Bill Resurrects Hillary's Bosnia Blunder

(CBS)
From CBS News' Fernando Suarez:

PHILADELPHIA -- President Bill Clinton told voters Thursday at a Booneville, Ind., rally that his wife has been getting unfair media coverage over her now discredited trip to Bosnia where she claimed she was under sniper fire.

"I got tickled the other day," said the former president. "A lot of the way this whole campaign has been covered has amused me. But there was a lot of fulminating because Hillary, one time late at night when she was exhausted, misstated and immediately apologized for it, what happened to her in Bosnia in 1995."

"And you woulda thought, you know, that she'd robbed a bank the way they carried on about this. And some of them when they're 60 they'll forget something when they're tired at 11 at night, too."

Not exactly, here's why:

Hillary Clinton first recounted her trip to Tuzla Air Force base at a rally in Dubuque, Iowa in mid-December where she was trying to bolster her foreign policy experience saying she had been to places so dangerous, that the President himself was not allowed to go.

"We used to say in the White House that if a place was too dangerous, too small or too poor send the First Lady. I had the time of my life," Clinton said.

At the same event, Clinton was also trying to discredit remarks made by Barack Obama that belittled her role in her husband's administration. Obama had said that Clinton's visits abroad did not amount to foreign policy experience as she most likely sat around having tea with leaders.

"We landed in one of those corkscrew landings and ran out because they said their might be snipers. I don't remember anybody offering me tea on the tarmac when that was happening."

Exactly one month later on Feb. 29, Clinton campaigned in Waco, Tex., at a mid-afternoon rally where she was to deliver a major speech on national security. Again, Clinton retold the story of her trip to Bosnia.

"One of the great honors of being First Lady and of being a senator is the time that I was privileged to spend with our troops here at home, in Iraq and Afghanistan, in Bosnia, Kosovo, and places around the world. I remember particularly a trip to Bosnia where the welcoming ceremony had to be moved inside because of sniper fire."

Less than three weeks later Clinton delivered a speech on St. Patrick's Day in Washington, D.C. Clinton, again, told the story of her trip, this time spicing up the details.

"I remember landing under sniper fire. There was supposed to be some kind of a greeting ceremony at the airport, but instead we just ran with our heads down to get into the vehicles to get to our base."

"Everyone else was told to sit on their bulletproof vests," she said. "And we came in, in an evasive maneuver. ... There was no greeting ceremony, and we basically were told to run to our cars. Now, that is what happened," Clinton told the press.

Well, that's not what happened. CBS News video surfaced of that very trip that showed a calm Clinton walking off the military transport aircraft with her daughter Chelsea. Clinton was even greeted by the acting president of Bosnia on the tarmac. The First Lady stopped long enough to visit with a young girl, as well.

In Indiana, former President Clinton told the crowd, "Did y'all see all that? Oh, they blew it up."

Really?

Ryan Corsaro contributed to this report.
  • Fernando Suarez

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