Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton's campaign said Monday that her husband's national security adviser -- who admitted stealing classified documents and disposing them -- has "no official role" in her bid to capture the White House.
Clinton spoke out after coming under attack from Republican lawmakers, who criticized the Democratic presidential front-runner after learning that Sandy Berger is an informal, unpaid adviser to the campaign.
Berger was President Clinton's national security adviser from 1997 until 2001. While preparing to testify before the 9/11 commission in 2003, he took and destroyed copies of secret documents from the National Archives. He was caught a few days later and lied to investigators.
GOP lawmakers told Fox News: "I think it’s a bad move," said Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas. "He stole documents, classified documents, from the National Archives, destroyed them, lied about what he did (and) is not the kind of adviser that you would want surrounding a candidate for president of the United States. I think it’s a bad decision. I think anyone who would surround themselves with advisers like that is demonstrating bad judgment, and I think Sen. Clinton should reconsider." "I am not surprised but I think it's a very inappropriate choice," said Rep. Peter Hoekstra, R-Mich. He said Clinton's campaign "should clearly distance themselves from Sandy Berger. This person should not be a key adviser to one of the leading presidential candidates in 2007." "It is beyond belief that Hillary Clinton would have someone advising her campaign who has pled guilty to stealing and destroying national security documents," said Republican National Committee spokesman Danny Diaz. "Sen. Clinton tries to sound tough on national security issues, but it seems that repaying old friends like MoveOn.org and Sandy Berger is her real priority."
In response, Clinton spokesman Blake Zeff said of Berger, "He has no official role in the campaign."
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