On Aug. 28, 1996, I took a red-eye flight to Chicago to join the
Democrat National Convention. I had some Chinese business friends who
wanted to go, so I considered it a business trip. The media reported
that protests were taking place outside the convention, but we did not
see anything. The Democrat National Committee must have distanced the
protesters so that they were far away from the convention activities.
As a “fat cat” donor, I was treated like a VIP. DNC officials gave
me a pass that hung around my neck and allowed me to go pretty much
wherever I wanted. There were different degrees of access allowed to
convention attendees, and I was very near the top. Perhaps I can thank
the almighty dollar — many of which I had donated to the party the two
years prior to the convention — for my high level of access.
Many congressmen, senators, White House administration personnel and
high-ranking officials came to shake hands with me and pose for
pictures. Boy, they definitely know how to make you feel like you are
“somebody.” Maybe when they looked at me, they saw dollar signs and
came running. After all, even Tom Brokaw said I was treated like an ATM
machine by this administration.
After the president gave his acceptance speech for his second
nomination as the Democrat candidate, we went to a very special hotel
where Mr. Clinton was to meet all the fat cat donors at a reception. In
order to get into the reception, you needed to pay $5,000 per person.
As I walked into the private reception, I saw a strange sight. There
were more than 200 or 300 people in a small bar area, and at least
two-thirds of them were Asian. They spoke all sorts of different Asian
languages, some of which I didn’t understand. Most of them were holding
gifts, ready to give to the president.
DNC fund-raiser Karen Sternfeld hugs Chung at the 1996 Democrat National Convention.
Being an Asian-American, I can honestly say that I am sure these
Asian reception guests were not American citizens — they were Asian
nationals. Immediately, I began to wonder, “If it costs $5,000 per
person to get in, how did these Asian nationals get here in the first
place? Who donated for them?”
The gate-keeper for that event was Richard Sullivan, former DNC
finance director. No one could have come into the room without him
knowing. The DNC knew exactly what was going on. For them to say they
did not know these men were Asian nationals is ridiculous.
While I was walking around the room, one of the Taiwanese government
officials said to me, “We still have one person outside. Can you bring
I did not know the man, and I said, “I’ve got nothing to do with you
guys. You know it’s $5,000 per person. Go ask whoever brought you in.”
Then, I went closer to talk to Sullivan and brought up the subject of
the outside man. He looked at me with a very funny look on his face.
He slowly held up his hand, showing his five fingers, indicating that
the only way that man was getting in was with $5,000.
I told Sullivan, “I’ve got nothing to do with these people.” I was
not about to pay that kind of money for someone I didn’t even know or
needed to impress.
President Clinton and his wife arrived at that moment, met by a rush
of people wanting to shake hands with them. Then, as though on cue, the
Asian guests all opened the gift boxes they had brought, revealing
handkerchiefs and neckties inside, along with other gifts I didn’t see.
Taiwan’s Ambassador Hu shaking hands with President Clinton at
The Asian custom is to open the gift you brought and then show it to
the recipient. Maybe they thought that was the only way to keep the
president around for an extra 30 seconds, which allowed them to quickly
get a snapshot with Clinton and his gift. A picture with the president
of the United States is worth its weight in gold in Asia. But after the
Monica Lewinsky scandal, Clinton couldn’t get five bucks for his face in
It was quite a scene — a gift-giving frenzy with everyone rushing to
the president, speaking in all of their different languages. I
understood some to be Korean, Japanese and Chinese, but there were many
others that I could not identify.
Hillary Rodham Clinton with Chung at the private reception after the president’s acceptance speech
That experience opened my eyes — this administration really knows
how to exploit people.
This week, I read in the New York Times that the president was
questioned by the Justice Department’s campaign finance task force. In
his testimony, Clinton said he was worried that I was “kind of hustling”
him, and that he was worried about having pictures taken with my Chinese
Mr. President, it takes two to tango. If I were “hustling” you in
order to impress my business associates, you were hustling me for my
money. You say you were worried about taking the pictures, but you
looked fine to me when you were smiling for the camera with hundreds of
other Asian businessmen at different events I attended. If I had more
space in this column, I could post hundreds of pictures of you, me and
other Asian businessmen. Each picture was money in your pocket.
And Wednesday, in the Washington Times, you put all the blame on the
DNC for the campaign finance scandal, including former chairman Don
I think the American people simply cannot take you at your word,
especially after you said, “I did not have sexual relations with that
woman. …” Americans don’t believe you anymore, and neither do I.
Integrity and honesty are two qualities you lack, and it shows in the
way you dealt with questions about James Riady. In a limousine ride
with you, he promised to donate $1 million.
When John Huang gave his testimony to the United States Congress, he
said Riady told him about the promise. Huang is someone you trusted
enough to give top security clearance, and you appointed him to a high
position in the Department of Commerce. And now, in your testimony, you
said you don’t remember the pledge. How many Americans, particularly
politicians, forget that they were promised money? Are you calling
Huang a liar?
Let’s see, who has a track record of lying under oath: John Huang or
The DNC hassled me for months over $75,000 for one picture. Why
should Americans believe that the world’s leading politician would not
remember a promise for $1 million? But it didn’t just stop with a
promise — Riady actually came through with the money.
Are you saying, Mr. President, that you do not know who your million
dollar donors are? I find that extremely difficult to believe.
In 1996, I was at the Democrat convention looking from the top, down
– out of ignorance and as a pawn. Now, as we prepare for national
conventions four years later, I look up from the bottom with knowing
eyes at the dirty deception and evil of the Clinton-Gore operation. I
am free, because I know the truth. And I am ready to share it with the
Mr. President, Mr. Vice President and Mrs. Clinton, I want you all to
know that I have peace with my Lord, Jesus Christ because I know the
truth will survive, no matter how you try to trash me. And someday,
when you all step down from your offices, the time will come when
American history will reveal exactly what happened in the Chinagate
When that happens, and the truth becomes known, you will also need to
make peace with the God of Truth.
In the meantime, all I can say to you is, “Remember, Jesus loves you