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Mrs. Clinton: Charges Are Untrue

January 22, 1998

BALTIMORE (AP) _ As allegations intensified Wednesday that her husband had an affair with a White House intern, first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton said she believes the charges are untrue and, like many others against the president, politically motivated.

``Certainly I believe they’re false. Absolutely,″ Mrs. Clinton told reporters as she sat inside Penn Station in Baltimore, waiting to return to Washington by train after giving a speech at Goucher College.

Mrs. Clinton declined further comment on the latest controversy _ that Whitewater prosecutors are investigating President Clinton’s alleged affair with Monica Lewinsky, 24, and whether he tried to get the young woman to lie about the relationship.

But the first lady said her husband will weather this scandal as he has all the others. ``He’ll deal with it and continue to fulfill his responsibilities as president,″ she said.

``It’s difficult and painful any time someone you care about, you love, you admire, is attacked and subjected to such relentless accusations as my husband has been,″ Mrs. Clinton said.

``But I also have now lived with this for, gosh, more than six years. I have seen how these charges and accusations evaporate and disappear if they’re ever given the light of day.″

Mrs. Clinton described scandals such as the latest one as ``a continuation of a lot of the political accusations and attacks″ that have hovered over Clinton practically from the moment he announced he would seek the presidency in 1991.

``There has been a concerted effort to undermine his legitimacy as president, to undo much of what he has been able to accomplish, to attack him personally when he could not be defeated politically,″ she said.

``My husband has been so successful in changing the direction of the country. I think it has been very hard for his opponents to accept.″

The first lady _ who herself was targeted in the Whitewater probe _ called such scandal-driven investigations ``regrettable.″

``It’s not good for our country that political accusations and conflict are turned into matters of legal concern,″ she said.

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