October 8th, 2007
11:45 AM ET
11 years ago

Clinton campaign downplays Berger's role

The Clinton campaign downplayed Berger's role Monday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Sen. Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign downplayed a report in the Washington Examiner Monday that former National Security Adviser Sandy Berger is advising the New York Democrat's White House bid.

"Like many people he offers advice, but he has no official role in the campaign," a Clinton aide told CNN's Candy Crowley.

The Washington Examiner reported in its Monday edition that Berger, who pleaded guilty two years ago to illegally removing classified documents from the National Archives and intentionally destroying some of them, has taken an informal role in Clinton's campaign, similar to the one he held in Sen. John Kerry's 2004 presidential campaign.

Berger, who offered the Massachusetts Democrat advice on foreign policy issues, resigned from the campaign in July 2004 as the investigation into his actions at the National Archives was heating up.

Berger served as national security adviser to former President Clinton from 1997-2001.

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Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (97 Responses)
  1. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Wynter – NH

    You wrote, "The man has already served his punishment for the act he took back then. Do we now discard people if they commit an illegal act?"

    Larry Craig paid a fine for the misdemeanor he was charged. Are you saying all the democrats should leave him alone??

    Just curious if your "leave the felon" alone approach applies to Republicans as well as democrats?

    October 8, 2007 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  2. JB Boston MA

    This stuff will continue to come up if Hillary is President. She has proven to be unethical.

    I am not saying she and her husband are guilty of EVERYTHING they have been accused of, but, when this stuff continues to follow them, it is a statement on their characters.

    Just my thoughts, don't crucify me for having opinions you don't agree with.

    October 8, 2007 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  3. therealist

    Simply incomprehensible that a serious presidential contender would rely upon him for any foreign policy advise!

    Berger has admitted stealing documents from the National Archives in advance of the 9/11 Commission hearings in 2003. Documents of the Clinton administration’s shortcomings in dealing with terrorism and we all know the consequences of those shortcomings... On several occasions, Berger stuffed highly classified documents into his pants and socks before spiriting them out of the Archives building. On one occasion, he hid documents under a construction trailer after checking the windows of the Archives and Justice Department buildings to make sure he was not being watched, coming back later to retrieved the documents. Does this sound like a presidential advisor?

    At some point Hillary will win the dem nomination and begin to receive national security briefings that will include sensitive information. Berger having access to any of that sensitive material parallels treason.

    October 8, 2007 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  4. Mark R. Fort Lauderdale FL

    Perception is reality, Mrs. Clinton. This is a distraction that republicans will hammer on. Get him out of your campaign and let's get back to discussion of the issues. We've got alot of work to do to get our country back. GO HILLARY!

    October 8, 2007 01:39 pm at 1:39 pm |
  5. I'm just sayin'

    Why is it that the men associated with the Clinton campaign have difficulty with things in their pants?

    October 8, 2007 01:42 pm at 1:42 pm |
  6. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    Henry in Tucker GA. Just because there was a scandal involving Sandy Berger does that mean that he forgot all of his experience serving as national security advisor? If one of your family members were a doctor that had their license taken away for writing phony prescriptions would you not take advice from them if you were in a car accident and they could help you save your life. THE ANSWER TO BOTH QUESTIONS IS NO.

    Sandy Berger is an unpaid advisor on the Clinton Campaign BIG DEAL. He is not running for President–she is. I wish you all would stop trying to forensically take apart everything about Hillary and turn that HIGH POWERED SCANNING ELECTRON MICRSCOPE you all are using on Hillary on Barack Obama.

    This is clearly the man you need to investigate. He has no history whatsoever. Sure he was a state senator and He serves in the US senate now, but what else is there? Isn't this a valid point? Someone seeking the highest office in the land should be given a little more scrutiny than someone who for over 35 years has devoted her life to public service.

    October 8, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  7. Mati, Seattle, WA

    Do you really think Hillary Clinton could not find other campaign advisers but this guy? Anybody can 'offer advice' or spread rumors about giving advice to get attention.

    Its good CNN gave you, Hillary's very knowledgeable haters, something to talk about.

    October 8, 2007 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  8. Danny G. Boca Raton, FL

    Why do you all hate so much I doubt any of you are real christians (if on the the right) or real democrats (if on the left), the fact that the senator seeks opinions from multiple points of view tells me that at the very least she has an open mind and she wants to be informed, perhaps the choice could have been someone from a previous Republican cabinet and we don't know she might, but why should she be tagged and labeled for seeking points of view? don't we want elected officials that are informed, that is the biggest problem with this administration, the lack of curiosity and thought. however it appears that most of you are looking for more excuses. Don't vote for her if you don't want to, but at least be more respectful when you post, no need to be so hateful.

    October 8, 2007 01:55 pm at 1:55 pm |
  9. Lioness, Washington DC

    So this is Hillary's "mistake-free," "flawless" campaign that CNN and other mainstream media refer to?

    How about the folloeing:

    -Norman Hsu
    -Mark Penn's firm adivsing Blackwater
    -Calling for $5,000 bonds for newborns – an absurd policy.
    -Flip-flopping on whether using nuclear weapons should be openly discussed in so-called hypothetical scenarios.
    -Lying about her votes On Iraq – during which she opposed an amendment that would have tied Bush's hands before he went to war.
    -Refusing to commit to Social Security reform
    -Having a General campaign for her who said she (the General) had never heard Hillary say anything bad about the war in Iraq.

    And the list goes on....

    October 8, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  10. Lost faith

    huh, more scandal involving the clintons...no big surprise there. Don't worry, Clinton's, the people will continue to turn a blind eye to your crooked ways just as they did before. It seems most everyone has short turn memory when it comes to politicians and their past actions or just don't have high expectations of who they vote for. I've lost all faith in anyone being in office for the greater good anymore. Always some personal agenda, image, or greed. That will be our downfall if we're not careful.

    October 8, 2007 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  11. JB Boston MA


    When are people going to realize that saying "But Bush did this and Bush did that. . ." does NOTHING.

    First, Clinton isn't running against Bush.

    Second, aren't we trying to improve our situation? Wouldn't we want to avoid scandals in the future? Look what they have done to this country.

    If we know we are going to get more of the same with Clinton, shouldn't we TRY to find someone that won't bring such things to the table.

    Makes sense to me, but what do I know.

    October 8, 2007 01:57 pm at 1:57 pm |
  12. Lioness, Washington DC

    Be fair to some of us Dems, folks.

    This dem cannot stand Hillary. A pathological liar is a pathological liar, no matter the political party.

    And for those of you who criticize Republicans: two wrongs do not make a right.

    Having Hillary and her supporters defend her lack of integrity by referring to GOP scandals is the best evidence I have seen that they care nothing about bad behaviour and that they have no substantial defense for Hillary.

    This is the change that Hillary is promising? She must be psychotic. Lie enough, and you begin to believe what you say.

    October 8, 2007 02:02 pm at 2:02 pm |
  13. Brian Tampa, FL

    Getting the band back together. Scandal after scandal and she isn't even out of the primary. Dims have cried for seven years about Bush and this clown is their chosen replacement.

    October 8, 2007 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  14. John Thomas, Edina, MN

    Yep, you Hillary supporters are quite the sheep. You just keep eating her crap up while she associates herself with criminal after criminal.

    "Baaa baaa," say the Hillary supporters.

    October 8, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  15. VanReuter NY NY

    "She must be psychotic. Lie enough, and you begin to believe what you say.
    Posted By Lioness, Washington DC : October 8, 2007 2:02 pm"

    Unintentional self-reference is my favorite form of parody...


    October 8, 2007 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  16. Ryan Indianapolis

    CRIMINAL,,,this guy gets caught stuffing highly classified documents down his pants to cover up for Bill dropping the ball with Al Queda. Whats Hillary do,,puts him on as an UNPAID ADVISOR,,,that is what you get with the Clintons....Corrupt Shady people, Sandy Berger should be in jail or put on trail for treason,,,The Clintons are Embarrassments to this country, and liberals and democrats you can try to spin it any way you want and God knows you will blame Bush somehow for this but This looks really bad and once(who knows the public is very ignorant about actually reading for themselves) the public listens to what this guy did,,Hillary is DONE

    October 8, 2007 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  17. Tom, Texas, USA

    How can this be? After Burglar was exposed for having pilfered, stolen and destroyed highly classified national security documents in order to prevent the exposure of Boy Clinton's disastrous foreign "policy", David Gergen insisted that it was all a Republican ploy to distract attention away from the Republicans.

    October 8, 2007 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
  18. Rex, Toledo, Ohio

    No shock here. Only the beginning....

    October 8, 2007 02:29 pm at 2:29 pm |
  19. monica, rochester new york

    Are you Clinton supporters kidding me? You're actually complaining about how CNN reported this story? If it were Obama's camp the headline would have been "Convicts advise Obama" and it would have been on the home page as breaking news. Since it's potentially negative news for HRC CNN posts it on the ticker below 2nd to Romney's marijuana story. Why is the Romney marijuana story on the home page? Candidates being questioned about that issue is nothing new and is to be expected. Whereas a candidates ties to someone who resigned under scandal and pleaded guilty is buried, with headline that most Americans won't get the significance. Well played CNN in your continued support of HRC. Another HRC supporter complained that the repubs are coming out of the woodwork in comments on this. What? 45 comments so far. Compared to the 750 comments on Obama just for talking to christians and openly disucssing his faith. Wow, I can see why you think HRC is getting picked on. You don't have slanted view of reality at all, no siree!! It's ok if she's your candidate but you should at least know by now that CNN and the MSM is HRC's best friend. If you don't, then you're not paying much attention, which explains why you're not supporting Obama : )

    October 8, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  20. F. Melgin, Chicago, IL

    Sandy Berglar should be strung up by his heels for his crimes along side Clinton and Gore. They're the ones responsible for 9/11/01.

    Clinton attacked Iraq in '98 without going to congress first and democraps said nothing. Bush went to congress, got approval and dems are having hissy fits.

    Demonrats never cease to prove their hypocritical stupidity.

    October 8, 2007 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  21. Brian, Syracuse NY

    Lioness & the other people espousing her view are 100% correct.

    I am a Democrat, but I want what's good for my country, and this corrupt war monger in women's clothing ain't it. I don't care if she's a woman, a New Yorker (HA! Yeah right), liberal (she ain't), or a Democrat (label). She's not the right person to lead America.

    When I look at the pantheon of our past Presidents, I like to think of which of the current crop of candidates would best fit in.

    There've been medically ill people in office (JFK and FDR), we've had inexperienced people (Lincoln, TR and Washington), and we've had people with immense experience (Jefferson and Reagan). You know what else? We've had people with illnesses, inexperience, AND experience where it turned out it wasn't a good thing. Those are all non-issues.

    Democrats: Who would you have voted for in 1960? Nixon, the experienced establishment candidate, who was running on four more years of a popular President's term, or Kennedy, the inexperienced "minority"?

    Given the choices, and his unique ability to unify in a time when we need it, Barack Obama is the right candidate for President.

    My fellow Democrats hate George W. Bush so much. They equate him with crime, yet ignore that he, his father, and the Clintons are close friends. I don't want eight more years of Clinton-Bush.

    If Hillary wins this time around, then a few decades down the road, historians will look at the period of time separating the Presidencies of Ronald Reagan and Barack Obama and identify it as a low point in American history.

    October 8, 2007 02:34 pm at 2:34 pm |
  22. Progressive Sheep, South Florida

    From the Democrat Playbook:

    When confronted by illegal, immoral, or unpatriotic behavior by Hillary Clinton or any other prograssive, point out something about George Bush that you don't like. Don't worry, the two instances need not be related.

    October 8, 2007 02:36 pm at 2:36 pm |
  23. Bob Langfeld

    Personally, I believe alcohol is much more dangerous than pot, and that drug is legal. So making Marijuania illegal is for more of a reason than it is dangerous. For if that was the case beer, wine etc would be illegal too. I do believe that Medical Marijauna should be legal in States that have passed it into law.The Federal government should focus on fighting Terrorism and hardcore drugs , not busting sick people who find that pot eases their symptoms. Are not dangerous opiates legal under a doctors prescription, such as vicadin, oxycotyn and morphine?? Again , if a Dr. precripes marijuania for a disease in a state that has legalized medical marijuania, the Fedxeral gov't should BUD out and use their forces to protect the borders against terrorists, and illegal aliens!!! Regulate and tax the stuff to lower our National debt!

    October 8, 2007 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  24. Robert M. Reidy N.Y.

    See how experience counts...

    Vote for the smartest guy in the room.

    Baaarock the vote!!!

    October 8, 2007 02:46 pm at 2:46 pm |
  25. Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA

    I just don't understand how she expects anyone to believe that she's in fact the real "change" candidate when she does things like this. It's more evident now than ever before that her candidacy is simply an extension of Bill Clinton's.

    October 8, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
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