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May 4, 1994 (288K wav) (512K wav)

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The Paula Jones Case

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Clinton Concerned About Court Ruling

He cites effect on future presidents, refers questions to his lawyer

By Wolf Blitzer/CNN

clinton

THE HAGUE, Netherlands (May 28) -- President Bill Clinton says he's concerned about the impact that Tuesday's Supreme Court decision on the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit will have on future U.S. presidents. But he declined to discuss the matter further as he continued his European journey here in the Netherlands.

"The Supreme Court has made its decision," Clinton said, "and I'd like to stick with what Mr. Bennett said about that."

He was referring to remarks made by his lawyer, Robert Bennett, in Washington on Tuesday. (320K wav sound)

After saying he was concerned about the impact of the decision on future presidents, Clinton said he would have "nothing to add" to Bennett's comments. "I'll let him speak for me," he said. (384K wav sound)

White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry says the president telephoned Bennett Tuesday night from Paris shortly after learning about the Supreme Court's 9-0 decision. The president was told of the decision just before starting a meeting with Russian President Boris Yeltsin.

bennett

McCurry says the president wanted to "understand better" what the decision was. The president and Bennett spoke for about five to 10 minutes.

Like the president, McCurry did not want to comment on the decision. He, too, referred reporters to Bennett's remarks.

Asked about a suggestion in today's New York Times that there was a "sense of siege" in the White House, McCurry replied: "I don't see it here." He added that he didn't think there was a "sense of siege" at the White House in Washington either.

But the decision, several White House sources said, came as a shock, especially the fact that all the justices, including the two appointed by Clinton, Stephen Breyer and Ruth Bader Ginsburg, joined in the decision against him.

The sources said the president had been led to believe that the decision would be close.

The decision has also deeply embarrassed the president and his entourage during what was supposed to be a triumphant visit to Europe designed to showcase the new NATO relationship with Russia and to commemmorate the 50th anniversary of the Marshall Plan that helped rebuild war-torn Europe.





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