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Tom Hanks Regrets Clinton Donation

November 30, 1998

NEW YORK (AP) _ Tom Hanks says he regrets giving the Clinton legal defense fund $10,000 in light of the president’s admission that he had an inappropriate relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

``We gave ten thousand bucks very early on,″ Hanks said in an interview published in the Dec. 7-14 issue of the New Yorker magazine.

``In all honesty, in the light of events since, it would be awfully hard to say now, ’Oh, here, let me help you out with this problem,‴ Hanks said.

He added that ``the other side has plenty of figures that pony up an awful lot of dough, too. So you try to fight fire with fire, or something.″

The New Yorker writer at one point jokes that Hanks could have offered to buy Clinton a house, and Hanks concludes by saying: ``But he ain’t getting that house. I’ll tell you that right now.″

Hanks, who has starred in such hits as ``Forrest Gump,″ ``Apollo 13″ and ``Philadelphia,″ and his wife, actress Rita Wilson, have stayed overnight at the White House three times in the last five years, according to the magazine.

Yet Hanks stops short of calling President Clinton a friend.

``I’m friendly with him. But I don’t think I’ve ever had a true connective conversation with him,″ Hanks said. ``I just can’t. I’m still in the ‘Jeepers creepers, he’s talking to me’ kind of thing.″

As far as his own politics is concerned, Hanks responded vaguely when asked if he might run for office someday: ``I’d have to know more about law or economics.″ He professed no such ambitions but did say in an e-mail to the writer that he thought he can ``handle myself pretty well in the glare of the entertainment media.″

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