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Condit Interview Excerpts

Excerpts from Rep. Gary Condit's interview with Connie Chung on ABC's "PrimeTime Thursday":

Chung: Can you describe your relationship? What exactly was your relationship with Chandra Levy?

Condit: Well, I met Chandra last October. And we became very close. I met her in Washington, D.C.

Chung: Very close, meaning ...?

Condit: We had a close relationship. I liked her very much.

Chung: May I ask you, was it a sexual relationship?

Condit: Well, Connie, I've been married for 34 years, and I've not been a perfect man, and I've made my share of mistakes. But out of respect for my family, and out of a specific request from the Levy family, I think it's best that I not get into those details about Chandra Levy.

Chung: Can you tell me this: was Chandra Levy in love with you? Were you in love with her?

Condit: Well, I don't know that she was in love with me. She never said so. And I was not in love with her.

Chung: Did she want to marry you and have your child?

Condit: I only knew Chandra Levy for five months. And in that five months' period, we never had a discussion about a future, about children, about marriage. Any of those items never came up in that five-month period.

Chung: Now when Mrs. Levy called you and said that her daughter was missing, and she asked you point-blank, she says ... whether or not you had an affair with her daughter, you answered, according to her, matter-of-factly, "No." Were you telling the truth?

Condit: I never lied to Mrs. Levy. Fact of the matter is that whole week I had several conversations with the Levys. Dr. Levy and Mrs. Levy. We talked about several items in the case.

Chung: So when you said, "No," you were telling the truth?

Condit: What Mrs. Levy asked me was a series of questions about a lot of things. And I'm sorry if she misunderstood those conversations.

Chung: ...Are you suggesting that Chandra Levy's aunt did not have the correct information, or that Chandra Levy herself had created this affair as a figment of her imagination?

Condit: I can only say I never had those conversations with Chandra.

Chung: Which conversations?

Condit: The conversations that you're suggesting, that there was going to be a future, we were going to get married, and that there were some kind of rules. I never had those conversations. So I don't know where the aunt got that.

Chung: I'm not asking you details. I'm simply asking you if it was more than just a friendship?

Condit: ...I think the American people understand that people are entitled to some privacy. I'm entitled to try to retain as much privacy as I can. The Levys are entitled to retain as much privacy on behalf of their daughter as they can. I'm going to honor that.

Chung: The police even said that you impeded the investigatin. They do not believe that you have fully cooperated. In fact, the word from the police is that your lack of candor impeded the investigation...

Condit: ...I don't think there's anyone in Washington D.C. who's been more cooperative in this investigation than myself.

Chung: You can clear the air now by, by revealing exactly what kind of relationship you had. Because isn't it obvious to you that it, when you're dealing with a missing persons case, that any relationship with the missing person is important for police, authorities to know?

Condit: ...I worked with the law enforcement people in every step, provided them information in every interview, and gave up a lot of my civil liberties to make sure that they had all the information that they needed.

Chung: There has been talk about a possibility that Chandra Levy was pregnant. Do you know if she was pregnant?

Condit: I have no reason to think that.

Chung: A flight attendant named Ann Marie Smith said that she had a yearlong relationship with you. And that you asked her to lie about it. True?

Condit: I didn't ask anyone to lie about anything. I did not ask Ann Marie not to cooperate with law enforcement. ... That's an absolute lie.

Condit: This is a statement that your lawyers gave to her, and it says, "I do not and have not had a romantic relationship with Congressman Condit."

Condit: Well, that's a lawyer-to-lawyer statement... I did not have anything to do with that.

Chung: Don't you think it's rather suspicious behavior though to throw a watch box in a dumpster?

Condit: Well, first of all, I did not throw it in a dumpster. I threw it in a trash can on a street, understanding that the tabloids are going through every bit of my trash at my office, going through things in my office, trying to get things out of my office. It was trash. I threw it away.

Chung: Tell me, have you made any attempts to silence anyone about any relationship you've had with a woman?

Condit: I have not asked anyone to be silent about anything... Anyone who says that we tried to keep people from cooperating is just lying.

Chung: What has all of this done to you and your family?

Condit: Well it's been tough on my family. We've gone through tough times. ... And that's minor pain, and that's minor interference with our life, compared to what Dr. and Mrs. Levy are going through. Sympathy and our hearts go to Dr. and Mrs. Levy. Not the stuff that we've gone through.

Chung: Can you survive? Can your career, your marriage survive this?

Condit: Well, my family's intact. It's going to take more than the news media with innuendoes, half-truths, unnamed sources, to split my family up.

© MMI The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed

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