I loved this! She didn't rise to the bait, and once again proved herself to be the decent, warm, smart-as-a-whip individual we all know she is! You go girl, we're all behind ya!


Date: May 2, 2001
Head: Janet Reno Defends Her Record
Byline: Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes
Guest: Janet Reno

SEAN HANNITY, CO-HOST: Welcome to HANNITY & COLMES. We're glad you're with us. I'm Sean

And coming up tonight: Has President Bush been better at foreign policy than he's been given credit for?
Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich will join us tonight.

And later: Alan will go one on one with Congressman Bob Barr over the president's missile defense plans.
Do we need one?

But first, our top newsmaker on this Wednesday: Former attorney general Janet Reno was arguably the
most controversial figure of the Clinton administration.

Earlier today, Alan and I had the opportunity to ask Ms. Reno about special prosecutors, the Florida
recount and much more.


ALAN COLMES, CO-HOST: Why do you think you've been such a controversial figure?

JANET RENO, FORMER ATTORNEY GENERAL: You get damned if you do and damned if you don't.

And you just make the best decisions you can, and you don't worry about the controversy.

COLMES: Were you surprised by the level of controversy?

Certainly, any attorney general can be subject to controversy, but it seems like it came to new heights
during the Clinton administration.

Were you surprised at the level, the intensity of it?

RENO: I'm never surprised at anything, when it comes to the processes of government. I try to just put
my head forward and go about my business and make the best decisions I can.

COLMES: What's your reaction to the brouhaha about the pardons after the -- on the last day of the
Clinton administration?

RENO: That is a matter that the U.S. attorney is looking at, and there should not be comment.

COLMES: Do you think anything untoward happened in Florida that resulted in the election of George W.

RENO: As I understand it, the Civil Rights Division is continuing an investigation, and so it really would
not be appropriate to comment.

COLMES: Right. Do you have any thoughts about whether -- could Katherine Harris have done anything
differently, could anybody have acted differently?

Should the Supreme Court have, indeed, been the body that decided this election?

RENO: I think we'll let -- we'll see just what comes of it.

COLMES: You don't have any desire to comment on that?


COLMES: Can you legally? You can certainly legally could comment about it, if you wanted to.

RENO: I can legally comment on things, but I don't try...

COLMES: Right.

RENO: I try not to comment on things when it's -- there's a pending investigation...

COLMES: Right.

RENO: ... and I'm not...

COLMES: Everybody watching -- I was looking because you -- "Boy, what does she really think about
this stuff? What does she think about the way Bush was elected?"

What about the way Gore won the popular vote and -- and Bush got into the White House without, by fiat
by the Supreme Court? That's very disturbing to a lot of people.

RENO: And what you do in those situations is wait and find out all the facts, see just what happened,
and then make an informed judgment.

COLMES: What'll happen, of course, each side will claim -- they'll do recounts, and each side will claim
that their recount is correct.

Are we ever really going to know the truth about this election?

RENO: We'll see.

COLMES: Do you think we'll ever come to a consensus about it? And do those people...

RENO: No, I don't think you'll ever have a consensus about it.

COLMES: And those people who are angered about it, because of the way this happened, are they
justified in their anger?

RENO: I think one of the most marvelous things about that whole process was that this government and
this country are strong enough to withstand it.

And part of a democracy is that you don't necessarily reach consensus, but you do reach an
understanding as to what happened.

And I think it -- I don't know what will come of the investigations. I think the Civil Rights Commission is
conducting one, as well.

But I'm proud of the American people and what they did during that time because the press sometimes
suggested that there was a crisis in our country.

Other countries suggested the same thing. I think the American people knew in their heart the strength of
our democracy under the rule of law. And I was proud of them.

HANNITY: Ms. Reno, I want to go back to your initial statements back in '93, when you said again the
following,"The Independent Counsel Act was designed to avoid even the appearance of impropriety in the
considerations of allegations of misconduct by high-level executive branch officials."

RENO: In order to make the statute constitutional...


RENO: ... the attorney general had the -- had to have the authority to remove the independent counsel for

With that alone, and with the necessity of the attorney general triggering the act, you have a built-in
appearance that the attorney general still controls the issue.

HANNITY: That's true. I mean, and...

RENO: And so that's the reason...

HANNITY: You even at one point said the attorney general serves at the pleasure of the president, which
in the minds of many people even suggests that there is the inherent conflict there already.

Look, it's -- there are those...

RENO: But -- but what you're trying to do is -- is look beyond the statute. The statute is very specific...


RENO: ... or was very specific as to what triggered the Independent Counsel Act.


RENO: And I...

HANNITY: Which you supported. And you were very clear, and the reauthorization you supported.

RENO: That's correct. And then I had the experience of dealing with it, where we were blamed if we didn't
trigger it...


RENO: ... or if we did trigger it, or there was an appearance of conflict because I had the power...

HANNITY: Well, maybe...

RENO: ... to recommend...

HANNITY: ... I can explain it this way. Based on those words...

RENO: You don't have to...

HANNITY: ... in '93 -- well -- because this is where...

RENO: Look, you don't have to explain it to me.

HANNITY: Would you like me to? I mean, if you're interested -- but...

RENO: No, why don't you just ask the question.

RENO: Well, here's the question because I'm looking at the words of Louis Freeh. And Chuck
LaBella,who was appointed -- he was the second supervising attorney of the campaign finance task force.
He said, quote, unquote -- and he has been on this program three times -"If these allegations involved
anyone other than the president, vice president, senior White House,

DNC or Clinton-Gore in '96 officials, an appropriate investigation would have commenced months ago
without investigation."

You have somebody like Louis Freeh -- "Today I am convinced, now more than ever, that we need an
independent counsel." He referred that to you.

And he also said, "I can't imagine a more compelling matter for the appointment of an independent
counsel." Career prosecutors, one after another,after independently examining the facts in this case,
came to the exact same conclusion that you didn't come to. Why is there this disparity?

RENO: You don't list the others that were involved who made other recommendations.

HANNITY: Well...

RENO: You choose to take just the recommendations that you like. And what I tried to do was to take
everybody's recommendation, look at it, review the law,review the evidence, determine whether the
Independent Counsel Act was triggered. And when it was triggered, I did so. When the act did not trigger
under the law, I did not.

HANNITY: Here's what -- here's what I'm trying to juxtapose...

RENO: And seeing...

HANNITY: ... this, though, because...

RENO: But here's what I'm trying to juxtapose for you...

HANNITY: All right. You go ahead. You -- I'm going to defer to you. But go ahead.

RENO: That -- that's good. Thank you.(LAUGHTER)

RENO: Since you're asking the questions.

HANNITY: That's my job.

RENO: The important thing is to remember that it is not one person that makes the decision other than
the attorney general.

And I have to look at all of the evidence. You've cited some people's opinions. There were equally strong
opinions on the other side.

COLMES: There were people like Lee Radek, for example, of the Integrity Division, who had a different
opinion than Charles LaBella did.

Louis Freeh said that the Justice Department ignored what he -- he's using the phrase "reliable evidence"
that conflicted with Al Gore's fund-raising activities.

That caused a great deal of conflict between you and Louis Freeh.

RENO: No. I have said regularly, if you'd read on in all the things that you're reading, what I would have
said is that I don't like "yes" people.

I would be very upset if I had everybody in the Justice Department saying "This is what you should have
done" -- or "This is what you should do."

What I try to do is to get the ideas of everybody, look at the evidence and the law, then make the
decision, and then be responsible for the decision.

COLMES: The press often reported on conflict between the two of you. Was that overstated?

RENO: I don't sense any conflict between Louis and myself.

COLMES: What about -- now, he has announced that he is stepping down. What's your reaction to that?

RENO: I think he performed great public service for this country, and I talked to him yesterday and told
him so.


HANNITY: More with Janet Reno coming up next. When we come back, she'll address the issue of
former president Clinton lying under oath.

And also coming up: Former speaker of the House Newt Gingrich joins us with his reaction to our
interview with the former attorney general.

And also later: Hard-working Americans will be getting more money in their pockets thanks to a new
federal budget deal.

So why are the Democrats complaining about giving you more of your money back? Alan's one on one
with Bob Barr straight ahead.


COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes. Later on in the show: Newt
Gingrich chimes in on President Bush's foreign policy.

Later, I go head to head with Republican congressman Bob Barr over the president's missile defense

And now here's more with our interview with former attorney general Janet Reno.


HANNITY: The attorney general serves as the -- at the pleasure of the president. Those are your words.
We watched -- as you look back, your -here you are in this important position, the attorney general of the
United States of America.

You're serving for a president who was found gave answers that were intentionally false under oath and
that he objected -- obstructed the judicial process.

As attorney general, when you hear that the chief law enforcement officer of the country did that, what
impact does that have on justice in America?

What message does that send?

RENO: I think that in this whole situation, America recognizes that the president made a mistake and
that it sent the wrong message.

HANNITY: What was the mistake?

RENO: One should be straightforward. One should deal with the issue. One should tell the American
people what happened.

HANNITY: There was a woman we interviewed at the time that all of this was going on. Her name was Dr.
Barbara Battalino. She lied in a civil case about sex.

She lost her law license, her medical license, and got six months' house arrest. That did not happen to
the president. Did the exact same thing. We have a two-tiered justice system?

Does that send a bad message?

RENO: I think you'd have to check with Mr. Starr.

HANNITY: Well, I'm -- but as attorney general, as somebody -- you don't have an opinion on that?

RENO: One of the things that's important is, again, this sentence, the circumstances should be that
responsibility of the person handling the case.

I try not to be involved where the independent counsel was involved, what he determined to do, how it was

HANNITY: Right. I'm just speaking about when a president, though, puts his hand on the Bible and he
swears to tell the truth and then intentionally lies under oath,does that send a message to America? And
then doesn't really get punished for it. In a legal sense.

RENO: I think you have got to talk with Mr. Starr to see what his decisions were.

HANNITY: We've had him on the program. He's been here. Let me ask you this...

RENO: Well, good.

HANNITY: Do you think -- in the political sense, when you're -- here you are in a justice system in your
high position, and you see,politically speaking, quote, "war is declared" on somebody who's supposed to
be conducting an independent investigation.

Do you think Ken Starr's owed an apology in any way, like by the person that -- who the pleasure you
served under?

RENO: You would have to ask Senator -- Mr. -- Judge Starr.

COLMES: What some people have said -- and I've defended the Clinton administration. I thought it was
wrong. I thought impeachment was a political witch hunt.

Do you concur with that?

RENO: I don't have any comment...

COLMES: No comment?

RENO: ... about this matter, the independent counsel...

COLMES: Are you ever going to come out and comment on these things that so many people, I think,
want to know about?

I know there are a lot of things you don't feel comfortable responding to. But will you write a book? Will
you answer these questions at some point in some other form?

RENO: I will answer the questions as I am able to when an investigation is not pending. I am not privy to
all the details that caused Mr. Starr to do what he did.

I did not remove him. He is -- was the independent counsel. And his work speaks for itself.

COLMES: Do you know Ken Starr?

RENO: I've -- when you say do I know him -- I've certainly met him and talked to him.

COLMES: What's your opinion of how he conducted the investigation?

RENO: I would let that -- I have not reviewed it, other than to determine whether there was a basis for
removing him for cause and determined that there was not.

COLMES: Right. So do you think that he overdid it? Do you think there was -- he was too proactive?
Should this not even have happened?

Was this an attempt from Bill Clinton's political opponents to try to put him in a box and railroad him out
of office?

RENO: You would have to ask Mr. Starr.

COLMES: Do you have an opinion on that?

RENO: Again, I have not reviewed the matter from the point of view of how the investigation was
conducted step by step.

I have reviewed it to determine whether there was a basis for removing him for cause.

COLMES: And you don't think there was a basis for removing him.


COLMES: Do you have a -- have you talked to Bill Clinton since he's been out of office?

RENO: Yes.

COLMES: Do you have a good friendship with him, at this point, or has there been some distance?

Again, the press reports all kinds of things which may or may not be true.

RENO: Well...

COLMES: How do you and he...

RENO: ... you -- you all are exactly the same.

You report some people are opposed to me on this issue, other people are opposed to me on this issue.

COLMES: Right.

RENO: I don't do it based on a popularity contest.

COLMES: No, I understand.

RENO: I do it based on the evidence and the law.

COLMES: Bill Clinton is -- is someone -- do you still talk to him regularly? Do you have a friendship with

RENO: I don't talk to him regularly.

COLMES: Right.

RENO: Your question was, have I talked to him since the end of the administration, and I have.

COLMES: And you can't tell us what you talked about, right? Were those privy -- private information?

RENO: He was calling to see how I was. He was in Miami. I happened to be in Washington having lunch
with Mr. -- Senator Ashcroft, and we...

COLMES: You and Ashcroft had lunch, huh?

RENO: Yes.


RENO: I called -- I called Senator Ashcroft shortly after he was nominatedand told him I wanted to do
everything I could to ensure a smooth transition. After he was confirmed, he called and said he wanted to
come down to Miami.

I said, "You're the busy one. I'll come up." And we had a pleasant lunch and had a good discussion.

HANNITY: Ms. Reno, if I -- I just want to go -- just for clarification purposes because I think this is very
important -- it goes to the heart of -of controversy that I have had with your -- your stay there. I'll give you
one example. Al Gore and the Buddhist temple issue, for example -- once called it a community
outreach,once called it a finance-related event, once said he didn't know about the event. He said it was a
donor maintenance meeting, said he should have known.

Yet we have evidence that show that the Secret Service knew, that the White House staff knew, that his
staff knew, that Gore acted as if he knew,that there were emails that corroborated that he knew, and
there were other people that suggested that Al Gore wasn't telling the truth.

Now, as it relates to that and an "iced tea" defense, which I'm sure you're familiar of -- it's -- the question
that arises,coupled with all these people that suggested the appointment of an independent counsel, is
that you were running defense for the administration because you're their political appointee.

RENO: If I were running defense for the administration, I would not have expanded Starr's jurisdiction for
Monica Lewinsky.


COLMES: More with Janet Reno on the other side of the break. Also coming up tonight: Is President
Bush getting enough credit for domestic and foreign affairs?

Newt Gingrich weighs in. And later: Congressman Bob Barr and I duke it out over the latest budget deal.

Don't miss my one-on-one with the congressman coming up on HANNITY & COLMES.


HANNITY: As we continue on HANNITY & COLMES -- still to come tonight: Former House speaker Newt
Gingrich joins us with his take on how President Bush is doing 100 days in.

And Alan goes one on one with Republican congressman Bob Barr tonight.

They'll debate everything from Bush's budget to whether or not a missile shield is a smart or good idea.

But first we continue our interview from earlier today with the former attorney general, Janet Reno.


COLMES: Should Justice be looking into the affairs of Jesse Jackson?

RENO: Senator Ashcroft would have to answer that.

COLMES: Do you have an opinion as to whether -- would you be doing it if you were attorney general?

RENO: I'm not -- I have made a conscious decision that in matters such as that,the attorney general
should not have a former attorney general sitting in the wings, commenting on things like that.

COLMES: You -- you mentioned having lunch with John Ashcroft. What advice do you have for him?

RENO: I just went over some pending matters, some issues, and gave him my thoughts so that he could
be fully up to date on them.

COLMES: What advice would you give to any attorney general in terms of being in the public spotlight,
under scrutiny, subject to controversy at every turn?

How would you advise someone, John Ashcroft or whoever it might be, to...

RENO: That would be between me and the attorney general. I can tell you what I did,which was to try to
do the right thing, try to do it based on the evidence and the law, try to look at what I had done to see
whether there were ways that I could have done it differentlythat would have improved on it, learned from
my mistakes whenever possible, and be responsible for what I do.

COLMES: I want to show a little clip of something that happened at the very end of the administration. It
was your appearance on "Saturday Night Live."

Let's -- let's show that right now.


UNIDENTIFIED ACTOR: It's time to say good-bye. I guess the dance party is finally over for once and all.

RENO: It's Reno time!(END VIDEO CLIP)

COLMES: I think people -- I was -- I saw that when it -- I was just shocked that you -- I thought that was
wonderful that you did that!

What led up to that?

RENO: I think everybody should laugh at themselves. You need to laugh at yourself.

HANNITY: I'm laughing! I laugh every day!


RENO: And too often we don't laugh at ourselves.

HANNITY: Alan make me laugh at me every night.

COLMES: Yeah. We all laugh with him.

RENO: And I think America needs to laugh together more than it does.

The people on "Saturday Night Live" were such wonderful people. We got to know them. Will Farrell's
mother, his aunt, his in-laws, his wife were there.

And it was really a great evening. And the chord that it struck in the people of this country has been so
touching. People come up to me, the elderly, young people,police officers, everybody. It -- it struck...

COLMES: I really thought, "No, that can't be Janet" -- you know, personally -- "That can't be Janet Reno."

RENO: Well, you should have seen it. They had a live dress rehearsal.


RENO: And when I came through, there was very little laughter. And I thought, "Oh, my goodness. I'm a
failure as a comic." And then they -- "It really is her!"

And it broke (UNINTELLIGIBLE) pandemonium.

HANNITY: All right, Ms. Attorney, you have three more questions and -and we'll let you get to your red
pick-up truck.

RENO: Aren't you -- aren't you going to let him ask one?



HANNITY: He's had -- no, we're just kidding. First of all, during your years, who -- who was in the running
to be appointed Supreme Court Justice? Can you tell us that?

Were you aware of anybody? In the running -- if -- if an opening had occurred on the Supreme Court?

RENO: I don't think, after the two vacancies, I never heard any...

HANNITY: Never heard any...

RENO: ... further discussion.

HANNITY: I want to ask you -- and I want to talk about Waco and ask a question about that. Did the FBI,
in particular,mislead you when they told you it was necessary to storm the compound because there was
no way that Koresh was going to surrender?

And wasn't it true that the FBI had withheld information that Koresh had promised to surrender once he
completed that commentary on, quote, "the seven seals,"which he had believed God directed him to
finish and then surrender?

RENO: I know of no way that the FBI misled me.

HANNITY: Couldn't they have had -- didn't they -- now, in retrospect, didn't they have opportunities to get
him in town just days before?

RENO: Not to my knowledge.

HANNITY: I want to ask you one final question about Tim McVeigh because our own Rita Cosby broke
that story. And this has nothing to do with the case whatsoever.

Here you do for better or for worse -- Alan obviously is the bigger supporter of yours, and I'm -- there's
nothing personal. We may have some political disagreements.

But when you serve in government, and then you hear something as horrible that the man that was
responsible for doing this horrendous crime in Oklahoma Citythought about assassinating you, does that
affect you?


HANNITY: Not in any way?



Date: May 3, 2001
Head: Janet Reno Defends Her Record
Byline: Sean Hannity, Alan Colmes
Guest: Janet Reno

COLMES: Welcome back to HANNITY & COLMES. I'm Alan Colmes.

Coming up: Sean asks former national security adviser Samuel Berger what's wrong with President
Bush's plan for a missile defense shield?

First, our top newsmaker on this Thursday. More of our interview with Janet Reno.

Sean battles the former attorney general over her decision not to appoint a special prosecutor to look into
Vice President Al Gore's fund raising.


HANNITY: Al Gore, on numerous occasions, referred...


HANNITY: ... gave different -- wait a minute! He gave different...

RENO: No, but here's...

HANNITY: ... reasons for the Buddhist temple that were inconsistent with the prior ones.

And we have computer records that show, in fact, that he knew it was a fund-raising event, which would
mean his testimony was untruthful!

RENO: OK, where's the record?

HANNITY: But we have the computer! I can give you -- I can give you every single quote!

Al Gore on -- on -- on National Public -- go ahead. He once called -- these are the list of things that he
called it, right here.

RENO: OK, but here's your problem. You don't have the whole transcript.

HANNITY: Oh, well, I actually do, ma'am.

RENO: OK, then let's look at it...

HANNITY: We can...

RENO: ... rather than just...

HANNITY: Would you like me to bring you a pile of papers, and we can sift through it? I mean, I...

RENO: Yes.

HANNITY: This is an interview...

RENO: Precisely.

HANNITY: I would like to.

RENO: OK, that's...

HANNITY: We just -- will you come and spend two hours with us?

RENO: No, I wouldn't do that.


RENO: I expect -- you knew I was coming, and I would expect you to have your evidence...

HANNITY: I have my evidence right here! I can source...


HANNITY: ... everything that I just mentioned to you.

RENO: No, but here is your problem. You've talked about the stack of papers, and now you're hitting at
the heart of it.

Rather than somebody's opinion here and here and here, it is going through the record, looking at exactly
what the record says.


RENO: And that's the important thing...

HANNITY: All right...

RENO: ... to do. And that's what I did. It wasn't one piece of paper...

HANNITY: I understand that.

RENO: ... with a summary...

HANNITY: All right, then let me...

RENO: ... of quotes.

HANNITY: ... ask you this question. Let me have a follow-up because...

RENO: Because the...

HANNITY: Hang on! Let me get this out. Chuck LaBella...

RENO: The important...

HANNITY: Wait a minute! Chuck LaBella was appointed for the very purpose of offering you an opinion on
the independent counsel statute.

That was his sole purpose! After he investigated everything, along with people with the credibility of Louis
Freeh, they came to the same conclusion!

RENO: No, no.

HANNITY: They saw the inconsistencies that I see.

RENO: No. You're missing something because what you do here is you list things, and the worst thing
you can do is say,"This and this and this and this and this" without showing the evidence. You've got to
get to the evidence.

HANNITY: I'll give it to you.

RENO: But...

HANNITY: If you give me the time, I'll give it to you.

RENO: I've -- I was expecting you to have it when you...

HANNITY: I have it right here! I can source everything -- from the "Today" show, from the "Today" show...


HANNITY: ... from Al Gore...

RENO: If you'll get me the...

HANNITY: These are the...

RENO: If you'll get me the transcripts, we'll look at them.

HANNITY: Yeah. All right, we'll go through -- I -- let me...


HANNITY: Let's move on to something else...

RENO: But no, let's...

HANNITY: ... here if I can.

RENO: It's important because...

HANNITY: It is important, ma'am.

RENO: It...

HANNITY: I -- I agree with you because -- because I think...

RENO: Because here's the problem. You said Chuck LaBella was hired for one reason. That was not so.
Immediately, you -- you fall into error, and it is so important...

HANNITY: Wasn't he hired to -- to give you an opinion about the appointment of and independent counsel,

RENO: No, he was hired to conduct -- he was already hired. He was...

HANNITY: I understand. But wasn't he, in this regard -- when he gave you that report, wasn't...


HANNITY: ... that report based on his...

RENO: That was...

HANNITY: Wasn't he appointed to do that?

RENO: No, he was appointed to head up...

HANNITY: Wasn't he...

RENO: ... the campaign finance...

HANNITY: Wasn't he told...

RENO: He was -- he was -- if you'll stop...

HANNITY: Go ahead. No, no!

RENO: ... just a second...

HANNITY: Go ahead.

RENO: He can -- he was the attorney responsible for the conduct of the campaign finance task force.

HANNITY: That's my point.

RENO: But you said he was hired only to...

HANNITY: Not only. I stand corrected on that...

COLMES: All right, let me -- let's move on here.

HANNITY: ... point...

HANNITY: ... but he -- that was his role.

RENO: But the important thing is, I didn't rely on one person.

I relied on Chuck LaBella and Louis Freeh and others. And anybody that relies on one person...


RENO: ... can turn it over to them.

HANNITY: I understand.

RENO: You must -- as you listen to all of these things, you must put the other side out there, too.

COLMES: Ms. Reno, I...

HANNITY: We did.

COLMES: I find -- that's why you're here. I find that often your detractors have done that. They have said,
"Well, here's what LaBella said."

And he is the most often quoted -- they don't quote Lee Radek or some of the other people.

Let me put up on the screen that famous picture that was known worldwide of Elian Gonzalez the day of
the raid.

And I'd like to know what you were thinking when you first saw that and how you feel when you look at
that picture.

RENO: I was thinking, isn't it wonderful that there's a free press in America. And I made sure that they
were not evicted.

And if you look closely, what a free press will show you is that that weapon was held at just the
appropriate angle.


RENO: And it was a demonstration of a show of force that rendered force unnecessary.

COLMES: Many people were very upset by that, and people on both sides of the political aisle -- civil
libertarians. They felt that this was an overreaction.

Many people felt if you had just negotiated a few more minutes, maybe that image we just saw wouldn't
have had to take place.

RENO: What's your question?

COLMES: My question is, is there any validity to those thoughts? And might a few more minutes have
avoided what we just saw?

RENO: One will never know because we had negotiated and negotiated and negotiated. Then others
stepped in to negotiate. They concluded that it had failed.

And then, most importantly, Mr. Lazaro Gonzalez said, "If she wants the boy, she's going to have to take
him by force."

In those situations, after such extensive negotiation, I had to make a decision to pursue the right course
and to do so with the minimum danger to human life.

COLMES: Was it that statement, "They'll have to take it by force," that...

RENO: That was one of the...

COLMES: ... that pushed you to do what you did?

RENO: That was one of the -- if there had been no negotiation up to that point and that statement had
been made, that would be one thing.

But there had been extensive negotiation with people saying, "If he'd just come to this country, he can
have the boy," and then falling back away from that.

So we had to look at the whole picture and make a decision.

COLMES: How much second-guessing do you do and say, "A few more minutes -- maybe I should have
given it a few more" -- do you -can you go back -- can you afford emotionally to go back and second
guess yourself about that?

RENO: I always try to review what I have done to see whether there are lessons that I could have learned
that could have resulted in a different approach.

COLMES: Did that picture and the events leading up to it cost Al Gore the election in Florida?

RENO: I don't know.

COLMES: Do you think a case could be made that that was the crux of what may have made the
difference in this election?

RENO: The important thing is that you don't do things like this for politics. You do it because the
evidence and the law justify it.

COLMES: But doesn't politics ever creep into your office? Was pressure ever put on you by the White
House to do certain things,act a certain way, appoint or not appoint independent counsels during a very
tenuous stretch of a few years?

RENO: I can tell you unequivocally that the White House never exercised any influence with respect to
the independent counsel. If anybody gets criticized for doing it or not doing it, it's me.

COLMES: No pressure? What about Hillary Clinton? Did she ever indicate anything or put pressure, or
did you ever feel pressure from those quarters?


COLMES: Never once in your...

RENO: No, if...

COLMES: ... years as attorney general?

RENO: If I'm the one -- if I made a mistake, it's me.