Just when you thought it was safe to accept a White House Job offer, the Joe Sestak Job scandal has reared its ugly head once again. Silent through the mess, former President Bill Clinton has finally spoken and denied the White House explanation that he met with Joe Sestak to offer him an administration job to drop out of the Democratic Primary against soon to be former Senator Specter.
WBRE-TV in Pennsylvania has reported that former President Bill Clinton denied any involvement in trying to maneuver Sestak out of the race. (Source: House oversight committee, personally confirmed with the evening assignment manager of WBRE via phone call on 8/11):
“Clinton denied it to EyeWitness news, saying he never tried to get Sestak out of the race and has never been accused of it.”-WBRE-TV, 8/10/10
[Update: A reporter caught up with Clinton at a recent event and asked him directly:]
Now compare the above to what Sestack and the White House said in late May when Bill Clinton’s role in the Sestak affair was announced, first by the administration, then by the Pennsylvanian Congressman:
“Last summer, I received a phone call from President Clinton. During the course of the conversation, he expressed concern over my prospects if I were to enter the Democratic primary for U.S. Senate and the value of having me stay in the House of Representatives because of my military background. He said that White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel had spoken with him about my being on a Presidential Board while remaining in the House of Representatives.The letter issued by the White House Attorney Robert Bauer at the end of May when President Clinton’s involvement was announced said in part:
“We found that, as the Congressman has publicly and accurately stated, options for Executive Branch service were raised with him. Efforts were made in June and July of 2009 to determine whether Congressman Sestak would be interested in service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board, which would avoid a divisive Senate primary, allow him to retain his seat in the House, and provide him with an opportunity for additional service to the public in a high-level advisory capacity for which he was highly qualified. The advisory positions discussed with Congressman Sestak, while important to the work of the Administration, would have been uncompensated.”At the time Clinton’s involvement was announced back in May, I reported the official story kind of “smelled”
“White House staff did not discuss these options with Congressman Sestak. The White House Chief of Staff enlisted the support of former President Clinton who agreed to raise with Congressman Sestak options of service on a Presidential or other Senior Executive Branch Advisory Board. Congressman Sestak Declined the suggested alternatives, remaining committed to his Senate candidacy.“
In the original claim, Sestak said he was offered a high ranking position by the White House. Today the story is it was a non-paid advisory position offered by a former President. And we are to believe that it took ten weeks to come up with.
If the new official explanation is true, why did the White House need a conversation with Sestak’s brother Wednesday to coordinate stories? Why did Sestak play a cat and mouse game with the press for all of these weeks, and why did Sestak wait until the White House issued a written statement before he was willing to explain what happened,You know my mother used to say that there were three sides to every story, the explanation of each of the two involved parties and the truth. Is Clinton backing away from the story or does it depend what “never” is? Is the Obama administration lying? The bottom line is one of them is lying.
Thirty-six years and one week ago a President was forced to resign because a minor burglary in the Watergate Hotel destroyed the trust we had in our government. It was not the crime itself that brought down Richard Nixon; it was the subsequent lies and cover-up. Based on the explanations back and forth about the Sestak affair, we learn that nothing has really changed. There are two versions of the story and one (or both) presidents aren’t being truthful with the American people.