Hillary claimed to Diane Sawyer that when the Clintons left the White House, they were “dead broke”. Of course, that wasn’t quite true. She inked an $8 million book deal in the month before she left, and spent millions on houses. She also fails to mention the pension and support that Bill would receive as an ex-President.
But perhaps that attitude explains taking White House furnishings which caused quite the stir way back when, plus accepting gifts from the wife of a man Bill would later pardon in a highly controversial move.
On top of all this was the tawdry spectacle of the Clintons receiving questionable gifts in preparation for their departure from the White House:
Less than a week after leaving the White House, Bill and Hillary Clinton are facing criticism for accepting gifts worth $190,000 for their New York State home.
There have been allegations of favouritism, as one of the donors is the former wife of fugitive financier Marc Rich, who was pardoned by Mr Clinton on his last day in office.
And the even more tawdry spectacle of the Clintons having purloined White House furnishings, as this February 6, 2001 NY Times report recounts:
Former President Bill Clinton and Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton received authorization to take certain household furnishings to their new homes as gifts but will return any items that are found to be White House property, a spokesman said today.
In the latest criticism over their departure from the White House, the Clintons faced questions today about taking $28,000 worth of furnishings, which two donors were quoted as saying had been intended to become part of the permanent White House collection, not gifts to the Clintons.
The disclosure, reported in today’s Washington Post, came three days after the Clintons said they would pay $86,000 to cover the value of gifts they received last year in an effort to avoid the appearance of impropriety. The couple had originally sought to leave with $190,000 in gifts.
Officials said that at least $28,000 worth of furnishings, donated in 1993 as part of the White House restoration project, had been registered by the National Park Service as gifts to the permanent collection of the White House and not the Clintons.
The removal of White House furnishings started a year before Bill left office, The L.A. Times reported on February 10, 2001:
President Clinton and his wife started shipping White House furniture to the Clintons’ newly purchased home in New York more than a year ago, despite questions at the time by the White House chief usher about whether they were entitled to remove the items.
The day before the items were shipped out, chief usher Gary Walters said he questioned whether the Clintons should be taking the furnishings because he believed they were government property donated as part of a White House redecoration project in 1993, during Clinton’s first year in office.
If you think children are running the White House now, this is not the first time. The Clinton staff also vandalized the White House in the transition, causing thousands of dollars in damage which was clearly intentional. They even stole a Presidential seal dating from the Eisenhower years. In a juvenile response to George W. Bush coming in, they also damaged or removed ‘W’ from computer keyboards.
As William Jacobson at Legal Insurrection notes, it’s not a “hard choice” to tell the truth. But it’s a choice Hillary chose not to make.