Journalists look into the other side of Bill Clinton: Part 2

Kenneth Starr became the special prosecutor tasked with investigating the Clintons' involvement in the Whitewater land deal in Arkansas.
6:59 | 01/11/19

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Transcript for Journalists look into the other side of Bill Clinton: Part 2
?????? I'm always asked, "How did you break the story of Monica Lewinsky?" Monica Lewinsky's story didn't begin in Washington. It all began when a group of reporters went down to Arkansas and started looking into, say, the other side of Bill Clinton. Suddenly, people were learning much more about Arkansas than perhaps they really wanted to know. And how the Clintons had may or may not have tried to make money in ways there unethical. Bill Clinton was seen as slippery, and in my ways, he was slippery. It seemed there were deals. There were aspects to his background that gave rise to suspicions. The media pounced on it. The surface elements at least are juicy and dramatic. Questions of coverup, cronyism, missing money, mysterious suicide. Whitewater was a land deal that went sour. The Clintons weren't rich, they had no money. The governor made nothing, and she was a lawyer at a small law firm. The governor of Arkansas made $30,000 a year, if I remember correctly. They were driven. They were ambitious. They wanted more in every respect, and along came Jim Mcdougall. When a guy like Jim Mcdougall comes around and says, "Oh, let's invest in this land deal in Whitewater," it seemed like a good, sure thing. The mcdougalls, well, they were bill and Hillary's business partners. They were crooks. So, why would you affiliate with a couple of known shady characters if you're bill and Hillary? Because you could. I have not done anything illegal, unethical or dishonorable, especially dishonorable. Mcdougall was kind of this flamboyant banker who was doing weird deals in Arkansas. I don't think they ever really did their due diligence on that deal, and that kind of bit them later on. One of the things the Democrats and good government Republicans learned from the Nixon period was, get it out into the open, fast. Get an independent prosecutor. Just do it, because if you don't do it, you are sort of sending the signal that you have something to hide. That's when Ken Starr enters the story. Good morning. How are you today? Ken Starr at the time was a well-renowned conservative judge in Washington, and actually on everyone's short list to become a supreme court justice. I'm confident that I am going to be completely fair about this. He was very quiet, sort of slightly nerdy. Well, some familiar faces. There's always been the suspicion that when he got the Whitewater independent counsel job, he became a prosecutor with a political goal, that he wanted to get ahead and that he saw getting Clinton's scalp as part of that. The decision to appoint a special prosecutor was actually made by Bill Clinton. I think president Clinton was simply responding to what he viewed as political pressure. And he has such robust self-confidence that he may very well have thought, what can be here? I don't know, obviously. You're asking me to opine on his motivations. The Starr investigation started off being a Whitewater investigation, and it ended up being, you know, any dirt you can find on Bill Clinton. We here inside the beltway are obsessed with Gates, and now we have travel-gate. They fired the travel staff and put a friend in charge of it, that became an investigation. Out of one of those investigations some files disappeared, file-gate. It was just like one gate after another. I really don't have anything to add, specifically to that, because I'm not sure -- What does that do? It creates a cloud. It creates a cloud of suspicion from the get-go. There was always this sort of undercurrent of, they're corrupt. The Clintons weren't transparent. That ended up extending these investigations along with the partisan appetite to pursue them. There are too many questions and there are too many implications frankly of breaking the law. The Clintons kept their privacy so true that it made it seem like there was something more there than there ever was. And I truly believe that was the fatal flaw of the Clinton presidency, because in a lot of these investigations, there wasn't a lot of there there. They were very fortunate that key documents had disappeared, and then Jim Mcdougal died in prison, he died of natural causes. And so, you have the combination of lack of documentation and lack of witnesses. There just seemed to be instance after instance. Clinton seemed to escape their clutches. Kenneth Starr's investigation began three and a half years and $30 million ago. I can't comment on the specifics. What Ken Starr finds is nothing. So, for all intents and purposes, he should wind up his investigation. But then, and this is why -- this is why the Clinton story is beyond believable. Bill Clinton's lawyers had been dealing with the consequences of his promiscuity in Arkansas. Most famously was the Paula Jones story, that story was told because there were two troopers corroborating the story. Mrs. Clinton said today the allegations by two Arkansas state troopers, that they helped Mr. Clinton lead a double life with other women when he was governor, will end up in the garbage can. It seemed like one of those high jinx stories out of Arkansas. He was obsessed with women. He on several occasions would tell me "The blonde," or "The brunette," or "The redhead." He exposed himself and he asked me to kiss it. And the consequence of that is that he gives Ken Starr a life boat. He gives him an opportunity to leave the sinking ship of the Whitewater investigation and move to a ship that has nothing to do with Whitewater. So, it was a meandering path through Whitewater and then travel-gate and then file-gate, then Paula Jones. And then came Monica. Oh! Oh! Oh! ??? Ozempic??! ???

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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