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Panetta's Statement Following Testimony

By The Associated Press
Wednesday, January 28, 1998; 7:42 p.m. EST

Text of a statement by former White House chief of staff Leon Panetta after he testified before a grand jury on Wednesday in Washington:

"I've spent the last several hours in an appearance before the grand jury, largely detailing the operations of the White House and the physical setting of the White House during the time that I was chief of staff. I believe I've answered all of the questions that were asked of me, and I will not comment any further on my testimony.

"I do want to repeat the statement that I issued last week when I was asked about this situation, that I am personally not aware of any improper relationship, sexual or otherwise, by this president and any of the White House interns, or anyone else for that matter.

"Let me also say this: This is a difficult moment for the nation. It is particularly difficult for those of us that have served this president and have great respect for his leadership and ability to speak to the issues that affect the American people, as he did last night in the State of the Union.

"My fervent prayer is that for the sake of the president and the sake of this nation that this matter is resolved soon, so that he and all of us can continue to focus on the issues that affect our families, our nation and our future.

"Thank you."

© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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