Presidential Crisis: Tripp Advised Her Not to Clean Dress Extracts from Monica Lewinsky's Testimony

The Independent (London, England), September 22, 1998 | Go to article overview
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Presidential Crisis: Tripp Advised Her Not to Clean Dress Extracts from Monica Lewinsky's Testimony


Q. This grand jury session today is for you to answer questions from the grand jurors.

Q. (Juror) Ms Lewinsky, in your testimony when you were with us on the sixth, you mentioned some of the steps that you took to maintain secrecy regarding your relationship. Were these ways to maintain your secrecy your idea or were they recommended to you by anyone?

A. Some of them were my idea. Some of them were things that I had discussed with the President. I think it was a mutual understanding between us that obviously we'd both try to be careful.

Q. (Juror) Do you recall at all specifically which ones he may have recommended to you as an idea on maintaining the secrecy?

A. Yes and no. The issue of Betty being the cover story for when I came to the White House, it became my understanding I think most clearly from the fact that I couldn't come to see him after the election until unless Betty was there to clear me in and that one time when I asked him why, he said because if someone comes to see him, there's a list circulated among the staff members and then everyone would be questioning why I was there to see him.

Q. Were there ever any discussions between you and the President about what should be done with letters that you - letters or notes that you had sent to him?

A. It was my understanding that obviously he would throw them away or, if he decided to keep them, which I didn't think he did, he would put them somewhere safe.

Q. OK. What about the times that you would visit him? Were those times selected in a way so that there weren't people around or that certain people weren't around?

A. Yes.

Q. OK. Would you tell us about that?

A. There were obviously people at the White House who didn't like me and wouldn't be understanding of why I was coming to see the President or accepting of that and so there was always sort of an effort made that either on the weekends - when I was working in the White House he told me that it was usually quiet on the weekends and I knew that to be true.

Q. And what about particular individual people? Would there be particular individual people who would be - staffers in the oval area that you would try to avoid in order to help conceal the relationship?

A. Yes. Nancy Hernreich, Stephen Goodin, Evelyn Lieberman. Pretty much anybody on the first floor of the West Wing.

Q. How did all these people come to not like you so much? What were you doing? Were you breaking the rules of the White House?

A. Before the relationship started?

A. I don't think there was anything I did before the relationship started that ... the relationship started in November of 1995. I think that the President seemed to pay attention to me and I paid attention to him and I think people were wary of his weaknesses ...

Q. (Juror) But you do admit a lot of the places that you weren't supposed to be you were always found. You do admit that there were things that you were doing, in order to see him that they were feeling that was going against the rules of the White House? ... You know, places that you were - that you weren't supposed to be and hallways that you weren't supposed to be, you were seen in those places?

A. Yes and no. There really weren't any of these staffers who saw me in the places that I wasn't supposed to be.

A. I don't know what they knew.

Q. (Juror) Because if you said you made an effort to hide yourself ... the Secret Service are the ones that saw you.

Q. (Juror) Okay. So how did they know that you were there?

A. I don't know. I've heard reported in the newspapers and on TV that the Secret Service, someone said something to Evelyn Lieberman ...

Q. (Juror) So that interaction that you had with Evelyn Lieberman was when she was telling you what?

A. She stopped me in the hall and she asked me where I worked, in which office I worked, and I told her Legislative Affairs in the East Wing.

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