Ari & I: May 3, 2001
White House Press Briefing with Ari Fleischer
Mokhiber: Ari, yesterday, I asked you about Koch Industries, which last month pled guilty to a felony environmental crime. The question was -- the campaign took money from the company and from the employees, and you said -- it couldn't have taken money from the company, because it's illegal to take money from the company. Which is true, but I went and checked, and in fact, Koch Industries Political Action Committee (PAC) gave $5,000 to the campaign. And the political action committee is controlled by the company. Back to the original question --
Ari Fleischer: That's not accurate.
Mokhiber: It is accurate.
Ari Fleischer: The political action committee is comprised of voluntary contributions from employees.
Mokhiber: But the company decides how to spend it.
Ari Fleischer: The political action committee decides how to spend it.
Mokhiber: But the company controls the political action committee.
Ari Fleischer: It's not corporate -- the political action committee is a voluntary committee - Is there a question?
Mokhiber: Yes, there is a question -- which I think you dodged yesterday -- given that this money came from what is now a convicted corporate felon, does the President have a policy on accepting money from convicted felons, and should he give it back at least to the PAC, which is controlled by the company?
Ari Fleischer: Again, you are making a tie between individuals and corporations. That's not the case. Corporations cannot give campaign contributions and the campaign did not receive corporate contributions.
Mokhiber:: Excuse me, could I follow up, Ari?