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Saturday, December 19, 1998 Published at 14:50 GMT


McCurry doubts Clinton's fitness for office

Mike McCurry: "Flabbergasted that he could be so reckless"

The former White House press spokesman, Mike McCurry, says he has "enormous doubts" about President Bill Clinton's fitness for office.


Mike McCurry: 'Enormous doubts' about the president
Mr McCurry told the BBC's Newsnight programme President Clinton's behaviour was "surely reckless" and "contrary to the way you would expect a rational human being to behave".

Asked whether he thought Mr Clinton was fit to be president, Mr McCurry, who had maintained his silence on presidential issues since his resignation in October, said: "I have enormous doubts because of the recklessness of his behaviour.

"The nature of this particular affair and then the way he did conceal it really does raise some very profound troubling matters.


Mike McCurry: "Flabbergasted" at the president's behaviour
"I feel the way most Americans and probably his own wife do: Deeply disappointed, and hurt and a bit flabbergasted that he could be so reckless," said Mr McCurry.

Reliance on denial

Asked about the president's sex life, he said people close to Mr Clinton had spent a year relying on what appeared to be a direct denial of scandal.

"I did not believe that there was a tortured definition of sex lurking behind that denial," said Mr McCurry.

"I couldn't imagine that he would put himself in that kind of jeopardy when there was a whole army of inquisitors out there," he added.

The former spokesman said that direct conversation on the Monica Lewinsky affair had been avoided to prevent presidential aides being subpoenaed.

But Mr McCurry said he had been assured by the president that "everything would turn out alright".

He said that he had preferred to remain "unknowing" rather than give the press information that night be unreliable.





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