‘Fact Sheet’ On Clinton Interview Gets It Wrong

Today, the right wing is circulating a “fact sheet” on President Clinton’s Fox News interview. Here is one item, published on the Hotline Blog:

MYTH: President Clinton Said No One Knew Of Al Qaeda In 1993:

Former President Bill Clinton: “[No one] even knew Al Qaeda was a growing concern in October of ‘93.” (Fox News’ “Fox News Sunday,” 9/24/06)

FACT: Osama Bin Laden And Al Qaeda Were Well Known By The Time Clinton Was Inaugurated

The sole backup for this claim is a 2003 Q&A; session with conservative author Richard Miniter, published on the National Review’s website. The interview doesn’t even rebut Clinton’s assertion.


Miniter says that Bin Laden was known to the Clinton administration after the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. That’s true. What wasn’t known for several years was that Bin Laden had a terrorist network called al-Qaeda. The 9/11 Commission report makes that clear on page 341:

In 1996–1997, the intelligence community received new information making clear that Bin Laden headed his own terrorist group.

Clinton was right. The “fact sheet” is wrong.

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