A Presidential Affair
Linda Rose Tripp is a former U.S. civil servant who figured in the Monica Lewinsky scandal of 1998–99. The former White House employee found herself at the center of a media firestorm after it was discovered that she had secretly recorded conversations with President Bill Clinton’s alleged mistress, White House intern Monica Lewinsky, and handed them over to the man investigating the Clintons’ Whitewater scandal, Kenneth Starr. The tapes played a key role in Clinton’s eventual impeachment by Congress, and Tripp endured intense media scrutiny.
Tripp’s action in secretly recording Lewinsky’s confidential phone calls about her relationship with the President caused a sensation with their links to the earlier Jones v. Clinton lawsuit and with the disclosing of notably intimate details. Tripp claimed that her motives were purely patriotic, and she was able to avoid a wiretap charge in exchange for handing in the tapes. She then claimed that her firing from the Pentagon at the end of the Clinton administration was vindictive, while the administration claimed it to be a standard routine.
Tripp was a White House employee in the George H. W. Bush administration, and kept her job when Bill Clinton took over in 1993. During the summer of 1994, senior White House aides wanted Tripp out, so they arranged a job for her in the public affairs office in the Pentagon which gave her a raise of $20,000 per year.
Tripp became a close confidante of another former White House employee, Monica Lewinsky, while they both worked in the Pentagon’s public affairs office. According to Tripp, who is about 24 years older than Lewinsky, they knew one another for a year and a half before the scandal began to reach its critical stage. After Lewinsky revealed to Tripp that she had been in a physical relationship with President Clinton, Tripp, acting on the advice of literary agent Lucianne Goldberg, began to secretly record phone conversations with Lewinsky while encouraging Lewinsky to document details of her relationship with the president.
In August 1997, Michael Isikoff, from Newsweek, reported that Tripp said that she had encountered Kathleen Willey coming out of the Oval Office “disheveled,” with “her face red and her lipstick was off.” Willey alleged that Clinton groped her. Clinton’s lawyer, Robert S. Bennett said in the Newsweek article, “Linda Tripp is not to be believed.”
In January 1998, Tripp gave the surreptitiously recorded tapes to then-Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in exchange for immunity from prosecution. Tripp disclosed to Starr that she was aware of the relationship between Lewinsky and President Clinton, that Lewinsky had executed a false affidavit denying the relationship that was submitted to the federal court in Arkansas in the Jones v. Clinton lawsuit, and that Lewinsky had attempted to suborn Tripp’s perjury in the Jones v. Clinton suit to conceal the Clinton-Lewinsky relationship as well as Tripp’s claim regarding Kathleen Willey from the federal court. As Tripp explained, she was being solicited to commit a crime to conceal evidence in the Jones civil rights case.
Tripp also informed Starr of the existence of a navy blue dress that Lewinsky owned that was soiled with Clinton’s semen. During their friendship, Lewinsky had shown the dress to Tripp and said she intended to have it dry-cleaned; Tripp convinced her not to.
Based on Tripp’s tapes, Starr obtained approval from Attorney General Janet Reno and the special court overseeing the Independent Counsel to expand Starr’s investigation into the Clinton-Lewinsky relationship, looking for potential incidents of perjury, to investigate Lewinsky for perjury and suborning perjury as a witness in the lawsuit Paula Jones had brought against Clinton.
Tripp also told Starr that she had evidence directly linking the White House to the Travelgate, Filegate, and Chinagate affairs, but Starr chose not to act on that, preferring to pursue the sex-related allegations.
Tripp maintains she acted out of “patriotic duty.” Tripp has claimed that she taped Lewinsky out of self-defense, as she feared retaliation from the Clinton administration, also claiming Lewinsky had assured President Clinton that she had told only Tripp about their affair (which was untrue), thus making her a target since she refused to go along with perjuring herself to protect Lewinsky and the President.
Eventually both Clinton and Lewinsky had to appear before a Washington, D.C., grand jury to answer questions, although Clinton appeared via closed circuit television. After the round of interrogation, the jurors offered Lewinsky the chance to offer any last words. “I hate Linda Tripp,” she said
Linda Tripp, said it was common knowledge while she worked in the West Wing that Bill Clinton had affairs with “thousands of women.”
She personally knew another White House staffer aside from Lewinsky who was also having an affair with Clinton. That unnamed staffer was mentioned by Tripp in various depositions but she has not spoken about it publicly.
She charged that Hillary Clinton not only knew about her husband’s exploits, “She made it her personal mission to disseminate information and destroy the women with whom he dallied.”
Tripp says she cringes at the sight of Clinton presenting herself as “a champion of women’s rights worldwide in a global fashion, and yet all of the women she has destroyed over the years to ensure her political viability continues is sickening to me.”
Hillary will stop at nothing to achieve her end – the Presidency – and see the public as plebians easily seduced into believing her, says Tripp
This is a pattern of behaviour that has gone on for years. And the abuse of women for years.” And Hillary Clinton is part of that abuse cycle and was a stone cold enabler. She’s evil and will do anything to get power and money. Tripp said Hillary personally targeted Bill’s female conquests and accusers, with the future presidential candidate exhibiting behaviour that is “egregious and it’s so disingenuous.” Tripp went on to say, “This is someone who had no real personal problem with any of this behaviour. The problem was in it becoming public. They had to continue to become electable…
“I did not have sexual relations with that woman”
President Bill Clinton said those nine words in 1998 on live television.
Quietly, years later, he admitted the truth. On January 19, 2001, he admitted to knowingly making false statements in a case brought against him by Monica Lewinsky, the former White House intern he had a sexual relationship with while in office. “I’ve apologized for my conduct and I’ve done my best to atone for it with my family, my administration and the American people,” Clinton said at the time.
While he avoided jail time, he was fined $25,000 and temporarily lost his law license.
She called the Democratic front-runner’s recent attempts to paint herself as a champion for women’s rights cringeworthy. Linda exposed President Clinton affair with Monica because it was the culmination of years of so much corruption. It was the scandal that saw Bill Clinton impeached and which threatened to bring down his presidency. For many, it continues to define it to this day.
But according to the woman who outed Monica Lewinsky as the president’s mistress, the real story was never about Monica. It was about ‘subornation of perjury, obstruction of justice… a true abuse of power.’ And it was about Hillary.
Because, according to Linda Tripp, it was Hillary who manipulated and stage managed the story, converting herself from a lackluster First Lady with unimpressive approval ratings to admirable First Victim – the blindsided wife standing by her man.
She made him forgivable. She ‘orchestrated the cover up’ and she made damn sure that she moved on. Nothing, and no-one, was going to stand in her way.
Linda Tripp, whose recorded conversations with Lewinsky – submitted to independent counsel Kenneth Starr – exposed the truth of the affair that both Lewinsky and Clinton had sought to deny
Linda says Hillary was the true ‘ruler’ of the White House through her husband’s administration; and says she watched Hillary ‘blatantly lie’ to the American people; describes her as utterly ‘ruthless’ in her pursuit of power; and voices her belief that Hillary must never gain the presidency – the position that has always been her goal and to which she has always believed herself entitled.
According to Tripp: ‘In her mind she would be part of a coronation instead of an election.
‘This has been planned for so many years. I remember one of the quotes in my first week in the Oval Office which was the week after Clinton’s first inauguration.
‘Everybody had this little mantra, ‘Eight years for Bill. Eight years for Hill.’ And when I asked a senior person, ‘What does that mean?’ He said, ‘Well eight years for his administration and eight years for hers.
‘So this is a runaway train. Nobody is going to stop it.’
I think the most compelling thing about Hillary is that she will stop at nothing to achieve her end and that she views the public as plebeians easily seduced into believing her point of view.
Tripp’s office was directly adjacent to Hillary’s second floor West Wing office for the entire time she served at the Clinton White House, with the exception of the first three months during which she sat directly outside the Oval office. Her position offered her unparalleled access to, and a unique perspective on, both the couple and the administration.
I believe for all his faults as a flawed man, Bill Clinton is not as unscrupulous as his wife. He is complicit but he is not as deceitful as Hillary Clinton is. Don’t get me wrong, they are both missing the integrity chip but while she is inherently dishonorable, his seems to be learned behaviour.
‘Hillary Clinton ruled the White House even as early as 1993 and every scandal that originated in the Clinton administration was the brainchild of Hilary.
‘When I think of Hillary Clinton I think of a lingering taint of scandal and wrongdoing and, in my opinion, possible criminal activity.’
And behind it all was, according to Tripp, the pursuit of the Clintons’ ‘common goal’ – power.
She explained: ‘She has stood by him all these years because she needed him. In 1992 no female, least of all she, would have been elected to the highest office in the land.
‘Their focus has always been power and the accumulation of that power. There were just so many things in the White House that made it abundantly clear to anyone in their radius that he was the elected official but she was the one with the actual power.’
And, according to Tripp: ‘When a couple is as focused as they are on a goal there are many, many things that one overlooks to achieve that. Nothing is allowed to stand in the way. That means no circumstance, no person.’
The most obvious examples of this single-minded pursuit came in Hillary’s treatment of the series of ‘bimbo eruptions’ that threatened to derail Clinton’s 1992 presidential campaign and continued to surface throughout his presidency.
Tripp said: ‘His political success was largely dependent upon Hillary. He owed her a great deal. As is widely acknowledged, Hillary took care of all the ‘bimbo eruptions’ of which there were thousands in order to present to the world an electable candidate. ‘In this endeavor she was ruthless. She destroyed women so that their stories never saw the light of day.’ And in the case of those stories that did surface she orchestrated an all-out attack on the women’s credibility.
Tripp is in no doubt, for example, that Hillary lay behind the marginalizing of Gennifer Flowers who came forward in 1992 claiming that she had enjoyed a 12-year love affair with Clinton, then Governor of Arkansas and presidential hopeful.
Tripp said: ‘Gennifer Flowers, by coming forward, was marginalized despite the fact that according to Clinton insiders at the time everything she said was true.
‘She was one of a cast of thousands and they were disposed of in a way that trivialized and marginalized their impact. At the end of the day the public was left with the sense that this couldn’t possibly all be true.
‘It became easier to believe that these claims must be the work of a vast right wing conspiracy of politically motivated people who would stop at nothing to undermine their forward trajectory.’
When it came to Monica Lewinsky Tripp said: ‘Hillary was not only aware of Monica Lewinsky she ensured that Monica was removed from the White House and in the end went from being a lack luster First Lady with unimpressive approval numbers to wronged wife. Literally within the blink of an eye she propelled herself to First Victim status. This turned the corner for Hillary.
‘Women across the world could certainly understand her position of standing by her man, finding it admirable that she was working on her marriage, unaware that it was a charade.’
In Tripp’s opinion: ‘She has that particular scandal to thank for her Senate candidacy and election and for everything that followed.’
But while the ‘bimbo eruptions’ may have grabbed headlines and attention they were, according to Tripp, far from the most significant scandals to rock the Clinton administration or to be covered-up by Hillary.
She explained: ‘I can’t emphasize enough how relatively insignificant the bimbo eruptions were compared to the real issues.
‘In the case of Monica Lewinsky the story was never really about Monica or Linda Tripp. It was about subornation of perjury and obstruction of justice and a true abuse of power on the part of a sitting president.
‘That should have been the story. It never was.
‘And so it gave Monica her much needed fifteen minutes and it took the rest of us along with it but the actual crux of the entire issue escaped most.
‘ And now the very person who orchestrated that cover up and all the other cover ups over the years including those surfacing today is running for president of the United States.’
Hillary Clinton “made it her personal mission to disseminate information and destroy the women with whom he dallied,” Tripp recently claimed, according to Breitbart.
It is an alternative universe when the Clintons can claim the moral high ground on virtually anything. So, the mesmerizing inscription carved into the mantle of the fireplace in the State Dining Room takes on new significance. The words are from a letter John Adams wrote to his wife Abigail in 1800: “I pray to heaven to bestow the best of blessings on this house, and all that shall hereafter inhabit it. May none but honest and wise men rule under this roof.” Over two hundred years later, this prayer now seems uncannily prophetic. As the nation prepares to place an individual so absolutely corrupt in a position of such absolute power, these words should give us all pause.
Behind closed doors, it was not just the constant vulgarity, the obscenities, or the alarming denigration of vast groups of their own supporters. It was not just the Hillary scandals from Filegate to Travelgate, to Whitewater and Vince Foster, to massive illegal campaign contributions, to the selling of anything that wasn’t nailed down. It wasn’t even their unbridled greed or their politics of personal destruction. That was where any perceived enemy or opponent found themselves treated to a uniquely chilling kind of Clinton retaliation. All courtesy of her bona fide secret police. That was just part of it.
Equally egregious was her vocal disdain for vast groups of people of faith and her utter contempt for the members of all the armed services. There were too many examples to cite, but my introduction to Hillary occurred in the Oval Office corridor as she headed back upstairs to her own West Wing office. An army officer dressed in Class A uniform had made the mistake of being seen in her presence. Her loud, “Get these f–king uniforms the f–k out of my sight!” floored just about everyone.
Over time the staggering profanity coming from both Bill and Hillary became expected. As the wife of an army officer for twenty years with a career at the Department of Defense spanning that long, this particular outburst offended me the most. The language coming from a First Lady was deplorable enough, but it was the harsh sentiment that was stunning. This from one who believes she is fit to be Commander-in-Chief. In any case, that was only part of it.
It was also the smoke and mirrors that meant virtually everything they said publicly bore no resemblance to what was said privately. She and her closest aides share contempt for most of the electorate. Her pathological secrecy arose from a need to conceal not only this but also the money trail. The country has had a glimpse through leaked information of the person behind the mask. The Oscar worthy public candidate who appears quite fit to be president bears no resemblance to the actual person seeking the job. Hillary Clinton is incapable of telling the truth. The truth would not get her elected. In the face of years of documented corruption, that she is on the brink of becoming President defies any logic at all.
On January 19, 2001, the last full day of the Clinton Administration, Linda Tripp was fired from her job in the Pentagon. Tripp claimed that the firing was vindictive, but the Clinton administration countered that all political appointees like Tripp are normally asked to submit their resignation upon a new administration taking over, and those who refuse are fired.
Tripp sued the Department of Defense and the Justice Department for releasing information from her security file and employment file to the news media in violation of the Privacy Act of 1974.
“The government should never be permitted to use Privacy Act protected information to discredit political opponents,” Tripp said in a statement, via CNN. “This is a long-awaited first step toward holding the government accountable.”
On November 3, 2003, Tripp reached a settlement with the federal government.
“Today the Department of Defense has accepted liability,” she said. “My ultimate goal is to ensure that any sitting president be required by law to honour the Privacy Act regardless of political motive.” In a subsequent interview with Larry King, Tripp referred to the settlement as a “moral victory,” not a financial one.
The settlement included a one-time payment of more than $595,000, a retroactive promotion, and retroactive pay at the highest salary for 1998, 1999, and 2000. She also received a pension and was cleared to work for the federal government again. Her rights to remain part of a class action lawsuit against the government were also preserved.
Since the Lewinsky scandal, Tripp moved to Northern Virginia, married German architect Dieter Rausch in 2004 and later relocated to Middleburg, Virginia.
In an appearance with Larry King on Larry King Live on December 1, 2003, Tripp talked about living with breast cancer. On the subject of her successful invasion of privacy lawsuit against the federal government, Tripp claimed that she actually came out behind financially because of attorneys’ fees and the derailment of her government career. She also claimed that her violations of Lewinsky’s privacy and the Clinton administration’s violations of her privacy were not equivalent, as the Clinton administration’s leaking of her employment history was illegal—although her wiretapping was also illegal, she just got an immunity deal to avoid charges
When one thinks of Tripp, one does not immediately think of Christmas cheer, but so goes her life after political infamy. Tripp and her husband opened a year-round Christmas store called The Christmas Sleigh around December 2002. The store sells everything from Christmas ornaments to beer steins and incense smokers.