Living With the Clintons: Bill’s Arkansas bodyguards tell the story the press missed.
(Page 8 of 8)
According to Perry, about six weeks before the Star interview was published, Flowers again began calling the residence day and night asking to speak with Bill. Word around the guard house was that Flowers might be trying to blackmail Clinton by threatening to expose their affair. “She was constantly calling, sometimes several times a day. And we were aware that she was up to something. We were told that she might be trying to tape the calls with Clinton, so I called her Gennifer Fowler so it would look like I didn’t know who she was.” Here is an excerpt from a transcript of the Flowers tapes:
PERRY: Governor’s mansion, Roger Perry.
FLOWERS: Is Bill Clinton in please?
PERRY: Ma’am, he’s with some people right now. May I ask who’s calling?
FLOWERS: This is Gennifer Flowers, I’m returning his call.
PERRY: Gennifer Fowler?
PERRY: OK. Hang on just a second.…
After the story broke, the damage-controllers went into high gear. Pursuing the story further, reporters began filing requests for various state records, including personnel files and phone records. Up to the time the Star story appeared, the troopers said they kept two logs at the guard house. One was a gate log, produced on a typewriter, noting all vehicles coming into or out of the mansion gates. A second record was a standard telephone message log, with one copy of any telephone message going to Bill or Hillary and one copy retained in the log book.
Patterson said he was told by Buddy Young that Hillary Clinton ordered that the gate log no longer be maintained. And a new procedure was instituted for handling the phone log. Previously, old log books were stored in a maintenance house on the property after they were filled. Post-Flowers, the troopers said, they were told to bring the message log book directly to Buddy Young, who disposed of it. It was Patterson’s understanding that the old logs from the maintenance house — records kept by state employees — were destroyed on Hillary’s orders.
In another instance in the spring of 1992, aides to Clinton pored over telephone records for evidence of personal calls to women, Patterson said. “I was told by Buddy Young that there were several calls made by the governor on his cellular phone to a number in Sherwood, Arkansas, that belonged to [the Clinton girlfriend who lived near Patterson]. At the time, the media was covering the Flowers story. I was told that if the records were made public Betsey Wright had told Buddy that I was going to have to take responsibility for making the calls to protect the governor and he asked me to write a check to pay for them.” In what Patterson believes was seen as an act of disloyalty by the Clinton clique, he refused to do so.
Young flatly denied this story. Wright, now a Washington lobbyist, said Patterson’s account was “absurd.” When she was the governor’s chief of staff, Wright did regularly review all telephone records and ask people to pay for their personal calls, she said. “But I would never have asked someone to pay for calls that were not their own. Poor Larry has all of that screwed up.” When I asked Wright if she knew this particular Sherwood woman, she said, “It is not an unfamiliar name, but one of the wonderful things about a place like Little Rock is that you get to know everyone.”
Throughout the tense period, Young constantly warned the troopers, “If you’re smart, you won’t talk to the press,” the same warning they said he delivered a year later as they prepared to go public with this story.
Clinton, meanwhile, was by turns angry and very worried. From the back of his Lincoln he would say, “What does that whore think she’s doing to me?” He also referred to Flowers as a “f — -ing slut,” according to Patterson. On the Flowers tapes, after telling Flowers “if they ever hit you with it just say ‘no’ and go on,” Clinton had said he would be free and clear on the womanizing issue so long as “they don’t have pictures.” In a conversation in the kitchen of the governor’s mansion after Flowers went public, Clinton asked one of the troopers for advice on how to handle the situation. Clinton said that without photos, nothing could be proved. “I told him, ‘Then lie your ass off,’” the trooper said, and Clinton apparently did.
David Brock is the author of The Real Anita Hill (Free Press) and an investigative writer for The American Spectator.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
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