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EXCLUSIVE – Kathleen Willey: I Overheard White House Staff Teaching Hillary Her Trademark ‘I Don’t Recall’ Defense

NEW YORK – Kathleen Willey, a White House aide during the Clinton administration, stated during a radio interview on Sunday night that she personally heard the White House Counsel advise Hillary Clinton twenty-two years ago to tell government investigators she could not recall events related to numerous scandals that were being probed at the time.

Willey in 1993 served as a volunteer aid working in the White House mail room and later in the social office. In early 1994, she took a paid position in the White House counsel’s office, and it is there, she says, that she overheard the directive to Hillary.

Willey, of course, would later become ensnared in the Paula Jones lawsuit at the Monica Lewinsky fiasco after Willey famously accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault.

In 1994, at the height of numerous scandals, including Whitewater, File-gate and others, Willey says Hillary Clinton and White House Counsel Bernie Nussbaum were speaking in a room with the door open, when she says she heard Nussbaum shout at Clinton that she should tell investigators she could not recall events.

Stated Willey:

“The first time I heard it I thought it, wow! And I heard Bernie Nussbaum talking extremely very loudly. To Hillary. And basically said, ‘For Christ’s sake, Hillary. All you have to say is you don’t recall. You don’t remember anything. Nobody can argue with that.’”

Willey was speaking on this reporter’s talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio,” broadcast on New York’s AM 970 The Answer and NewsTalk 990 AM.

Willey says she was prompted to speak about the alleged exchange with Nussbaum after it was reported on Friday that during her more than three-hour interview with FBI investigators in July, Clinton cited more than three dozen things that she claimed she could not recall.

Commented Willey: “And if you look at this and if you look at all the testimony, the grand jury testimony, all of this stuff that was being revealed like what we are looking at now. All of the FBI files. This is their modus operandi. This is what they do.

“So when I read all of this on Friday and all this past weekend and I heard, ‘I don’t recall, I don’t remember, I don’t remember this.’ You know I just thought to myself this is just never going to change. It is just never going to change. It is what they do,” Willey added.

Click here to listen to the full interview with Willey:

Here is a full transcript of the relevant portion of Willey’s remarks to me:

“I started to see this pattern being there. It was a small office and you can hear everybody talking. And it was just always a lot of activity. Because, you know it started out with the FBI Filegate problem when Craig Livingston (director of the White House’s Office of Personnel Security) got all of those FBI files on so many people. Like 900 files. And if they said 900 it was probably a thousand nine hundred. And then you had the travel office fiasco. Then Whitewater in ‘94 was really starting to kick in. And at that time Robert Fiske was the special prosecutor; that’s before Ken Starr. And they were looking at indicting all kinds of people…And of course, the Clintons were very, very involved with that. There were just so many of those scandals. Cheryl Mills was in and out of the office. The whole cast of characters. They’ve been around forever.

… I just started hearing over and over and over again. The first time I heard it I thought it, wow! And I heard Bernie Nussbaum talking extremely very loudly. To Hillary. And basically said, ‘For Christ’s sake, Hillary. All you have to say is you don’t recall. You don’t remember anything. Nobody can argue with that.’

And if you look at this and if you look at all the testimony, the grand jury testimony, all of this stuff that was being revealed like what we are looking at now. All of the FBI files. This is their modus operandi. This is what they do. All of them. Cheryl Mills; all of them.

…And like I said it continued on that whole year. And after I left and then everything started happening with Monica. And that whole impeachment trial. Everybody. Sid Blumenthal. Cheryl Mills. Everybody. Every witness. All of them. I don’t recall. I don’t remember. I have no opinion. That’s all that they do. And the truth of the matter is is that you can’t argue with that. You can laugh. Your response can be, ‘What do you mean you don’t remember?’ But when they say that there’s no argument to that. And this is what they have done for 40 years. And it never ends.”

The Washington Post on Friday compiled a list of some of the things Clinton claimed she could not recall during her FBI interview in July, at which Cheryl Mills was reportedly present:

•a briefing or training given by the State Department on the retention of federal records or handling of classified information
•how often she used her Original Classification Authority (OCA) or any training or guidance that State Department provided on that
•any specific briefing on handling classified information associated with Special Access Programs (SAP)
•a specific process for nominating a target for a drone strike
•why the State Department was unable to provide her with a secure BlackBerry
•receiving any emails she thought didn’t belong on an unclassified system
•receiving guidance from the State Department about the email policies contained in the Foreign Affairs Manual
•specifically which aides had access to her BlackBerry and email accounts
•the compromise of State Department employees’ Gmail accounts
•ever using an iPad mini until after her time as secretary of state
•receiving any Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests related to her email
•who advised her to change her email address after Sidney Blumenthal’s email account was compromised in 2013

Clinton’s “I don’t not recall” tactic goes back to the 1990s, as Willey noted.

New York Times columnist William Safire mocked the claim in a January 1996 column about the Whitewater scandal:

Having stood on the burning deck, I empathize with loyalists. The Clintons’ lawyer, David Kendall, deserves a salute for cunningly introducing the notion that in 1992 Mrs. Clinton may have handled these records: “It is possible they showed her the billing records then, but she does not recall.”

Although this assertion undermines her claim that she did not know that any documents were withheld in 1992 from the Times, the astute lawyering provides some cover in the unlikely event that Mrs. Clinton’s fingerprints are found on those billing records along with Vincent Foster’s.

Aaron Klein is Breitbart’s Jerusalem bureau chief and senior investigative reporter. He is a New York Times bestselling author and hosts the popular weekend talk radio program, “Aaron Klein Investigative Radio.” Follow him on Twitter @AaronKleinShow. Follow him on Facebook.

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