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Lott: White House Can't Handle Events

Senate Majority Leader
Trent Lott (AP)
Sunday, September 6, 1998; Page A18

Senate Majority Leader Trent Lott (R-Miss.) said yesterday the Clinton administration appears too distracted by the Monica S. Lewinsky situation to deal with world affairs.

"The stock market has been fluctuating wildly -- and world affairs seem to be developing beyond the ability of this administration to deal with them," Lott said in the GOP's weekly radio address.

The speech came as Clinton was scheduled to return to Washington yesterday after a six-day trip to Russia, Northern Ireland and Ireland.

Despite dramatic economic and political events unfolding at home and overseas, the trip clearly was overshadowed by the Lewinsky matter. On Friday, Clinton issued his first apology since admitting to an inappropriate relationship with the former White House aide.

There have been discussions among Republicans and Democrats whether Clinton should face some reprimand or censure by the Senate. However, Lott made no mention of that.

He did say, however, that Clinton will not shake the Lewinsky issue by fighting with Congress. Lott has said he thought the White House might try to shift the spotlight with a showdown over pending legislation to finance government operations in the next fiscal year, which begins in October.

"No matter how much President Clinton tries to change the subject, his legal and ethical problems are just too deep to ignore," Lott said.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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