From: Wolf Blitzer/CNN
Subject: White House: Hillary Wasn't Behind Commerce's Hiring Of Huang
One again, the White House has flatly denied that First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton was behind the Commerce Department's hiring of controversial Democratic party fund-raiser John Huang.
"It's absolutely untrue," says White House special counsel Lanny Davis. Davis also denied that the White House pressured the late Commerce Secretary Ron Brown to go to China in 1994 to close a deal that would benefit Huang's previous employer, the Lippo Group of Indonesia.
"Secretary Brown announced publicly that the project between the Arkansas company Energy and the Chinese government represented a significant victory for American jobs and American enterprise," Davis told CNN.
Lippo, owned by the Riady family of Jakarta, was a major part of that Chinese business deal.
These latest denials follow allegations from Nolanda Hill, a close associate and friend of Brown, who was killed in a plane crash last year while on a trade mission to the Balkans. Hill, who claims to have had a 10-year love affair with Brown, appeared Wednesday night on ABC News' "Prime Time Live."
In rejecting her claims, other White House sources say her allegations were reported without any corroborating evidence. They say there have been previous allegations that Mrs. Clinton was behind the hiring of Huang, accusations she has always strongly denied.
The White House sources say there is still no evidence, documentary or otherwise, to substantiate Hill's latest claim that Mrs. Clinton was behind the hiring of Huang. Nor, they say, is there any proof that Brown was pressured by the White House to go to China to please Huang and the Lippo Group.
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