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McDougal Likens Clintons To 'Tornadoes' (4/15/97)

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James McDougal -- April 15, 1997

Excerpts from an NBC interview with former Whitewater business partner James McDougal, to be broadcast tonight on "Dateline NBC," via The Associated Press:

Q: Did you feel abandoned by the president when he did not offer a pardon?

McDougal: Uh, I wasn't so much concerned he had abandoned me. I felt he had abandoned Susan.

Q: Your ex-wife.

McDougal: I really thought he would pardon her. That was a big factor in my decision.

Q: And if the President wasn't going to protect an old friend, you weren't going to protect him?

McDougal: I just got sick and tired of lying for the fellow, you know ...

Q: During his testimony, David Hale says there was a meeting, Clinton was there, the three of you discussed a loan to Susan McDougal, and that Bill Clinton said something to the effect, my name cannot be on this.

McDougal: I don't remember, uh, his saying that.

Q: Was Bill Clinton there?

McDougal: We were together at Casa Grande, yes.

Q: There with David Hale?

McDougal: Yes.

Q: Talking about a loan?

McDougal: Yes.

Q: For Susan McDougal?

McDougal: Yes.

Q: Do you believe that he knew that this wasn't all above board?

McDougal: I have no idea.

Q: Did you know it wasn't above board?

McDougal: Yes ...

Q: Is it fair to say that what you now have to say about that meeting could spell trouble for the president?

McDougal: I think that they should be deeply concerned.

Q: You've changed your story.

McDougal: Yes. I was trying to protect him ...

Q: Bill and Hillary Clinton were once good friends of yours.

McDougal: Yes.

Q: Have you betrayed them?

McDougal: Well, I don't think so. I think the Clintons are really sort of like tornadoes moving through people's lives that ... I'm just one of the people left in the wake of their passing by there, but I have no whining or complaining to do, because I have lots of company.

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