cautiously optimistic, let me put it to you that way.

KING: She'd rather have you not run?

H. RODHAM: Oh, I don't ...

KING: Only because it brings so much attention to, I mean, the family and the politics and the obvious, you know, the First Lady's brother and that kind -- you know you're going to face that kind of thing everyday.

H. RODHAM: Oh, that's absolutely true. I mean, undeniably true, I am Hillary's brother. And I'm proud of that fact. But this candidacy for the United States Senate, for the seat in Florida, is about me. It's not about the White House, and it's not about my sister nor my brother nor my mother or my late father. This is something that I wanted to do because I represented the people in Dade County as Assistant Public Defender for the last 14 years.

KING: So, in other words, if George Bush or Ross Perot were elected, you'd have run for this race?

H. RODHAM: I think I probably would have been impelled to do so.

KING: In other words, you were interested in the Senate long before Hillary necessarily was in the White House?

H. RODHAM: Well, I had interest in attaining some public office.

KING: Big jump though, Public Defender to Senate.

H. RODHAM: It is a big jump in a lot of people's minds and I don't see it as such a big jump because it's representing a portion of the people in Florida to representing all of the people of Florida.

I think with that kind of a situation, I think we can probably bring a new perspective with some creative ideas, for instance, that we're going to forge in our white papers in the months to come. And I think that we can do a good job. We've done a good job in Dade County and I'm very proud of what I've done for the people in that county.

KING: Do you hear if anyone else is going in the Democratic primary?

H. RODHAM: I've heard some rumblings. I don't know that it's true or not, but it's a free country and we welcome everybody who wants to.

KING: There was a story that said that the only person who could have talked you out of this was President Clinton. If he called and said don't go, you wouldn't go. And other than that, you're in. Was that true?

H. RODHAM: Well, I think there's some truth in every rumor. I have spoken with the President, obviously, about this situation.

KING: What does he think?

H. RODHAM: Well, he said it's not a horrible idea. I think that's about the best we can ...

KING: What do they fear, Hugh?

H. RODHAM: I don't think ...

KING: Not -- fear is the wrong word, maybe. What don't they like about this idea?

H. RODHAM: I'm not quite sure. I mean, what the questions and the nexus to the questions that I see is, that it's going to be somehow a referendum on the president. But Larry, there's 435 Congressional races, there's 36 gubernatorial races, there's 33 Senate seats and thousands of judges and county courts and state senators all over this country. If the news media and everybody else wants to focus in on this race as a referendum to the president, I think it does him a disservice and also myself.

KING: You realize you would start disadvantaged? Senator Mack is the incumbent and probably favored, right? He's not a controversial senator.

H. RODHAM: That's absolutely true.

KING: And if you do make it close and you come firing, as Democrats do in Florida, you know they're going to bring up the nepotism and you're the brother-in-law and the sister thing, right?

H. RODHAM: Absolutely.

KING: So, you know you're in for some tough days ahead.

H. RODHAM: That's true, and I think that that's what they were more concerned about than anything else.

KING: You don't seem worried about that.

H. RODHAM: I can't be worried about that. I think the issues are much more important. I think the people of Florida deserve good representation and I intend to give it to them.

KING: Assistant Public Defender in Dade County, Hugh Rodham is our guest, going to throw his hat in the ring against Senator Mack. No one else has announced. There's no one going to run against Senator Mack in the Republican primary and no one has announced in the Democratic primary. This could be it.

We'll come back with your calls for Hugh Rodham on LARRY KING LIVE.

Roseanne Arnold is here Wednesday. Don't go away.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: Now, of course, everyone knows that when you run against someone with 100 percent name recognition and a huge amount of money to spend on television, it is a big uphill battle. But nobody in my family has ever walked away from a battle they believed in, and my brother believes in this one.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Hugh Rodham is our guest, the Assistant Public Defender in Dade County, a 14-year figure in the South Florida area. Now, going into the Senate race. If it's you against Mack, then on the other, for the governor, it's going to be the incumbent against Jeb Bush. So, it'll be double relative connection. Will one erase the other and it won't be issues?

H. RODHAM: I don't know, Larry. I think that if that's an issue, then we're all in pretty much trouble. With crime and health- care being the number one and number two issues for Floridians, I think if they worry about who's related to whom, then we're all in big trouble.

KING: Clovis, New Mexico, as we go to calls for Hugh Rodham. Hello.

CALLER: Yes. Could you consider some lawyer reform being as you're an attorney, your sister is an attorney and your brother-in-law is an attorney?

KING: Some lawyer reform? Sir, do you have anything specific in mind?

CALLER: Well, lawyers control too much. They always seem to get involved and take a third of any investigations on government problems.

KING: Any problem with lawyers, Hugh?

H. RODHAM: No, most of my best friends are lawyers, Larry, a tired, worn phrase.

No, I think that there needs to be some sort of reform in the court system. I think there has been -- we are a litigious society and I think that's something that we need to look at. I mean, it costs a lot.

KING: The senior aide to Connie Mack, Mitch Bainwol, said that your candidacy, this is a quote, "... is a joke. Having a brother-in- law in the White House, or having a brother in the White House is not exactly earning political stripes".

H. RODHAM: I find that to be interesting.

KING: Your chance to respond.

H. RODHAM: Yeah, I find it fascinating. On the one hand, we are a referendum on the president, according to those folks. And on the other hand, we're a joke. I don't see how they can have it both ways, and I sure wish they'd make up their mind which way they want to go, because it's confusing me.

KING: Miami, for Hugh Rodham. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Good evening, gentlemen.

KING: Hi. CALLER: My question, briefly, for Mr. Rodham is, if he feels he's such a strong crime fighter, then why has he been serving the public here in Dade County as a Public Defender instead of a District Attorney?

H. RODHAM: That's a fair question, and I think that the answer is, that Public Defenders are the last bastion for liberty. What we do is, we provide a strong defense, up until today, anyway, we provide a strong defense for every citizen accused. Without that right, we would become a totalitarian society, all the way from possible executions to tickets, traffic tickets all the way up.

So, I think it's a very good point that we both, in the arena, in the criminal arena, serve the public in our own respect. The prosecutors prosecute to the best of their ability with the good police work that we have. I'm a fan of good police work, by the way, it makes my job that much easier. But, we defend the rights as the Constitution listed them. And I think that what the key is, if the legislature wants to change those laws, then they're welcome to do so and we will defend what we have to.

KING: Hugh, might you expect, if this rate gets close and tough, that Whitewater will become an issue?

H. RODHAM: I don't see how it can. I have no knowledge of that whatsoever.

KING: Have you talked to your sister about it?

H. RODHAM: I -- no, I saw no reason to talk to either one of them about that, because I believe what they have said and I think there's nothing to it.

KING: In Watertown, I think it's South Carolina, hello. South Dakota. Thank you. Hello. Watertown, go ahead.

CALLER: South Dakota?

KING: Yes.

CALLER: Yes. I'd like to know what the, Hugh's response is to, since he is an Assistant Public Defender from Florida, what's his response to Janet Reno's problems in response to the Branch Davidian situation.

H. RODHAM: Wow, that's a very complicated question. I think the bifurcation of the question requires me to say that I like Janet Reno a lot. She's a personal friend of mine, and I would like to take the credit for bringing her to the president's attention. And I think that she has been welcomed with open arms here in Washington.

As far as the Branch Davidian case goes, I think Ms. Reno said it all when she said that justice was done in the courts of Texas. And I think we can't add nor detract from that. It's not my call as an Assistant Public Defender to tell the Attorney General whether she acted correctly or not. KING: We'll be back with Hugh Rodham and some more phone calls on LARRY KING LIVE after this.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: We're back with Hugh Rodham. He is going to announce for the United States Senate. The incumbent is Senator Mack. The state is Florida. And we go to San Francisco. Hello.

CALLER: Hello. Hugh, if you were to be elected to the Senate, how would you vote on gay and lesbian issues?

H. RODHAM: Well, I think that I, as a Public Defender and as somebody who recognizes that human rights are the most important thing to me personally, I don't know what specific issues you mean. If it's, if it's jobs and discrimination in the workplace, then I am absolutely against any type of discrimination, regardless of sexual preference. I think that's absolutely silly.

KING: Fairfax, Virginia for Hugh Rodham. Hello.

CALLER: Hi, Larry. How are you?

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Hugh, I was just curious as to how you would defend or how you feel about the implications of your, of the First Lady being more involved in the Whitewater scandal than the President. And what -- when you're in the Senate, how you would feel about the Special Prosecutor?

H. RODHAM: Well, if I got to that point, I think I would have to defer from offering opinions on that because it would be a conflict of interest, obviously.

I think that that will play out and America will find that this is exactly the type of thing that's been investigated over and over and over again and there's not been anything to it before.

KING: Anglewood, Florida. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening.

H. RODHAM: Good evening.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Good evening, Mr. Rodham.

KING: Sir.

CALLER: We're very glad that you had the courage to revise the two-party system in the Senate race in Florida.

KING: You have a question?

CALLER: I would like to say, is it true that you served in the Peace Corp and could you tell us where and how it effected you?

H. RODHAM: Well, that's a very interesting question. I served -- I didn't get the chance to serve my country in the armed forces in the late-60s in the first draft lottery. My number came up 351.

I felt that since I'd gotten such a good education by borrowing the money to go to school that I owed something to the country and meant to pay it back. I went to the Peace Corp. I was in the country of Columbia for a year and a little bit of extra time. I taught teachers that went back to their schools and taught health, education and recreation.

And it was the most rewarding experience of my life. And when I came back, it made me appreciate this country that much more.

KING: If it's you and Senator Mack in the race, will you come back on this program and debate?

H. RODHAM: I'd love to, Larry.

I think that what we need to do is energize the voters, because they've been in such an abysmal state because they've had nothing to really sink their teeth into. For instance, I myself, I registered to vote in 1991 because I wanted to participate in the process. And I think participation is something that we really needed to have, because people can participate in this democracy in a lot of different ways.

And I think that the people who go to the schools, who help the charities, United Way, for instance, I would speak at elementary schools against drugs and things in Miami ...

KING: You had not registered before '91?

H. RODHAM: No, I had not. I was absolutely disenchanted with the process up until that time.

KING: Really?

H. RODHAM: Yes. And when I had the opportunity to do so, I went to the straw polls in Orlando in 1991, and as you know, the rest is history.

I was energized by the Democratic ticket for the very first time. We were taken out of the malaise of the 80's with the Reagan ...

KING: Good luck, Hugh.

H. RODHAM: Thank you, Larry.

(END VIDEOTAPE) KING: Up next, another interview with Hugh Rodham, plus his brother Tony.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

CLINTON: I know and you know that Chicago is my kind of town. And Chicago is my kind of village.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: The next time we spoke with Hugh Rodham was in August of '96 at the Democratic Convention in Chicago. He'd made an unsuccessful Senate bid in Florida and then moved on to hosting a syndicated radio show. Joining him in the windy city, his brother Tony, who'd been working with the DNC. I interviewed them shortly after their sister addressed the convention and I wanted to know how they thought the First Lady had done.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

TONY RODHAM, HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON'S BROTHER: Whenever my sister, or our sister, speaks from the heart, the way she did tonight, it just brings out the way that, the essence of my sister. What she said is what she truly believes, and when she talks about "It Takes A Village", we came from a place that it takes a village. We grew up with those kind of opportunities. We grew up with recreation. We grew up with a good school system. We grew up with a safe community. That's what this country needs, and that's what we're trying to get back to.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Hugh, were you surprised at the reaction before she spoke, of the crowd, which was tumultuous?

H. RODHAM: Not at all, Larry. I think that this was the kind of a situation where the people in this convention wanted her to know how they felt about her. And gave her the appreciation, felt the warmth and the love that they have for this woman, that's a Democratic welcome to somebody they really, truly believe in.

KING: You're both aware that in San Diego there were even stories that she wasn't going to speak at this convention, that they were going to try to hide her at this convention.

T. RODHAM: Nobody hides our sister.

H. RODHAM: Yeah, Larry.

T. RODHAM: You know, Hillary has beliefs of her own. Her and the President talk a lot. They are very good together, you know, and I think the reason that they were saying that is I think the Republican party was afraid to have Hillary speak. Because they have done so much to try and detract from who Hillary really is.

KING: How do you react to all the pressure she takes on a kind of, just on American talk -- you're in talk radio now. A lot of your compatriots like blasting her every day, it's almost like a dartboard.

H. RODHAM: Well, you know something, Larry, there's a lot of cowards out there that would say a lot of things behind peoples back, especially beating up on a woman. When you and I grew up, it wasn't nice to say those things about ladies, especially the First Lady of America.

So, let me tell you something, Larry. I think it's about time that this kind of stuff stopped. We saw an exhibition of class and character tonight. There was not a single divisive word, there was nothing nasty. It was right ahead, straightforward, to the future, what she and the President are planning for the country ahead.

KING: Do you get upset when she's attacked?

T. RODHAM: No, because it's all part of the game.

KING: So, you can take it?

T. RODHAM: Sure. You know, our sister is tough enough for that.

KING: Let's get in a phone call for the Rodhams. Aberdeen, Maryland. Hello.

CALLER: Hello?

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Hi. I just would like the Rodham brothers to know that I hold your sister in high esteem and I wanted to know how you felt about Bob Dole attacking her on the issue of "It Takes A Village"?

T. RODHAM: Well, you know, that's kind of funny?

KING: Did that upset you, when he used that line?

T. RODHAM: No, well, no ...

KING: That's Bob Dole's sense of humor.

T. RODHAM: ... because it -- that's Bob Dole and it makes no sense and it's coming from a man who went back to a village in Russell, Kansas when he was injured after World War II and his village, of Russell, Kansas, is the one that helped him get to the hospital and repair his war wounds.

KING: And he often talks about it.

T. RODHAM: Yeah. So, you know, when you're talking about a village, he came from one. What is wrong with a community helping an individual? H. RODHAM: That's exactly right. He depended on the support from his neighbors and his friends, the aid that they could give him, the comfort that they give him. So, that idea should have been his idea originally.

But when Hillary wrote the book and brought that out, for the support for the children, to become what they can be, the best they can be, he should have understood that.

KING: We've gotten to know her pretty well, I know everyone in this campaign pretty well. I just saw her right after her speech and she was very composed and remarkably in control of herself. What do you think you know her, as kids growing up, it does to her inwardly though? Criticism? It's got to do something.

T. RODHAM: I don't believe it does, to be honest with you. Because, the way that we were raised, you know, you had to be tough. And you know that people are going to come after you in many different ways.

My sister has, our sister has been well seasoned through our father, our mother, and our life growing up, to know that when you have a goal in mind, it doesn't matter what people try to do. You seek and you go towards that goal.

H. RODHAM: My dad would always say that, you know, when things are tough, this is preparing you for life. This is what life's all about.

T. RODHAM: That's right.

H. RODHAM: When she would come home with all A's, he'd say, "It's a pretty easy school". And that's the way he did it. He was a ...

KING: Thank you, guys.

T. RODHAM: Thanks, Larry.

KING: Thanks, fellows.

H. RODHAM: You bet, Larry.

KING: See a lot of you.

Tony Rodham and Hugh Rodham, the brothers of Hillary Rodham Clinton.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: When we return, a look back at one of our interviews with Bill Clinton's half-brother, Roger. You stay with us.

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP) (MUSIC)

(END VIDEO CLIP)

KING: Among the 140 people Bill Clinton pardoned during his final hours in the White House, his half-brother Roger, who had pled guilty to a drug charge back in '85. Roger Clinton is now facing a drunk driving charge in California and Congressional investigators want to ask him whether he had any role in his half-brother's clemency decisions.

Roger Clinton sat down with me in December of '98, a few days after President Clinton had been impeached by the House.

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: I understand you spoke to your brother today.

R. CLINTON: Yes, I did.

KING: How's he doing?

R. CLINTON: He's doing fine. He's doing really well, as a matter of fact, you know, in his heart. And I think that's where it counts, in the big picture.

KING: How's he reacting to this impressive poll results?

R. CLINTON: He's very grateful.

KING: Surprised?

R. CLINTON: Not, not really. Very happy about it. Very encouraged.

KING: Are you surprised?

R. CLINTON: No. I'm not surprised ...

KING: Now, here's a man that was impeached on Saturday and went up almost 10 percent today. What does that tell you?

R. CLINTON: Well, you know, actually, again, I think in the big scheme of things, I think it provided a change in headlines. But I really don't think it changed anything. Because in my heart, again, I feel that the senate is going to certainly not convict him.

KING: Were you surprised that the public rallies to him?

R. CLINTON: No, no. I hear it everyday. I hear it everyday. But, you know something, the bottom-line, Larry, what I think, and this is the way I think more so now -- initially, it was all because, it was a brother reaction. But now it's, dog gone it, it's an American taxpayer reaction.

KING: You're separating it now. R. CLINTON: I'm sick and tired of paying for it. I talked to a lady the other day, a total, just, a complete stranger, walked up as they do everyday now, and told me how disgusted they are. And we were talking about the anger and the hatred and I think that all falls under, anger and hatred, I think, sometimes fall sunder the category of evil, and I think that that whole atmosphere is just growing within the House Republicans.

Now, not all of the, thank goodness, some of them realize that there are more important things than the Bill Clinton/Monica Lewinsky story.

KING: Well, today, some urged the Senate to consider a sanctuary.

R. CLINTON: Well, certainly. You know why? Because now they're starting to realize that if we don't do a compromise we're not going to have any punishment on him at all. And see, that's all they're obsessed with. Let's do something to him. If we can't kick him out, let's at least spank him.

KING: But before, the scandal aside, why do you think, and this would be just a, maybe, an educated guess, so many people get so mad at your brother. Why is this -- radio talk show hosts, I guess, are the classic example of venom, daily. It's like he drives them nuts. Why?

R. CLINTON: Because they don't have any control over him, I think. And I think those people are control-mongers. And they, I think ...

KING: But, he drives them nuts. He drives people nuts.

R. CLINTON: He drives some people nuts. He drives those Liddy, DeLay, all those right-wingers, you know, the ones that lead you to the cliff and let you jump off and then all of the sudden it's like, OK, now you're on your own, you know?

And I think that's what we've seen. And they're aggravated. They're like injured animals now, because they're panicking. They can't, they can't bring him down and that's all they've been obsessed with.

KING: You can help with this, Roger. There are people, as you know, who say that they don't believe his contrition. That he's so good at this, that they don't believe he really, sincerely, feels as terrible as he says.

R. CLINTON: And those are also the people in the minority. But, you know something, let me amend that a little bit. I guess there are some, in the majority, that might feel that as well.

KING: That he's a great politician, maybe a good president, but that he's faking it.

R. CLINTON: Exactly. Maybe so. And maybe those are the ones that also don't want him impeached and want him to continue.

KING: What would you say to them?

R. CLINTON: Well, everyone is entitled to his or her own opinion. I know that my brother was devastated. I know that this thing has absolutely consumed him for awhile insofar as his family, in dealing with his family. I think he's always had, I think he's always had the confidence that the American people would support him as president. It's not necessary for them to love him and support him as a husband and as a father. It's necessary for Hillary and Chelsea to deal with it.

So, I think the American people, unlike the extreme right militia-based House Republicans and, again, I'm separating those from the intelligent, realistic Republicans in the House, but I just don't think that anything's going to happen. I think that people can differentiate between it.

KING: You think nothing will be resolved?

R. CLINTON: And that's why there's no problem. That's why the people are rallying in such heavy numbers right now.

KING: You mentioned the family. We see an obviously strong Hillary. What's it like off camera?

R. CLINTON: She's just as strong. She's, again, there's a lot of irony involved here insofar as their jobs. A lot of us don't have the daily job routine and regimen that they have. So, consequently, we have time to sit around and listen to the stuff and read the stuff and wonder if they're going to be able to continue and carry on and lead. When actually, they have a job that is so time consuming and so important to this world, that this shields them from all the stuff that we have to deal with.

KING: Look at her there. How does she deal with it, though, when you see her in a circumstance that we don't?

R. CLINTON: Well, dealing with it. I guess, you know, she had to have been hurt and disappointed, as we all were. I can't, I'm not qualified to talk on how she feels as a wife and as a mother, as a partner ...

KING: Nothing expressed to you.

R. CLINTON: No. Nothing expressed to me. It's, again, it's personal, for goodness sake.

KING: How about Chelsea, who you are very close to, right?

R. CLINTON: Well, I'm much closer to her in the last many years than I was years ago, because I wasn't even close to myself years ago. So, consequently, I'm making up for lost time and trying to with Chelsea.

Again, you know, that's between, all of that stuff, the family stuff, even though I'm in the family, that right there is just between big brother, Hillary and Chelsea. And believe me, they don't share it.

KING: I know. But how does she appear to be doing?

R. CLINTON: She appears to be fine, to me. She's got a smile on her face, I think she's got a smile on her heart. It has to be tough on a daily basis to read and to hear things about your mom and your dad and yourself. It's got to be tough, as a human, as a human being. That's the only way I can relate to it.

KING: Our guest is Roger Clinton. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

R. CLINTON: Well, I'm much closer to her in the last many years than I was years ago, because I wasn't even close to myself years ago. So, consequently, I'm making up for lost time and trying to with Chelsea.

Again, you know, that's between, all of that stuff, the family stuff, even though I'm in the family, that right there is just between big brother, Hillary and Chelsea. And believe me, they don't share it.

KING: I know. But how does she appear to be doing?

R. CLINTON: She appears to be fine, to me. She's got a smile on her face, I think she's got a smile on her heart. It has to be tough on a daily basis to read and to hear things about your mom and your dad and yourself. It's got to be tough, as a human, as a human being. That's the only way I can relate to it.

KING: Our guest is Roger Clinton. This is LARRY KING LIVE. We'll be right back.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: Was it weird, Roger, to watch Asa Hutchinson, because he was the prosecutor when you had a problem in Little Rock. Right? He prosecuted you.

R. CLINTON: Asa Hutchinson had a much better grip on things, I think, back then than he certainly does now. But, again, I really think that ...

KING: Was he fair with you?

R. CLINTON: He was fair. He really had no clue, because at the time he said the train ended here, with my arrest. And I said, "Asa, the train's going to keep going full steam, bra, you know, it's just dropping me off".

KING: Did he convict you?

R. CLINTON: Yeah, he was the prosecutor.

KING: Do you bear no bitterness toward him?

R. CLINTON: I bear no bitterness because it was my fault, you know, I got myself in that boat and I rode it.

KING: And you've licked it now, right?

R. CLINTON: Yes, sir, I've licked it. But I think his problems are just now beginning. It's sort of irony.

KING: How do you mean?

R. CLINTON: Well, I think when you don't have a clue about what's going on really up there, and you preach this better than thou theory ...

KING: Are you hinting something's going to come out about him?

R. CLINTON: Oh, no. No, sir. No, sir. Just like on last show, when I mentioned that -- on the last time I was on your, when I mentioned about the glass house theory. I wasn't threatening anyone and I didn't know any inside information. I just know how humans are.

KING: So, you were as surprised by Congressman Livingston as the rest of us, right?

R. CLINTON: You know what surprised me about Congressman Livingston, quite honestly, and I don't know the man. And I've even talked to my brother and, you know, quite frankly, he would probably have been a great leader of the House. Or we thought ...

KING: But your brother didn't want him to resign.

R. CLINTON: My brother didn't think he should have resigned. I don't think he should have resigned.

KING: No. But what do you make of it?

R. CLINTON: Well, you know, you reap what you sow, across the board, and my brother, me, you, everyone. So, this isn't a time to quit. You know, it's the old adage about when the kitchen gets too hot, you have to get out, and you shouldn't ...

KING: You don't think Livingston should ...

R. CLINTON: I don't think he should have resigned unless there's something else that he was hiding. But he shouldn't have resigned for having some kind of extramarital affair.

KING: It's kind of terrible, Roger, when we all know the private lives of people. There's something eerie about it, but ...

R. CLINTON: Well, it is unfortunate.

KING: So, once that happens, though, it's fair to comment ...

R. CLINTON: It is unfortunately.

KING: Why do you think your brother, who is, even his critics would have to say, this is an able CEO, let himself slip?

R. CLINTON: I don't know. Again, I have to use the phrase human being. We're all human. So, consequently, we're all subject to error. I think he just had sort of a mental breakdown, just a mental lapse. I don't mean a, by literal definition mental breakdown, but he had a mental lapse, I think. A lapse in judgment, as we all do, for goodness sake.

KING: And we elected him knowing that there were problems in the past, right?

R. CLINTON: Absolutely, and ...

KING: This was not unknown.

R. CLINTON: Hence the numbers and hence the support now. Everybody is trying to remind the Republican House, or at least the extreme Republican House, this is the reason we elected him. We will take him out, if anyone takes him out. You will not.

As a matter of fact, I think what we're saying loudly and clearly is that by definition, by Webster's definition of representative, you need to represent us and not just go out on a limb and do what you think is the thing to do because of your obsession with removing him from office that started back in 1991, prior to him taking office. And it's going to continue throughout his term. But, he will complete his term.

But I think they have, I think they've lost touch, now. And I think that we need to remind them, we are your boss. The people have the power. We pay your salaries. If anyone will be removed, you will be removed for not representing us. Remember that.

KING: As a citizen, what do you think of this Larry Flynt suddenly becoming into the world of journalism?

R. CLINTON: Well, I've never read any of his stuff.

KING: He's the next Matt Drudge.

R. CLINTON: So -- no, please. You take that back. You take that back. That's a slap to Larry. I don't know the man.

KING: Slap to Larry or ...

R. CLINTON: I really don't know the man.

KING: I mean, he obviously broke, he broke a story that was correct.

R. CLINTON: I don't know the man, but I know sometimes money talks and everything else walks. And by gosh, when you have a lot of money and when you want to get to the bottom of something, when you want to prove a point, sometimes it's just as simple as offering somebody money. And I think there are some other people that happen to know that strategy.

KING: Did you feel, do you feel as though there's a lot of hypocrisy here? Do you think a lot of people voted in House?

R. CLINTON: I think there is so much hypocrisy.

KING: But they didn't lie under oath.

R. CLINTON: There's so much hypocrisy ...

KING: They may have lied in other areas ...

R. CLINTON: Absolutely. I think there's so much hypocrisy, starting at the top of the judiciary committee. I mean ...

KING: You mean Congressman Hyde?

R. CLINTON: Absolutely. I've never really heard anyone, in my lifetime, I've never heard anyone as hypocritical and, but, trying to be as serious, I've read the things. Now, again, I don't believe everything I read, but supposedly it is taken out of the context, out of the text of things he said during Oliver North, during Watergate, during all those things. And it was almost like it was OK to lie under certain situations, and now it's never OK to lie. There's just no time for that.

But I think hypocrisy breeds hypocrisy. But, again, I want to make clear that I'm not sure if everyone of the Republicans, well, maybe I should say I'm pretty sure that all the Republicans that voted for impeachment, I'm not sure if they weren't led -- oh, slaughter's a little tough word, isn't it? Maybe led to the brink, maybe put it that way.

And I think they had a choice of whether to jump off with their illustrious extremist leaders, DeLay, Hyde, News Gingrich, Livingston, you know, maybe they just followed them to their end. I don't know.

KING: Your brother was, exhibited a lot of tough love for you , right? He came down hard on you while helping you?

R. CLINTON: Yes, sir.

KING: Did you express criticism to him?

R. CLINTON: Yes. Yes. Maybe not as, maybe not as touch as he expressed it to me, but yeah. I let him know I was disappointed. But, again ...

KING: Because he had to lie to you to, right? R. CLINTON: Sure, he did.

KING: I mean, if you keep telling a lie, you've got to ...

R. CLINTON: You bet he did. And again, Larry, once you are able to lie to yourself, you can lie to anybody. To anyone. Your brother, your mother, anyone.

KING: So, when people say why should I believe him on Iraq, if he lies to his own brother.

R. CLINTON: Well, because we're human beings and there is no human being that doesn't lie. Period. I'll put that challenge out right now to any human being who is listening to this show.

KING: You're saying everyone watching this show has at one time or other lied?

R. CLINTON: Yes, sir, I'm saying that. And if I said no, sir, I'd be lying.

KING: Now you've got me confused. I don't know what to charge you with.

We'll be right back and take some phone calls for Roger Clinton. And then, the incredible comeback of Jim Bakker. Don't go away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: We're back with Roger Clinton, his first interview since all of this happened last Saturday. Let's take a call.

Harrisburg, Illinois. Hello.

CALLER: Thank you, Larry.

KING: Hi.

CALLER: Hi. I would like to ask Roger, does he think that Hillary someday will leave the President or divorce him? Because most women would. They wouldn't put up with this time after time.

KING: Fair question, Roger.

R. CLINTON: Yes, that is a fair question, and ...

KING: Everybody's talking about it.

R. CLINTON: I'm not so sure if most people would or not. But, that is a fair question. No, ma'am, I don't think so. However, I, you know, I'm really not qualified to predict the future. I certainly hope not and I certainly don't think so. KING: What do you think your brother will do?

R. CLINTON: Well, he's an educator. I would find it difficult to see him not in some capacity of education, whether it's the president of a University, whether it's just a professor, of specialized law or something ...

KING: He will be visible, right?

R. CLINTON: I think he'll be visible. I think he's going to take some time just to write his book and to spend time with his family and just sort of exhale for a little bit.

KING: How about, how about, do you think Hillary might run for something? This is a ...

R. CLINTON: I think it would be -- I told them a few years ago, I think it would be a great little flip-flop, because my brother is the master campaigner, in my opinion. He's the master politician, in my opinion. Campaigns are his forte and I think he'd be a great campaign manager. And I think Hillary would be a great candidate.

KING: For, like, the Senate?

R. CLINTON: Maybe to start. I think she'd be a great president, quite frankly.

KING: Edmonton, Alberta, Canada. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening, Larry. Good evening, Mr. Clinton.

R. CLINTON: Good evening.

CALLER: Firstly, I'd like to say that we have great sympathy for you. As a Canadian, we feel, we feel for your family.

R. CLINTON: Thank you.

CALLER: However ...

R. CLINTON: Yes, ma'am.

CALLER: ... a lie is a lie.

R. CLINTON: Yes, ma'am.

CALLER: How are you, as American people, going to be able to trust what your brother says is true, because he has been called on it?

R. CLINTON: Yes, ma'am. You know, because, and I think the reason why the numbers are so strong right now in support of, not necessarily in support of my brother, but in support of the American presidency and letting it continue ...

KING: And his policies ... R. CLINTON: And his policies. I think his policies speak for themselves. I think if he was to tell everybody a personal promise, a personal situation or statement, I think maybe then the American people's numbers would maybe not be as high. Who knows?

But, I know from a political standpoint, based on fact and based on figures and based on numbers and just exactly what's going on in this country, based on his political, I guess, policies, I think that you have to believe the proof, you know? There's -- you can't argue with success. And I think it doesn't matter, and I think the people are stating this very loudly and clearly, that it doesn't matter if he lied on a personal issue as long as he's president and he maintains his policies and his work and leadership for this country.

KING: You forgive him, as a brother?

R. CLINTON: Absolutely. Of course I forgive him as a brother.

KING: Well, because you could say, you know, I was left hanging by this, I mean ...

R. CLINTON: Please, I was ...

KING: Hey, brothers have been known -- there was Cain and Able, I read about them.

R. CLINTON: Yeah, yeah. No, I've forgiven him as a brother. I love my brother. I think it was a great mistake. He thinks it was a great mistake. He doesn't need anymore I told you sos. It's time to move on. It's time to grow from it.

KING: What was that rally like with all the show business people? You were there, right?

R. CLINTON: Well, it was pretty powerful. Yes, sir. I spoke. Yes, Larry. I spoke ...

KING: You used to say sir.

R. CLINTON: And quite a few people spoke. And I was really impressed, and I was very touched. But again, I was speaking from an American taxpayer standpoint. I've really been separating myself too and I think that's why the ...

KING: You really can do that?

R. CLINTON: Let me tell you something. I don't know how, but for some reason, I've not been able to find a reason not to separate myself. I've had no problem separating myself from brother to American taxpayer. I'm sick and tired of paying for this.

KING: Are they going to Camp David for Christmas? Are they going down to that thing in South Carolina for New Years? Do you know what ...

R. CLINTON: Well, I don't know what the New Year situation is. I know that they're going to probably stay around the White House/Camp David area for Christmas. And we were going to go up as well, because we've been up every other Christmas. Talking about Molly, my wife, and my son, Tyler, and I.

KING: You're going there?

R. CLINTON: No, we've decided not to. Because we want Tyler to write his first letter to Santa. He's 4 years old. We want him to put cookies and milk out for the first time this year. He's going to be sleeping right next to the fireplace. And he's going to wake up at 5:00 in the morning and go in and see what Santa did. And we're going to do it at home this year.

KING: Back with some more moments with Roger Clinton. A few more of your phone calls as well. And then Jim Bakker. This is LARRY KING LIVE. Billy Graham on Christmas Night. Don't go away.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

(COMMERCIAL BREAK)

(BEGIN VIDEOTAPE)

KING: We're back. Laurel, Mississippi, hello.

CALLER: Hey, Larry, how are you doing?

KING: Fine.

CALLER: Good. Roger, I have a question for you.

R. CLINTON: Yes, ma'am, and thank you for calling with your accent.

CALLER: OK. We love Bill Clinton here in Mississippi.

R. CLINTON: Well, thank you very much. We love Mississippi form Arkansas.

CALLER: You're welcome.

R. CLINTON: Thank you.

CALLER: OK. I would like to know, what can the ...

KING: Go ahead, what?

CALLER: What can the American people do, besides send a rock to the Senators and let them cast the first stone? What can we do as American people?

R. CLINTON: You know what, I think, ma'am, thank you for asking that, but I really think, and I'm talking to you and I'm talking to every other concerned citizen and certainly concerned American taxpayer. I think we should write a letter, even if we've written a letter, even if we've written a hundred letters. I think we ought to make a phone call and write another letter, to our Senators, because this is going to be a crucial vote.

And, I feel in my heart, I know the way that the Senators are going to vote. But it still will be a great show of support and power if the people let it be known exactly how they feel. It is our duty. It's our right, and it is our duty.

KING: Riverside, California with Roger Clinton. Hello.

CALLER: Good evening, gentlemen.

KING: Hi.

R. CLINTON: Good evening.

CALLER: This is -- my question is for Roger Clinton. And the other day, Mike McCurry was interviewed and he was questioned as to his opinion of the ability of Bill Clinton to continue on as president. And Mike McCurry said he had grave concerns about the recklessness of this man. And I would just like to hear Roger Clinton's comments on that and ...

KING: That is the term he used. That's correct, reckless.

R. CLINTON: You know, I would have to hear the entire passage, because I, for one, from experience, have said things that were exact statements, but were certainly taken out of context. And I would have to hear the entire passage.

I know Mike McCurry. I know him to be a fine man. I know him to be an intelligent man. I would find it hard to believe that that was all he said. But, again, we're dealing with something that was a reckless mistake, but my brother has proven that he's not a reckless individual. Everyone knows that.

KING: Are you optimistic he's going to finish his term?

R. CLINTON: Yes, sir. Yes, Larry. I have been. I have been since the start. As a matter of fact, I am more optimistic now, because I feel that the American people are finally doing something, as I am finally doing something. I haven't -- I've also been one of the American people not taking action and sitting at home saying, dog gone it, we have the power. We elect people and then we pay them and then for them to not represent us when that is their defined title aggravates me and aggravates the rest of America. And we're finally showing it by action.

My mother taught me a long time ago that people can't judge you by your intentions and your feelings. They can only judge you by your actions. So, I think America is standing up now and being judged.

KING: How do you think your mother would be acting now?

R. CLINTON: She'd be leading the charge.

KING: You ain't kidding. Thanks, Roger.

R. CLINTON: Thanks, Larry.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

KING: That's it for this edition of LARRY KING WEEKEND. Thanks for joining us and good night.

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