WASHINGTON (AP) - As Bill Clinton prepared for the first trip by a U.S. president to Vietnam since the war, White House advisers worried about deflecting questions about how he steered clear of the Vietnam draft as a young man.
Clinton White House records released by the National Archives on Friday show their concern in November 2000.
In a draft memo, advisers urged Clinton to deflect draft questions by saying the trip wasn't about him, it was about building relations between the two nations 25 years after the war.
They also said veterans' groups would watch closely to see whether Clinton tried to make the trip, as they put it, "a 'healing mission' or an effort to lock in your place in history." They cautioned against any hint of apology to the Vietnamese.