White House accuses Sen. Clinton of fueling political divisions
WASHINGTON (CNN) -- White House press secretary Ari Fleischer accused Sen. Hillary Clinton Friday of working to divide Americans along party lines.
The former first lady responded by saying she is simply "seeking answers and information" about recent revelations that President Bush was alerted prior to September 11 of possible terrorist attacks.
The row between the White House and the Democrat from New York began Thursday when Clinton appeared on the Senate floor and held up a copy of the New York Post with the headline of "Bush Knew."
"The president knew what?" she asked. "My constituents would like to know the answer to that and many other questions, not to blame the president or any other American, just to know."
Fleischer responded in his daily news briefing.
"I have to say, with disappointment, that Mrs. Clinton, having seen that same headline, did not call the White House, did not ask if it was accurate or not," he said.
"Instead, she immediately went to the floor of the Senate, and I'm sorry to say that she followed that headline and divided."
Hours later, the freshman senator fired back.
"What I said is completely in line with what was said by other senators on both sides of the aisle who are asking respectfully for information to respond to questions that are legitimately being posed by the American public," she told reporters.
"We have a responsibility to ask for information, and I think that is not only appropriate but necessary. You know, nobody is more entitled to answers to these questions than the people of New York, and I take that responsibility very seriously."
She added: "I am seeking answers and information. I am not looking to point fingers or place blame on anybody."
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