Q: Was she talking to big wigs on the phone all the time?
Chidiac: Yeah, -- We had calls from Hillary Clinton I heard her talking
to Hillary Clinton. I heard her talking to Ron Brown.
Q: What does Nora Lum talk to Hillary Clinton about?
Chidiac: I don't know.
Q: How do you know they had the conversation?
Chidiac Because she would be on the phone sometimes in the main room,
...the reception area. And...I would hear her say, "Yes, Mrs. Clinton." And I
said, "Who is this?" And she said, "Hillary just called."
Q: Could she have been making this up?
Chidiac: I don't know.
Q: Why would Ron Brown think about putting the Lums in Los Angeles?
Chidiac: Los Angeles was a key state in the campaign. Without Los
Angeles you couldn't have won the election. Secondly, there's a big Oriental
minority and Asian minority in Los Angeles...Los Angeles was the natural place
to have the setup. It was the melting pot.
...[Nora] took the initiative,...and she convinced Ron Brown...that she [was]
the woman to do it.
Q: She was capable in that way, I guess. And I also understand she was a
great gift giver. You got a gift if you met Nora Lum. Tell me about
Chidiac: Well, it's part of the Japanese culture.
[W]hen you go and visit somebody, you always take a present.
It's part of a culture. And in Hawaii, people give presents....She goes to
somebody, she gives a present, and she uses it in excess in order to show
affection. It's an Asian sort of tradition.
Q: What kinds of presents would she give?
Chidiac: Well, it depends on the importance of the guy. She gave me
one time a set of Monte Blanc pens. I think she paid maybe $300 or $400 for
Q: Does it surprise you that a woman who owns a souvenir shop and her
part-time lawyer-husband can go in and out of the White House 13 times and
accompany the president to Jakarta within three years from the time you say
they borrowed $127,000 from you?
Does it surprise you that their daughter ends up working for Ron Brown?
That Gene almost gets on Amtrak's Board of Directors? That Nora can come and
go with Bruce Lindsey, who helps them do an oil deal in Oklahoma?
Does it surprise you?
Chidiac: Well, I mean, if the President is corrupt, everything's
Q: Do the Lums bear any responsibility? How did they get where they
Chidiac: Well, if the Lums can corrupt the president, the president has
to be corrupt....They use power to make money. They don't use power for public
service. We want a leadership to serve the people. And that's how America is
going to be great.