October 8th, 2007
11:45 AM ET
7 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. Lioness, Washington DC

    Nice try, Van

    As I say, the truth hurts.

    October 8, 2007 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  2. Linda - Albany, NY

    Oh, isn't this just grand? *insert heavy sarcasm here* Nothing like rubbing elbows w/scum. Seems like Hillary can't keep her hands out of the grease jar.

    October 8, 2007 03:06 pm at 3:06 pm |
  3. Brian, Syracuse NY

    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.
    Posted By Richard Tabuteau, Atlanta, GA : October 8, 2007 2:55 pm

    She doesn't care what people think; She's already bought the election.

    October 8, 2007 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  4. Disgusted with All Pols, Portland, ME

    And if this were any one of the Republican candidates accessing Scooter Libby's experience and knowledge, the "BOOM!" would be hear 'round the world!

    October 8, 2007 03:23 pm at 3:23 pm |
  5. Amanda (Greenwich)

    Henry Tucker, Ga -

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

    I don't see any Democrat calling for his head - just the Republicans.

    October 8, 2007 03:28 pm at 3:28 pm |
  6. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    HENRY TUCKER, GA.:

    Just for the record: it was REPUBLICANS who started the ethics investigation of Sen. Craig. REPUBLICANS have called for his ouster. I haven't heard any Democrats in office concern themselves with Sen. Craig and his little problems. Whether he stays in office will be up to the Idaho voters, as it should be.

    October 8, 2007 03:43 pm at 3:43 pm |
  7. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Amanda (Greenwich),

    First – WELCOME to the CNN blog. It seems you must be quite new here from your assertion of not seeing any Democrats calling for Larry Craig to resigne.

    I invite you to visit ANY of the past 30+ Larry Craig articles on CNN's blog and review the THOUSANDS of derogatory remarks from liberal/democratic posters. After reviewing the vast sum of hurled insults and calls for him to resign.... come back and we can discuss this intelligently.

    Warm regards.

    October 8, 2007 03:50 pm at 3:50 pm |
  8. dawn -- Gaithersburg, MD.

    JEFF BRUNSWICK, GA:

    So you think Sandy Berger lifted records, lied, and then pled guilty to protect the Clintons? (From what exactly?) And he made this enormous sacrifice of incurring a federal record so that he could be "paid off" with the opportunity to give unofficial advice to Sen. Clinton's presidential campaign? Which, by the way, he couldn't possibly have known would exist at the time that he made the sacrifice. He WAS, after all, advising Sen. Kerry at the time he committed the misdemeanor. What if his advisee had won?
    And this all makes perfect sense to the denizens of Clinton-hating world?
    Okay, then.

    October 8, 2007 03:55 pm at 3:55 pm |
  9. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Dawn – Md,

    If you were to read Wynter's original post, you would find he was firing at the folks posting here – commenting on Sandy Berger being a convicted felon. Wynter suggests once a person has settled their case (done time/ paid fines, etc) the issue no longer deserves to be brought up.

    My comments to Wynter were NOT suggesting Democrats in office – but liberals and democrats posting HERE were calling for Craig to resign... and asking Wynter if his view of "leave the felon alone" applied to Craig as does Berger (in his mind).

    Craig was looking to hook up with a guy in the mens room. Sandy Berger stole and destroyed documents from the National Security Archives.

    If EITHER of these two men deserved criticism – WHICH crime was worse in your opinion?

    October 8, 2007 03:56 pm at 3:56 pm |
  10. Coach Haughton NH

    Oh and some facts about the clintons for the genius christian.

    ▪ Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates.

    ▪ Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation.

    ▪ Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify.

    ▪ Most number of witnesses to die suddenly.

    ▪ First president sued for sexual harassment.

    ▪ First president accused of rape.

    ▪ First president to be held in contempt of court.

    ▪ First president to be impeached for personal malfeasance.

    ▪ First first lady to come under criminal investigation.

    ▪ Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign-contribution case.

    ▪ Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions.

    ▪ Number of Starr-Ray investigation convictions or guilty pleas to date: one governor, one associate attorney general and two Clinton business partners: 14.

    ▪ Number of Cabinet members who came under criminal investigation: 5.

    ▪ Number of individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine that were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes: 47.

    ▪ Number of these convictions during Clinton's presidency: 33.

    ▪ Number of indictments/misdemeanor charges: 61.

    ▪ Number of congressional witnesses who pleaded the Fifth Amendment, fled the country to avoid testifying, or (in the case of foreign witnesses) refused to be interviewed: 122.

    ▪ Guilty pleas and convictions obtained by Donald Smaltz in cases involving charges of bribery and fraud against former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and associated individuals and businesses: 15; acquitted or overturned cases (including Espy): 6.

    ▪ Clinton machine crimes for which convictions were obtained: drug trafficking, 3; racketeering, extortion, bribery, 4; tax evasion, kickbacks, embezzlement, 2; fraud, 12; conspiracy, 5; fraudulent loans, illegal gifts, 1; illegal campaign contributions, 5; money laundering, 6; perjury, et al.

    ▪ Number of times that Clinton figures who testified in court or before Congress said that they didn't remember, didn't know, or something similar: Bill Kennedy, 116; Harold Ickes, 148; Ricki Seidman, 160; Bruce Lindsey, 161; Bill Burton, 191; Mark Gearan, 221; Mack McLarty, 233; Neil Egglseston, 250; John Podesta, 264; Jennifer O'Connor, 343; Dwight Holton 348; Patsy Thomasson, 420; Jeff Eller, 697; and Hillary Clinton, 250.

    Check tripod.com

    October 8, 2007 04:00 pm at 4:00 pm |
  11. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    Henry I believe any intelligent person could see that Amanda was referring to national elected Democrats, not the constituency.

    October 8, 2007 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  12. Coach Haughton NH

    FOR WYNTER AND CHRISTIAN

    Check out these facts Genius.

    ▪ Most number of convictions and guilty pleas by friends and associates.

    ▪ Most number of cabinet officials to come under criminal investigation.

    ▪ Most number of witnesses to flee country or refuse to testify.

    ▪ Most number of witnesses to die suddenly.

    ▪ First president sued for sexual harassment.

    ▪ First president accused of rape.

    ▪ First president to be held in contempt of court.

    ▪ First president to be impeached for personal malfeasance.

    ▪ First first lady to come under criminal investigation.

    ▪ Largest criminal plea agreement in an illegal campaign-contribution case.

    ▪ Greatest amount of illegal campaign contributions.

    ▪ Number of Starr-Ray investigation convictions or guilty pleas to date: one governor, one associate attorney general and two Clinton business partners: 14.

    ▪ Number of Cabinet members who came under criminal investigation: 5.

    ▪ Number of individuals and businesses associated with the Clinton machine that were convicted of or pleaded guilty to crimes: 47.

    ▪ Number of these convictions during Clinton's presidency: 33.

    ▪ Number of indictments/misdemeanor charges: 61.

    ▪ Number of congressional witnesses who pleaded the Fifth Amendment, fled the country to avoid testifying, or (in the case of foreign witnesses) refused to be interviewed: 122.

    ▪ Guilty pleas and convictions obtained by Donald Smaltz in cases involving charges of bribery and fraud against former Agriculture Secretary Mike Espy and associated individuals and businesses: 15; acquitted or overturned cases (including Espy): 6.

    ▪ Clinton machine crimes for which convictions were obtained: drug trafficking, 3; racketeering, extortion, bribery, 4; tax evasion, kickbacks, embezzlement, 2; fraud, 12; conspiracy, 5; fraudulent loans, illegal gifts, 1; illegal campaign contributions, 5; money laundering, 6; perjury, et al.

    ▪ Number of times that Clinton figures who testified in court or before Congress said that they didn't remember, didn't know, or something similar: Bill Kennedy, 116; Harold Ickes, 148; Ricki Seidman, 160; Bruce Lindsey, 161; Bill Burton, 191; Mark Gearan, 221; Mack McLarty, 233; Neil Egglseston, 250; John Podesta, 264; Jennifer O'Connor, 343; Dwight Holton 348; Patsy Thomasson, 420; Jeff Eller, 697; and Hillary Clinton, 250.

    PAWN!

    PAWN!

    PAWN!

    PAWN!

    PAWN!

    October 8, 2007 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  13. America Will Be Dumb Again, L.A., CA

    Q Christian,
    I am so tired of this 35 years of experience being touted. Experience doing what???? Someone said that Clintons job approval ratings were high even during the impeachment, but WHAT does that have to do with Hillary. She was not president and that experience hardly qualifies her for the presidency. I wish a Clinton supporter would answer what experience she has for once.. Governor's wife, president's wife and attempting to push through a healthcare plan (until she was given enough money buy lobbyists to drop it)DO NOT qualify as experience...

    October 8, 2007 04:17 pm at 4:17 pm |
  14. Markus, Bonney Lake WA

    Pretty funny to see Bushies get their panties in a bunch over a (very old) scandal. Anyone have the definition of "hypocrisy" handy?

    October 8, 2007 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  15. Lee, Ann Arbor, Michigan

    Sandy Berger should be in jail....not an advisor to a potential Presidential candidate.

    This just goes to show you how bad of judge of character the Clinton's are. What next....Norman Hsu potential Secretary of the Treasury?

    This should be a red flag to anyone who would even consider electing another Clinton to office. They have shown their true colors and the Country needs to move on to some other people who will give us a fresh start (enough of the Bush/Clinton/Bush control of the White House).

    October 8, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  16. Judy Shiffer, Lebanon, PA

    Does anybody really believe this? Yea right!

    October 8, 2007 04:50 pm at 4:50 pm |
  17. B. Houff, Lewisville, NC

    We won't ever know exactly what Sandy Berger stole from the National Archives. Yes, he has paid his debt (small though it was) to society. Hillary has the right to hire who she wants, but should she be immune from criticism for hiring an ex-con on her staff?

    October 8, 2007 04:53 pm at 4:53 pm |
  18. Henry Tucker, Ga

    Henry I believe any intelligent person could see that Amanda was referring to national elected Democrats, not the constituency.

    Posted By Q. Christian Atlanta GA : October 8, 2007 4:02 pm

    -–

    Christian – any intelligent person that read Wynter's original post to which I was responding would see we were discussing folks posting on the blog – not Congressional representatives.

    Should I repost what Wynter said and then my reply? Would that make it easier for you?

    October 8, 2007 04:57 pm at 4:57 pm |
  19. Sarah

    Marcus:
    Why is it that whenever someone expresses disgust with the Clinton's extremely poor judgement, you assume that they are Bush supporters?

    I am here to tell you that I never voted for George Bush, find him an embarrassment to our nation, and predicted he would be the worst president in my lifetime. In addition, I am a democrat who will do the best that I can to express my opinion that Hillary Clinton would be the democratic disasterous equivalent of George Bush.

    There are many of us out here. There are democrats who would vote for a republican before ever thinking of voting for her. If she is the nominee, I will vote for a republican for the first time in my life in an effort to block her from getting to the White House. Don't underestimate how many of us are out here.

    October 8, 2007 05:04 pm at 5:04 pm |
  20. Lucy Wilson Montgomery AL

    Will Sandy Berger be stuffing stockings for the Clinton campaign at Christmas time?

    October 8, 2007 05:21 pm at 5:21 pm |
  21. Q. Christian Atlanta GA

    Coach thank you for pulling up exactly what I have been praying for. We ALREADY KNEW ALL OF THIS STUFF ABOUT HILLARY. Ken Starr spent MILLIONS UNCOVERING ALL OF THIS!!! In that whole post that you posted none of the serious crimes were committed by Hillary. Thanks for proving my point that Hillary has nothing to hide. None of this stuff pertains to Hillary.

    She has been through the fire some many times and she has come out with not even a hem on her well manicured suits burned. Not hint of smoke or fire. Keep on posting we all know that Hillary will come out on top. She is used to this type of negativity. This actually helps the Clinton's cause so keep right on helping her win.

    October 8, 2007 05:26 pm at 5:26 pm |
  22. Karlo Hernandez, Portland, OR

    Go Hillary!I can't wait to proudly call her my President! They can say anything they want about her, but they can't take what is reserved for her by destiny. She's the best person to lead our country! Wake up and support her before is too late.

    October 8, 2007 05:28 pm at 5:28 pm |
  23. john, phoenix, az

    hillary needs advice from him. after the crooked campaign funds contribution exposed, she will need advice how to cover things up and not do jail time. only SHE wants to steal our money and "redistribute" it...
    sounds like a typical move

    October 8, 2007 05:45 pm at 5:45 pm |
  24. NYkrinDC http://nykrindc.blogspot.com

    They are finally taking notice. Sandy Berger has no business advising any presidential candidate, particularly Sen. Clinton. He pleaded guilty to unlawfully removing and destroying classified documents from the National Archives. He is almost as bad as Scooter Libby. For those Democrats that want to defend Sen. Clinton's campaign, ask yourselves, honestly, what would you say or think if Scooter Libby started working on any Republican campaign. If you don't feel similar outrage over Mr. Berger as you do over Mr. Libby, then you need to rethink your reasoning. They both violated and abused the security clearances given to them by our country, as such, they have no business anywhere near our country's secrets, or foreign policy.

    October 8, 2007 05:52 pm at 5:52 pm |
  25. Wynter, Loudon, NH

    I'm so disappointed in the republican slur machine coming on here and making up names and locations, but are obviously the same people repeating the same vile trash about people.

    Mr. Berger is a valuable resource in National Security matters. He is one of the most recent personnel from the democratic presidential administration. It seems normal that you would go to someone familiar and trustworthy to you for this. Do you want people to trust the current administration wonks like Condi "I never got anything right" Rice?

    I must applaud a good many of the people that write on here for bringing information and facts about the issues. But the rest of the slur machine are simply making fools of themselves. Get a life people!

    Telling it like I see it,
    Wynter

    October 8, 2007 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
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