President Clinton Embroiled in Fundraising Scandal

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NBC Nightly News
Tom Brokaw/Jim Miklaszewski
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Video News Report
NBCUniversal Media, LLC.
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The White House releases the names of 958 visitors who slept in the Lincoln bedroom during President Bill Clinton's first term. While most were family friends, many were major political contributors, sparking a fundraising scandal.



"President Clinton Embroiled in Fundraising Scandal." Jim Miklaszewski, correspondent. NBC Nightly News. NBCUniversal Media. 25 Feb. 1997. NBC Learn. Web. 17 January 2015.


Miklaszewski, J. (Reporter), & Brokaw, T. (Anchor). (1997, February 25). President Clinton Embroiled in Fundraising Scandal. [Television series episode]. NBC Nightly News. Retrieved from


"President Clinton Embroiled in Fundraising Scandal" NBC Nightly News, New York, NY: NBC Universal, 02/25/1997. Accessed Sat Jan 17 2015 from NBC Learn:


President Clinton Embroiled in Fundraising Scandal

TOM BROKAW, anchor:

Good evening. It's a great honor to spend a night at the White House, but for hundreds of people in the last four years, 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue turned out to be the most expensive bed and breakfast in North America. They stayed and they paid. Whether the two are connected, you decide. More tonight on The Money Trail leading into and out of the White House from NBC's Jim Miklaszewski.

President BILL CLINTON: And I thank the members of Congress for...

JIM MIKLASZEWSKI reporting: President Clinton today insisted the Lincoln bedroom in the White House was not for sale.

President CLINTON: The Lincoln bedroom was never sold. That was one more false story we have had to endure.

MIKLASZEWSKI: But White house documents, some in the President's own handwriting, indicate the Lincoln bedroom was at least on the market to major political donors. Under increasing public pressure, the White House released the names of 958 visitors who slept at the White House during Clinton's first term. Most were family friends, but many were major political contributors, like computer magnate Steve Jobs, who gave $150,000; and Hollywood producer Steven Spielberg, $200,000. But the most potentially damaging revelation came unexpectedly from former White House Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes. Under threat of subpoena, he turned over some 500 pages of documents pertaining to Democratic fund-raising to the House Oversight Committee. The documents appear to support allegations the Democrats turned the Clinton White House into a political fund-raising machine. In one 1995 memo, Democratic Finance Chairman Terry McAuliffe recommends the President meet with major supporters for ‘breakfast, lunch, or coffee’ to ‘energize them for the upcoming year.’ President Clinton himself wrote back, ‘Yes, pursue all three, and promptly, and get other names at 100,000 or more, 50,000 or more.’ The President added, ‘ready to start overnights right away.’ And in a 1996 memo, Clinton campaign Chairman Peter Knight tells the White House that Democrats expect to raise $350,000 from just one White House coffee with the President. As bad as it may look, White House spokesman Mike McCurry insists it's still all perfectly legal.

Mr. MIKE McCURRY: We did not solicit here at the White House, or at the residence, funding for our campaigns at the various events that are described in some of these documents.

MIKLASZEWSKI: The Republican majority leader isn't so certain.

Senator TRENT LOTT: At best, is a, you know, bad judgment. And depending on the circumstances could be more than that. I--I--it's...

MIKLASZEWSKI: And Trent Lott has joined a growing number of Republicans and Democrats calling for an independent counsel to investigate Democratic fund-raising inside the Clinton White House. Jim Miklaszewski, NBC News, the White House.

BROKAW: The Center for Public Integrity, that's a Washington campaign finance watchdog group, has analyzed that overnight guest list, and it estimates that the guests over the years donated at least $4 million to Bill Clinton's races for the White House and also to the Democratic

National Committee.