Bill Clinton’s former adviser Dick Morris claims the ex-president physically assaulted him and was prepared to throw a punch before Hillary Clinton intervened during a confrontation in the Arkansas governor’s mansion in May 1990.
“Bill ran after me, tackled me, threw me to the floor of the kitchen in the mansion and cocked his fist back to punch me,” Morris says in an open letter to Mrs. Clinton published by National Review Online.
Morris wrote the letter to challenge Mrs. Clinton’s contention in her book “Living History” that he was reluctant to assist the Clintons in the congressional election of 1994 because of difficulties working with their staff.
The real reason for his reluctance, Morris says, is “that Bill Clinton had tried to beat me up in May of 1990 as he, you, [campaign staffer] Gloria Cabe, and I were together in the Arkansas governor’s mansion.”
Morris tells Mrs. Clinton, “At the time, Bill was worried that he was falling behind his Democratic primary opponent and verbally assaulted me for not giving his campaign the time he felt it deserved. Offended by his harsh tone, I turned and stalked out of the room.”
That’s when the governor tackled him from behind and prepared to punch him, Morris says.
“You grabbed his arm,” he writes to Mrs. Clinton, “and, yelling at him to stop and get control of himself, pulled him off me. Then you walked me around the grounds of the mansion in the minutes after, with your arm around me, saying, ‘He only does that to people he loves.’”
Morris says he continued to work for the governor until the 1990 election out of a sense of responsibility, but “our relationship was never close and never the same.”
He claims that when the story threatened to surface again during the 1992 presidential campaign, Mrs. Clinton told him to “say it never happened.”
Morris accuses Mrs. Clinton of “inventing a conversation” to back her version of events in “Living History.”
The former Clinton adviser says, “You even misquote me as telling you: ‘I don’t like the way I was treated, Hillary. People were so mean to me.’
“As you know,” Morris writes, “I never said anything of the sort. I had, in fact, no experience in dealing with either your staff or the president’s at that point, and had not yet met Leon Panetta or George Stephanopoulos. My prior dealing with Harold Ickes had been 25 years earlier.”
Morris doesn’t explain in his letter why he later was willing to become Bill Clinton’s chief strategist, helping the president win re-election in 1996. Morris was forced to resign shortly after the Democratic convention that year, however, after media reported his extramarital affair with a prostitute with whom he allegedly shared White House secrets.
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