HE SAID, SHE SAID
March 16, 1998
President Clinton denied allegations that he made sexual advances on a former White House volunteer. Following a background report, Jim Lehrer and guests discuss the legal implications of the charge.
KWAME HOLMAN: On January 17th, President Clinton was asked about a 1993 meeting he had in the Oval Office with former White House volunteer Kathleen Willey. In the President's deposition given to lawyers in the sexual harassment suit brought by Paula Jones, He said Willey was "quite agitated" about family problems when they met. The President said in trying to console Willey, "I embraced her, I put my arms around her, I may have even kissed her on the forehead." In the deposition the President said Kathleen Willey's allegations of a sexual encounter were not true. "Question: ‘You deny that testimony?'" "Answer: ‘I emphatically deny it. It did not happen.'"
A RealAudio version of this segment is available.
March 16, 1998:
A discussion on the latest allegations against the president.
March 13, 1998:
Shield's and Gigot discuss the Paula Jones case.
March 13, 1998:
Washington Post's Dan Balz talks about recent events in the Paula Jones case.
March 3, 1998:
A discussion of Clinton's sealed deposition and the second day of Vernon Jordan's testimony.
February 18, 1998:
The latest developmentsin the Clinton investigation.
February 10, 1998:
Reaction to Marcia Lewis'grand jury testimony.
Kathleen Willey speaks.
KATHLEEN WILLEY: I just remembered thinking, "What in the world is he doing?".
KWAME HOLMAN: Last night on CBS's "60 Minutes," Willey repeated her charges that the President made a sexual advance in the Oval Office.
KATHLEEN WILLEY: I thought, well, maybe I ought to just give him a big slap across the face, and then I thought, well, I don't think you can slap the President of the United States like that. And I just decided that it was just time to get out of there.
ED BRADLEY, 60 Minutes: When you walked out of there, what were you thinking?
KATHLEEN WILLEY: I just could not believe that that had happened in that office. I just could not believe the recklessness of that act.
KWAME HOLMAN: Willey was asked about the President's denial of a sexual encounter contained in his deposition.
ED BRADLEY: If the President said that under oath, is he lying?
KATHLEEN WILLEY: Yes.
ED BRADLEY: He is lying?
KATHLEEN WILLEY: Yes.
KWAME HOLMAN: This morning on Capitol Hill reporters asked Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott who he believed.
SEN. TRENT LOTT, Majority Leader: You know, the American people watched Kathleen Willey's interview on "60 Minutes" last night, and I think they're the ones that should make a judgment about, you know, here credibility, and is she telling the truth. Assuming that she is, you know, obviously there are problems here with the potential for perjury on one side or the other. This is very serious.
KWAME HOLMAN: Senate Minority Leader Tom Daschle said he took the President at his word.
SEN. TOM DASCHLE, Minority Leader: I believe him, period. I didn't mean to qualify it in any way. Yes, I believe him.
KWAME HOLMAN: Responding to the controversy today, the President said he didn't watch the "60 Minutes" interview and said he stands by his account of what happened.
The president responds to the charge.
PRESIDENT CLINTON: I have said that nothing improper happened. I told the truth then. I told the truth in the deposition. I am mystified and disappointed by this turn of events. But it's been out there for several months, as well as conflicting stories from people who have discussed it with her. So I--you'll have to find the answer to that riddle somewhere else. But I can just tell you that I have done everything I could do to clarify the situation. I have a clear memory of the meeting, and I told the truth.
KWAME HOLMAN: This afternoon in response to a press request, the White House released several letters Kathleen Willey wrote to President Clinton after their 1993 encounter. In the letters Willey requested jobs for herself and a Christmas Party invitation and called herself the President's No. 1 fan.