'Dirty Dick' Morris
Is Forced to Resign
The following article by Jeffrey Steinberg appeared in the Sept. 6, 1996 issue of Executive Intelligence Review.
Almost two months after New Federalist, the weekly newspaper of the LaRouche political movement, ran a front-page story, demanding that President Clinton "dump Roy Cohn's 'Dirty Dick' Morris" from his re-election campaign organization, the sleazy political operator has tendered his resignation. Morris, who is a cousin of the late New York City mob lawyer, J. Edgar Hoover intimate, and all-around scoundrel Roy Cohn, ostensibly left his position as self-described "chief political strategist" for the Clinton-Gore campaign over a sex scandal, involving a $200-an-hour hooker with whom he allegedly was having an extramarital affair and with whom he shared White House secrets. The story, on the front page of Rupert Murdoch's New York Post on Aug. 28, came just 12 hours before President Clinton delivered his acceptance speech to the Democratic National Convention.
In reality, the sex scandal was merely the pretext for Morris's ouster. While Morris has been disliked, and distrusted, by Clinton loyalists for a long time, the LaRouche movement's call for President Clinton to dump his Rasputin-like campaign trickster, and the detailed exposés of Morris's mole-like performance inside the Clinton camp provided by New Federalist and EIR, helped catalyze a string of events that ultimately led to his dismissal.
For the past 15 years, Dick Morris has been a behind-the-scenes operator, whose political clients have included President Clinton, as well as such Republican enemies of the President as Senators Jesse Helms (N.C.) and Trent Lott (Miss.), and Governors Tom Ridge (Pa.), William Weld (Mass.), and Pete Wilson (Calif.). In 1988, Morris worked on George Bush's Presidential campaign staff (his ties to the Bush family date back at least to 1980, when he ran Prescott Bush Jr.'s unsuccessful campaign for the U.S. Senate seat from Connecticut). Under these circumstances, it is no wonder that many Democratic Party campaign officials considered Morris a "GOP mole." Those feelings were buttressed by stories about Morris telling his GOP clients that Clinton was going to be brought down by the Whitewater special prosecutor.
Morris was able to weather these storms, and continue to exert influence over some of the President's campaign and policy decisions, until the LaRouche-led public campaign for his ouster took off. Morris had carefully avoided any publicity about his family ties to Roy Cohn, in part, by staying out of the limelight.
However, in July, Morris apparently was sufficiently stung by the exposés of his dirty background, that he made the fatal mistake of launching his own self-promotional public relations offensive. In the three-week run-up to the Democratic National Convention, Morris put in a great deal of time planting a series of puff pieces on himself. In rapid succession, the Wall Street Journal, New York Times, USA Today, and the London Sunday Telegraph (the Hollinger Corp.'s flagship newspaper and the leading voice of the Clinton-bashers in London's Club of the Isles), all ran glowing accounts of Morris's one-man crusade to once again save Bill Clinton from the jaws of political defeat, following the 1994 Republican Party sweep of the Congress.
The Welfare Disaster
Morris's principal "contribution" to the Clinton re-election effort during this period was his heavy-handed pressure on the President to sign a Republican-authored welfare bill that Clinton found repugnant. When the President caved in to pressure from Morris and others, and announced that he would sign the measure, ending federal government protection for America's poor, the President's support within many traditional Democratic Party constituencies was shaken.
All of these developments seem to have driven Morris to make a crucial blunder. Morris gave Time magazine an exclusive interview, which Time ran as its cover story the week of the Democratic convention. Morris had apparently become so obsessed with his own situation, that he upstaged the President during that week. The First Family, and the President's other key advisers, were reportedly furious at the Morris grandstanding. The article, in addition to quotes from Morris, included some damning, previously unpublished information.
First, Morris virtually admitted that he had been behind the surfacing of the Gennifer Flowers scandal, back in February 1992, when Clinton was in the midst of his primary election campaign in New Hampshire. If, indeed, Morris played a role in that incident, it places him in bed with one of the President's most filthy political enemies, Larry Nichols, a low-level operative within the George Bush-Oliver North Nicaraguan Contra circuit, linked to the Mena, Arkansas guns-for-drugs nexus. Nichols sold the Flowers story to the media during the heat of the 1992 campaign. Later, after Clinton's election as President, Nichols issued death threats against the President, brandishing a gun at a militia rally in Colorado.
Second, for the first time in public, Morris admitted that his family was tied to Roy Cohn. Morris tried to downplay the Cohn link, placing more emphasis on Cohn's father, Bronx Democratic Party fixer Al Cohn, than on the McCarthy witch-hunter and J. Edgar Hoover's closet homosexual snitch Roy Cohn. On Aug. 6 (p. 65), EIR had published excerpts from an interview with Morris's father, Eugene Morris, what had first appeared in a European-based newsletter, in which the elder Morris spelled out in detail his ties to both Albert Cohn and Roy Cohn.