Limbaugh joined Hannity in falsely accusing Clinton of rejecting bin Laden offer

››› ››› ANDREW SEIFTER

On the August 11 edition of the Rush Limbaugh Show, radio host Rush Limbaugh repeated one of the favorite discredited accusations of fellow conservative radio host Sean Hannity.

From the August 11 edition of the nationally syndicated Rush Limbaugh Show:

LIMBAUGH: [Former President Bill] Clinton was offered [Osama] bin Laden two or three times, turned him down. Turned down Sudan. Sudan offered it. So Clinton wasn't serious about it [terrorism].

As Media Matters for America has noted, the false claim originated in an August 11, 2002, article on the right-wing news website NewsMax.com that blared the headline "Clinton Admits: I Nixed Bin Laden Extradition Offer," distorting a speech Clinton made in 2002. While he did acknowledge in a July 8 interview with CNN chief international correspondent Christiane Amanpour that he mistakenly implied that the United States was offered bin Laden in that 2002 speech, at no point did Clinton say that Sudan offered bin Laden to the United States in the speech.

The bipartisan 9-11 Commission found (pdf) "no reliable evidence to support" the claim that Sudan offered bin Laden to the United States and determined (pdf) that, based on Clinton's testimony, in "wrongly recounting a number of press stories he had read," Clinton had "misspoken" in his 2002 speech. Clinton further refuted the allegation in a June 20 interview on CBS's 60 Minutes when he said: "There was a story which is factually inaccurate that the Sudanese offered bin Laden to us. ... As far as I know, there is not a shred of evidence of that."

Limbaugh has made the claim at least once before; on May 16 (RUSH 24/7 subscription required), he said, "Remember, the Sudanese government offered to hand Clinton Osama bin Laden's head on a silver platter, and Clinton didn't want him."

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