Ex-FBI Chief Puts Clinton Critique in Print

Former FBI director Louis J. Freeh has denounced Bill Clinton over the scandals that marred his presidency and for his record on terrorism, saying the level of distrust was so great that he stayed in his post so Clinton could not appoint his successor.

In a forthcoming book and "60 Minutes" interview, Freeh, whose strained relations with Clinton were no secret, says he was so determined to distance himself from Clinton that he sent back a White House pass so that all his visits would be deemed official. This, he said, antagonized Clinton.

In an interview with CBS's Mike Wallace to be broadcast Sunday, Freeh says: "The problem was with Bill Clinton -- the scandals and the rumored scandals, the incubating ones and the dying ones never ended. Whatever moral compass the president was consulting was leading him in the wrong direction. His closets were full of skeletons just waiting to burst out." Freeh cited investigations involving Whitewater, Monica Lewinsky, Paula Jones and Gennifer Flowers.

Clinton spokesman Jay Carson said last night: "This is clearly a total work of fiction by a man who's desperate to clear his name and sell books, and it's unfortunate he'd stoop to this level in his attempt to rewrite history." He noted Freeh contributed nearly $20,000 to Republicans, including President Bush, in the last campaign.

In his book -- "My FBI: Bringing Down the Mafia, Investigating Bill Clinton, and Fighting the War on Terror" (St. Martin's Press) -- Freeh is scathing toward Clinton's handling of the 1996 bombing at Khobar Towers in Saudi Arabia. He says Clinton refused to ask Saudi Crown Prince Abdullah to let the FBI question bombing suspects being held by the kingdom.

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