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Ellen Rometsch (born 1936 in Kleinitz, Germany) was allegedly an East German Communist spy who was assigned on diplomatic cover to the West German embassy in Washington, D.C. during the early 1960s. She is also widely thought in some Washington journalism circles to have been one of President John F. Kennedy's girlfriends during the height of the Cold War.
According to a White House reporter of the time, now editor of the Washington Times, Wesley Pruden, "Just when a few brave Republicans were screwing up the courage to make something out of it, on the grounds that a president really shouldn't be taking off his clothes with a femme fatale from the Evil Empire, Bobby Kennedy, JFK's attorney general, sent J. Edgar Hoover to Capitol Hill with a not-so-friendly word to the wise. 'Don't investigate this,' he told the Republicans. 'Because if you do, we're going to open up everybody's closets.' J. Edgar Hoover, as every Republican knew, held the key to a lot of closets and was familiar with what was in all of them." The desire of Robert Kennedy to prevent exposure of his brother's involvement with Rometsch, led him to seek Hoover's help in squelching a Senate investigation of Bobby Baker, who held the post of Senate Secretary for the Majority.
During the height of the Monica Lewinsky scandal in a February 17, 1998 Washington Times op-ed article, editor Wesley Pruden interpreted that tactic as what former Bill Clinton White House aide George Stephanopoulos meant when he said "The White House is being a bit disingenuous. When a real damaging charge comes out, someone speaking on background tries to answer it, which is another form of leak. There's a different long-term strategy, which I think could be far more explosive. White House allies are already starting to whisper about what I'll call the Ellen Rometsch strategy" on ABC's This Week with Sam Donaldson and Cokie Roberts February 15, 1998. Soon after that statement, Hustler Magazine publisher Larry Flynt offered $1 million for each unflattering sexual story about Republican members of Congress. Prospective Speaker of the House Bob Livingston (R-LA) resigned after one such story was made public about him by Flynt.
References[edit | edit source]
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. p. 263. http://books.google.com/books?id=bRNCz4Ajbs8C&pg=PA263. Retrieved 27 Mar 2010.
- Thomas, Evan (2000). Robert Kennedy: His Life. New York, NY: Simon and Schuster. p. 268. http://books.google.com/books?id=bRNCz4Ajbs8C&pg=PA268. Retrieved 27 Mar 2010.
- "Investigations: Bobby's High Life". Time Magazine (Time Inc.) 82 (19). November 8, 1963. http://www.time.com/time/printout/0,8816,896999,00.html#.
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