INTERNATIONAL: Clinton PR guru denies cash for advice claims

BUENOS AIRES: Former Clinton PR guru Dick Morris has denied accusations of making pounds 1.1 million for advising the Argentinian government during an eight-month period.

BUENOS AIRES: Former Clinton PR guru Dick Morris has denied accusations of making pounds 1.1 million for advising the Argentinian government during an eight-month period.

Morris' advice helped the ruling centre-left party Alianza win last year's elections. But Argentina's main political weekly paper, Noticias, alleged that Morris was paid through IKON, a lobbying firm owned by his friend, Roger Stone.

The article claimed the firm was just an intermediary for Morris. It also states Morris' monthly fee of pounds 141,000 was paid not by the Argentinian government, but by the secret service.

Noticias shows parts of the contract signed by IKON and recently-sacked secret service boss Fernando de Santibanes.

Morris has refuted accusations that he was being paid by the Argentinian government, but has admitted that he was aware of IKON's deal with the Argentinian secret service.

An article in Argentina's business daily, Ambito Financiero, quoted Morris, author of the updated Machiavellian tract The New Prince, as saying: 'I never got money from the secret service, nor from the Argentinian government, and I never will.'

He added that his role in the deal was limited to introducing IKON to secret service chief Santibanes.

Since the Argentinian government claims to have severe budget limitations for international PR campaigns designed to enhance the image of the country, many practitioners from US PR firms in Buenos Aires were appalled by the scandal.

'Any PR firm working for the government should have been selected in an open bid,' said Gustavo Averbuj, Ketchum PR CEO in Argentina.



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