FBI files figure listed on resume anti-Bush tricks Livingstone supervised hecklers in chicken garb

July 03, 1996|By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE

WASHINGTON -- Craig Livingstone, the figure at the center of the controversy over the improper acquisition of FBI files by the Clinton White House, listed on his resume that he had supervised a campaign operation in which President Bush was heckled at a series of 1992 rallies by people dressed in chicken costumes.

The chairman of the House committee investigating the acquisition of the files said Livingstone appeared to have boasted of his supervision of Chicken George and another effort to heckle Bush as part of his effort to secure the post of director of the White House security office, a position he resigned last week.

The committee chairman, Rep. William F. Clinger Jr., a Pennsylvania Republican, said documents obtained from the White House raised troubling questions about how the Clinton administration had come to hire Livingstone.

Republicans have asserted that Livingstone, whose office improperly obtained as many as 900 confidential personnel files from the FBI, including some on prominent Republicans, is a political operative who should not have been entrusted with such a sensitive post.

Last week, in testimony before the Committee on Government Reform and Oversight, which Clinger leads, Livingstone testified that the acquisition of the files had been an innocent mistake.

Clinger, who got Livingstone's personnel file from the White House on Monday, said it remained unclear who hired him for the security post.

George Stephanopoulos, a senior Clinton adviser, said Sunday that Livingstone had been put into the job on a temporary basis by Vincent W. Foster Jr., the deputy White House counsel who committed suicide in July 1993.

Clinger said Livingstone, on his resume in White House files, said he had served as "Senior Consultant to Counter-Event Operations, Clinton-Gore 92." In that capacity, Livingstone wrote, deployed people dressed as Chicken George and Pinocchio to heckle Bush at rallies and publicity events.

The chicken character pressed Bush about his apparent early unwillingness to debate Clinton. The Pinocchio character complained about Bush's decision to raise taxes despite an earlier pledge not to.

Pub Date: 7/03/96

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