Klein Backs off Clinton Rape Smear in Hannity Interview
Edward Klein has backed down from his allegation that Bill Clinton raped Hillary, leading to the conception of Chelsea.
Klein backs off rape smear in Hannity interview (Media Matters for America)
Asked by interviewer Sean Hannity “about whether or not Bill [Clinton] raped her [Hillary Clinton] and conceived Chelsea that way,” author Edward Klein backed off the claim in two June 21 interviews — and told two conflicting stories about his own sourcing for it in the process.
In an afternoon interview on Hannity’s nationally syndicated radio show to promote his new attack book on Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-NY), The Truth About Hillary (Sentinel, June 2005), Klein said, “My source never said Bill raped Hillary.” He added that the supposed “source” thought that Bill Clinton had made the comment, “I’m going to go back to my cottage and rape my wife,” as a “joke” and in “jest.” But in a later TV interview with Hannity on Fox News’ Hannity & Colmes, Klein backed off the story entirely, saying, “Nor do I suggest for a second that he [sic] was raped.”
Within the course of a few minutes in the radio interview, Klein flip-flopped on how many sources he had for the story. In his book, Klein sources the story only to “an anonymous source who was with the Clintons in Bermuda.” Klein’s book cites no other sources to support the story.
When initially pressed by Hannity, Klein said he had only one source:
HANNITY: It’s only one source.
KLEIN: It’s one source who I checked out very carefully.
A few minutes later, however, Klein changed his mind, telling Hannity that he had more than one source on the story:
HANNITY: Is one anonymous source enough, then, to go to print with something like that?
KLEIN: Well, you know, I’ve been at this for 40-some-odd years, Sean. And I’ve dealt with anonymous sources all my life.
HANNITY: But one source? Were you able to corroborate the source?
KLEIN: Of course. I wouldn’t go to print —
HANNITY: So, you had two sources?
KLEIN: I had — sometimes I had several sources.
HANNITY: But in the case of this rape story —
KLEIN: Of course I did, yes.
But in the Hannity & Colmes interview, Klein returned to his original claim that he had only one source:
HANNITY: In the case of the story of how Chelsea was conceived, you had one source in the book.
via Peter Daou
Update: For those visiting from Michelle Malkin‘s site or another direct link who are not regular readers, I should note that I am in no way a fan of Bill or Hillary Clinton. While I admire both of their political skills, I find little to like about them as people. But there’s plenty for which to criticize the Clintons without libeling them.