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White House Protests Ex-FBI Agent's TV Date

June 30, 1996| From Associated Press

PARIS — The White House assailed ABC News on Saturday for inviting former FBI agent Gary Aldrich to appear on a TV interview show to talk about his book on working in the Clinton White House.

"This guy writes lies," White House Press Secretary Mike McCurry said of Aldrich, who is scheduled to appear today on "This Week With David Brinkley" along with White House senior advisor George Stephanopoulos.

McCurry branded the book "fallacious and totally inaccurate," and said ABC News was making a journalistic error in giving someone he described as a "disgruntled former agent" a national platform.

"It is utterly inconceivable that a major news organization would do that," McCurry said. "Our argument is that putting him on the air gives him a credibility and a platform."

ABC defended the decision.

"Gary Aldrich was one of two FBI agents posted at the White House. He had direct knowledge of security at the White House and for that reason he is newsworthy," ABC spokeswoman Su-Lin Cheng said Saturday.

Aldrich, a 30-year veteran who retired from the FBI last year, wrote "Unlimited Access: An FBI Agent Inside the Clinton White House," which asserts, among other things, that the former head of the White House security office got his job because he was a friend of First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton.

Asked at a news conference Saturday whether Mrs. Clinton had approved the hiring of D. Craig Livingstone, the recently resigned head of the White House security office, the president replied: "The answers are 'no' and 'no.' "

The book is published by conservative Regnery Publishing Inc. in Washington and is being promoted by Craig Shirley & Associates Inc., whose principals are Republican political operatives.

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