Clinton Admits Discussing Policy Issues With Indonesian Businessman
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Nov. 16) -- President Clinton acknowledged discussing policy issues with James Riady, but said the Indonesian businessman never influenced his decisions.
In an interview with The New York Times published Saturday, the president also said the Democratic National Committee's decision to send John Huang to raise money in Taiwan for 1996 campaigns was a mistake.
Campaign contributions from Riady's family, which owns the Lippo banking and real estate conglomerate, are at the center of the controversy over political donations from international sources.
Clinton said in the interview that he twice discussed policy matters with Riady, a friend, at social gatherings. Riady also encouraged him to meet with Indonesian President Suharto in 1993. The meeting took place in Tokyo at a time when Clinton said he wanted "to reach out to the whole nonaligned movement and especially to the Islamic nations in it who had not given over to fundamentalism and extreme anti-Americanism."
Huang, who was suspended last month from his fund-raising position with the DNC amid reports that he solicited improper contributions, traveled to Taiwan just months after Clinton promised to protect Taiwan from military harassment by the Chinese. Clinton said he didn't know about the trip, and "would have counseled against it" if he had.
White House security records show that Riady has visited the White House at least 20 times since Clinton took office in 1993, the Times reported, but officials said most of the trips were for briefings, receptions or meetings with mid-level officials.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
AllPolitics home page
Copyright © 1997 AllPolitics All Rights Reserved