Dish of Currie!

Dish of Currie!

Dish of Currie!

Gossip, speculation, and scuttlebutt about politics.
March 9 1998 6:26 PM

Dish of Currie!

Chatterbox hears that the lawyer for Clinton secretary Betty Currie was irritated that President Clinton overplayed Currie's initial denial of the Feb. 6 New York Times story regarding her testimony before Kenneth Starr's grand jury....If you recall, Lawrence Wechsler, Currie's attorney, issued a statement saying she was not "aware" of any legal or ethical impropriety. Apparently the idea (see Chatterbox for 2/18) was to leave open the possibility that others might interpret the facts, as Currie told them, to involve an impropriety. Clinton immediately seized on the statement and declared to the press that he was "pleased that Ms. Currie's lawyers stated unambiguously--unambiguously--that she's not aware of any unethical conduct."... Since Clinton also used the "aware" fuzzword, it's not clear what Wechsler found so irritating. Perhaps he was more annoyed at White House spinners, who turned Currie's statements into a denial that she' d been in any way coached....But, hey, if Wechsler is irritated, Chatterbox is irritated....

Advertisement

The big question in Washington at this point in time: Did Clinton use Jesse Jackson to "get to" Currie and convince her not to contradict the president in her testimony?... Jackson was the one who contacted Currie when panicked White House officials couldn't locate her early in the scandal. (She wasn't at work because she was testifying to Starr!) Today's Washington Post says Jackson "has provided spiritual counseling to Currie...in recent weeks." Last Friday's New York Times reported that Jackson "seemed uncomfortable when asked about his relationship with Mrs. Currie"....But Jackson is also quoted in the Post as doubting that Currie would have acted on her own volition when she asked Vernon Jordan to get Monica Lewinsky a job. That tends to undermine Clinton's case... Is Jackson actually planning Sister Souljah's revenge?...

All the heat on Currie makes Chatterbox think: Was the sprawling, seemingly loony essay by Henry Louis "Skip the Truth" Gates Jr. in last week's New Yorker (see Chatterbox for 3/3) actually a far more narrowly-targeted appeal than Chatterbox thought--specifically, an appeal for Currie to lie for Clinton, much as Rose Mary Woods (the heroine of Gates' essay) is thought to have lied for Nixon?... Sorry, Skip! Chatterbox's sources (like everybody else's) say that nobody who knows Currie thinks she'll lie for the president. Clinton spinners have also portrayed Currie as incorruptible. They may, to their regret, be right...

Chatterbox has also learned that Currie once told friends President Clinton and his wife lead such separated lives that the president only learned Hillary was testifying before Starr's grand jury when he saw it on TV!...

Oedipuss at the Excelsior! To gain new insight into the Paula Jones lawsuit, go buy a copy of David Maraniss' acclaimed Clinton bio First in His Class. Turn to the second photograph, a weathered old portrait of Paula Jones.... Wait a minute, that's not Paula Jones. That's a photo of Bill Clinton's mother, Virginia Kelley!... The similarity is giving Chatterbox the Freudian heebie-jeebies, for the second time this month. (The first was that business about attorney William Ginsburg kissing the inside of baby Monica's thighs.)... Those who say Jones is too unattractive to draw Clinton' s attention--the Oscar Wilde defense--should be forced to ponder the implications of this photo...

Advertisement

Least Plausible Perjury Payoff Dept.: The Washington Post noted ominously that shortly before Arkansas ex-judge Beth Coulson gave a deposition denying a sexual relationship with Clinton, the president "named her to a committee of Arkansas friends to come up with name recommendations for his new dog." ... Hey, honey, there's that and more in it for you if you keep quiet!... Personally, Chatterbox would have held out for ambassador to Switzerland....