Brian Pedersen 3-13-2000 5 th Period Berger Saw No 'Extraneous Influences' On Foreign Policy Summary National Security Advisor Sandy Berger testified today that he saw no evidence of "extraneous influences" on the Clinton Administration's foreign policy, despite visits to the White House by some questionable characters with overseas interests. Berger, in testimony before the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, said there was no clear policy last year for screening overseas visitors who wanted time with President Bill Clinton or Vice President Al Gore. But Berger said that since the flap over White House visits by big Democratic contributors, he has moved to tighten access and restrict contacts between the Democratic National Committee and the president's national security team. "I felt very strongly that we needed to have a much clearer system, much more clarity for our staff people, so that there would not be any questions about how these things should be handled," Berger said. Asked by Sen. Max Cleland (D-Ga.
) whether the United States' national security was compromised by the Democrats' push to raise money, Berger declared, "Not in any way, senator." Sen. Fred Thompson, the committee's chairman, pointed to a string of visits to the White House by questionable characters, including Johnny Chung and the Chinese businessmen who accompanied him; Wan Jun, a Chinese business executive whose company tried to smuggle arms into the U. S. ; Lebanese businessman Roger Tamra z; and international businessmen from the Thailand-based CP Group brought in by Pauline Kanchanalak." I take it you were not aware of this disturbing pattern of activities" Thompson asked Berger. Berger said he would have been interested in knowing about the visits.
"The system functions best when there is vetting," he said. Important Peopl Sen. Fred Thompson The committee's chairman Sen. Max Cleland Key proponent in investigation Importance/Opinion I agree there are many influences on the vast body of political individuals that affect foreign policy. Personal gain and race not being the least. This investigation is one that probes whether or not extreme influences are affect foreign policy makers decisions.
This is an important attempt to keep.