Woodward book claims to hold Clinton secrets
June 16, 1999
(CNN) -- A new book by veteran journalist Bob Woodward is ruffling some feathers, claiming to offer a behind-the-scenes look into the White House as the Monica Lewinsky scandal unfolded.
Woodward's book, "Shadow: Five Presidents and the Legacy of Watergate," (Read an excerpt) details conversations between President Clinton and confidants, including his attorney Robert Bennett.
Bennett is quoted as saying, "Mr. President, I find your explanation about one of these women frankly unbelievable. This is what impeachment is made of. Your political enemies will eat you alive if there's anything in that deposition that isn't truthful."
The White House is not confirming the report.
"I would suggest that if you want to report the story, you start by talking to Mr. Woodward and Mr. Bennett and establish the facts," White House Press Secretary Joe Lockhart said Wednesday. "Why don't you start with Mr. Bennett, who, if you have all read The Washington Post this morning, will see that he says that he did not violate attorney-client privilege."
Bennett told the paper, "I have never breached the attorney-client privilege in my entire life, and I do not know who Woodward's sources are. Period."
Published by Simon and Schuster, "Shadow" traces Clinton's handling of various scandals during his time in the White House, concluding that the days of the larger-than-life presidents like Franklin Roosevelt are over.
"After Vietnam and Watergate, the modern presidency has been limited and diminished. Its inner workings and the behavior of the presidents are fully exposed," he writes.
Woodward contends that Presidents Gerald Ford, Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan and George Bush all fought the notion that the days of the "big-time president" were over, but "Clinton's rebellion was the greatest and the most self- defeating."
"Shadow" is Woodward's eighth book since his co-authored best seller "All The President's Men" about Richard Nixon's downfall. Nearly half of the new book is devoted to Clinton scandals.
Criticized before for citing unnamed sources, Woodward this time included 74 pages of densely printed footnotes on sourcing. The section on Clinton cites numerous anonymous "knowledgeable sources."
Reuters contributed to this report.
'Uncovering Clinton: A Reporter's Story'
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