Read selections from the recorded telephone conversations between former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and Pentagon worker Linda Tripp. Between October 1997 and January 1998, Tripp secretly taped more than 20 hours of conversation with Monica, who confided details of her affair with President Clinton. The tapes were made public on September 9, 1998 as part of Kenneth Starr's report of his investigation of President Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky
Audio of the recordings in their entirety are available in the C-SPAN video library.
October 6, 1997
LEWINSKY: I feel I just need to start over, and I know this is so stupid. But I don't know why I have these feelings. Linda, I never expected to feel this way about him.
TRIPP: You protect him.
LEWINSKY: The first time I ever looked into his eyes close up and was with him alone I saw somebody totally different than I had expected to see and that's the person I fell in love with, and that's the person I saw on the fourth of July and at tender moments. And he has been distant and vacant from me for the past few months and I don't know why.
TRIPP: Because it's dangerous to let you in. He let you in and now he's afraid. Fear is a biggest motivator, self preservation is everything....I know you want to protect him, I just don't want you to be savaged in the process.
October 16, 1997
TRIPP: Well, that worries me a little bit because assuming it did happen, that would mean he was lying to you.
LEWINSKY: Hmpf. He's lied to me before. ... You know. I mean, I don't - I - you know, I can't sit here and say, 'Oh, he lied to me.' I lied to him, too.
TRIPP: You don't lie to him.
LEWINSKY: Oh, really? "Does she know about us. No, she doesn't know."
TRIPP: Oh, about me?
LEWINSKY: Yeah, that's a lie. (Laughter.)
TRIPP: Yeah, that's a lie.
LEWINSKY: That's a flat-out lie, you know. ...
TRIPP: Oh, you know what I meant to say to you? ...I know this abridged version that you're giving people now?
TRIPP: That worries me. Because, look. (Sighing). Why do we have to use any version?
LEWINSKY: Well, I mean, I'm not giving it to people. I don't - I don't think it's like I'm talking about it freely.
TRIPP: Well, you told this Judy person in New York.
LEWINSKY: No, I - that's not Judy, this was the counselor lady. ... She's bound by the law. ...
TRIPP: She's an employment counselor?
TRIPP: So what you told her essentially was there had been rumors -
TRIPP: - and you had to leave?
TRIPP: Do you think in speaking to her that she saw between - between the lines?
LEWINSKY: No, no.
TRIPP: Oh, good. Oh.
LEWINSKY: ... I said, "And you'll call me when you get back?" he goes, "I'll call you and give you a report." Hmpf.
TRIPP: Well, he probably will. ...
LEWINSKY: He yelled at me because ... the way I was acting was like he was not on my team and not on my side, you know. I don't know why I should have thought that. ...
TRIPP: Yeah. Because it's been a year and a half and you were supposed to be back there ...
LEWINSKY: A year ago. ... Linda, he got so mad at me, he must have been purple.
TRIPP: Uh - what precisely (REDACTED) him off?
LEWINSKY: ... I was a cannon ready to shoot. ...
LEWINSKY: ... what started it was when I said ... "Well, Betty said you could come any time in the night." ...
TRIPP: Oh, yeah. Well, this was at three in the morning.
LEWINSKY: Right. And he said, "Well, it's too late. It'll be all over." And I said, "Well, I want to discuss this with you in person," you know. And he goes, "No, no, no, no. Well, I'm calling you. You just demand to see me." And that's when he started, and then I started yelling."
LEWINSKY: And then he started yelling, and I yelled more, and he yelled more, and then he finally -
TRIPP: Did he ever say, "Do you know who you're talking to?"
LEWINSKY: And then - and then I was crying.
TRIPP: Oh, my God.
LEWINSKY: You know, and then he was yelling at me. ... He scared me so much that I was like, okay, okay.
TRIPP: I'm really hoping none of his little ushers were outside the door.
LEWINSKY: Well, it was one of those quiet yelling? You know, like he was trying to keep his voice down.
TRIPP: Yeah. (Laughter.) (REDACTED.)
LEWINSKY: "I have an empty life except for my work, and it's a (REDACTED) obsession."
TRIPP: He said that?
LEWINSKY: Right. And then I said, ... "Well, don't you get any warmth and da da da from your wife?"
TRIPP: You didn't.
LEWINSKY: I did. He said, "Of course I do."
TRIPP: Yeah. What he really told you was the truth before that, Monica. "I have an empty life?"
LEWINSKY: But, Linda, that's (REDACTED). What about his daughter and all the things he does and, you know ...
TRIPP: No. No. What he's saying is his compulsion for female intimacy is the void, that's the void. And whatever motivates him to behave the way he does, and then obviously he has to pull back and say, "I can't do this," is because there's a void.
And so him - for him to say "I have an empty life," you don't understand, Monica. By now, Air Force One, all the trips, all that's pretty routine. ...
LEWINSKY: I don't know. I think - I think he likes to feel sorry for himself, and I think he ... not necessarily consciously, but unconsciously, it was like this is the thing to say to drive home the point.
TRIPP: No, no. No, you're wrong. I think he slipped, and I think also - if he were a completely fulfilled man, you wouldn't exist in his life.
LEWINSKY: Yeah. ...
TRIPP: So you better understand that. ...
LEWINSKY: But there have been millions of women. ...
November 3, 1997
LEWINSKY: So I - you know, I think he's had - he's had a very crazy - he's got a crazy week in general. First of all, he's lost his voice and he's very sick. ... Second of all, you know, he's got this Fast Track legislation. Now we have all this (delete) with Iraq.
TRIPP: I know.
LEWINSKY: ... I mean, it was really kind of - not hurtful, but I was a little like - yeah, I guess it was hurtful that he didn't call, you know.
LEWINSKY: ... I came very close to writing a letter, but I figured that's not the kind of thing that you write, you know, on paper. It's more of the thing you say in person, you know, along the lines of, you know, "Hey, the reason I'm doing this whole New York thing is because you didn't bring me back."
LEWINSKY: You know?
TRIPP: The gates were locked.
LEWINSKY: I know. ...
LEWINSKY: ... And (REDACTED) leaves on Saturday, so, really, I mean, it just will make it a lot easier for him to do whatever it is he needs to do hopefully.
TRIPP: Are you going to see him?
LEWINSKY: I don't know. I'm supposed to. Maybe.
TRIPP: When are you supposed to see him, Saturday?
LEWINSKY: Yeah, possibly.
TRIPP: I'd wait 'til she's out of town.
LEWINSKY: Well, that's what I was thinking, too, but I don't know. That kind of - (tape skip). Either - well, he'd said Saturday, and then, you know -
LEWINSKY: I'm not like not his girlfriend anymore. But - I don't know.
TRIPP: Oh, that's so romantic, though.
LEWINSKY: I know. But then I - but then I kind of feel like -
TRIPP: Is she gone for an extended period?
LEWINSKY: I think she's gone for ten days.
TRIPP: Oh, you're kidding.
TRIPP: Where is she going?
LEWINSKY: She's going to Kazikstan and Bekistan (sic) and -
LEWINSKY: Without him.
LEWINSKY: So she's gone for like ten days. So she'll be gone that day, too.
LEWINSKY: You know? But I just - I just kind of feel like - OK, if I can do it this weekend, is it worth - is it worth the risk?
TRIPP: Of not doing it?
TRIPP: Yeah, I would take whatever they can arrange.
LEWINSKY: ... I asked him in the letter to call me, so - you know, I said, "I know it's hard for you to call me from home, so can you please try" ...
LEWINSKY: Is there something you're not telling me?
TRIPP: No, like what?
LEWINSKY: I don't know.
TRIPP: No, you idiot. ...
LEWINSKY: I got the tie - the creep a tie.
TRIPP: Oh, please.
LEWINSKY: I know. It was 20 bucks at Marshalls.
TRIPP: Oh, good. Who makes it?
LEWINSKY: Calvin Klein. ... Yeah. It's gorgeous.
TRIPP: Yeah, Marshalls generally - every now and then you can hit.
LEWINSKY: I know. It's really nice. It's real different than all the other ones. But - so I put a really funny note with it. I'm going to send it with the book.
TRIPP: Yeah. I think you should send the book, though.
LEWINSKY: I know. I'm going to. And I put stickies in the forward where it - I mean, it so clearly shows what kind of book it's not. You know what I mean? ... And then I marked a section in the - in the chapter that talks about him being a - you know, whatever it is, "Domingo as Don Juan" ... is what it's called, the chapter. ... And then the other thing I marked was - I was - I had told him about this one thing. I said, "Oh, you know," I said, "actually it was really good. You know, she talked about - you know with some of her experiences, she shed some light on things - a lot of things that people don't know about him that are really wonderful." ... And so I marked that other part, you know. ... And then I'll put the New York Times review in there.
TRIPP: How did they review it?
LEWINSKY: ... I'd say it was lukewarm.
TRIPP: Well, that's better than nothing.
LEWINSKY: Right, and it's also - you know, it's the fact that it's The New York Times. ... You know? ... So there's that. But with the tie I wrote such a funny card, Linda.
LEWINSKY: It's really a nice tie, and I - you know, at first I said, "Oh, you know," I said, "it'll look good with either a taupe or navy suit and a white or - white, blue shirt, whatever you want. ... And, you know, I'm like "That is if you like it" And I'm like, "And just think now you can pay homage to me if you want by having a work week in which you wear one of my ties every day." (laughter)
TRIPP: (laughter) 'Cause this will be the fifth one, right?
LEWINSKY: (laughter) Now there are five. It's the fifth one.
TRIPP: ... You'll have to give him one for the weekend days, too.
TRIPP: Oh, yeah, you will.
LEWINSKY: No. I think this is it. That's what I want. You know, that's my fantasy, is to have him wear one of my ties every day.
November 8, 1997
TRIPP: Well, you have every reason to be mad.
LEWINSKY: I don't know - but then - but a lot of it, though, too, is that it's like, OK, this happens in everyday life. People stop liking each other, you know. Women every day - I'm sure every minute of every day somebody is getting dumped. ...
So he just stopped liking me. Well, part of the problem is that instead of just saying "I don't like you anymore" he pulled all this other (stuff). So it's now become, you know, my obsession to prove him wrong, you know. ... 'Cause, really, he's not trying to be good, and he just doesn't like me.
TRIPP: I know.
LEWINSKY: So he should just say that. And - because, of course, I don't know, somehow that'll make me feel better - pff.
TRIPP: Oh. Except that I can tell you this. I don't have a firm feeling either way on that subject. ... I don't have a feeling either way that he's full of (REDACTED)
LEWINSKY: I don't believe -
TRIPP: - and he was conning you.
LEWINSKY: - a single word of what he said. I don't believe for one minute that he is being good.
TRIPP: You really don't.
LEWINSKY: I really don't. I really don't. I thought - I said to myself, I said, OK I will believe he's being good if he calls me, and we have phone sex, OK, like while this stress is going on ... because then I know he's trying to be as good as he can be -
LEWINSKY: - but he's stressed out, and he needs this. ...And not only do we not have phone sex, I don't even (REDACTED) hear from him. And I think that's his guilt. I think he feels guilty.
TRIPP: Guilty -
LEWINSKY: Because he's with other people.
TRIPP: Oh, you -
LEWINSKY: So, what, he's going to call me, and maybe he's afraid I'm going to hear in his voice? I don't know.
TRIPP: (sighing) Oh, God. ...
LEWINSKY: But the bottom line truth is, is that he can see me any night of this week. Just like when he wanted to see me, and I got my ass over there at (REDACTED).
TRIPP: Oh, yeah. That was about me.
TRIPP: Yeah, that's lovely. Well, that's just 'cause he was (REDACTED) scared.
LEWINSKY: Well, but do you see what I mean? So it's not like it's not possible.
LEWINSKY: It's doable.
TRIPP: Yeah, it's doable. ...
TRIPP: ... Well, I believe he really does care about you down deep. Because I don't think it would have taken - I don't think this entire fiasco would have gone on as long as did if he didn't. ...You weren't one of his disposables. And I think the ludicrous aspect of it got to him, like "Holy (REDACTED) she might - she could be my daughter. I would be (REDACTED) fried. Even I see" - he would be saying to himself "Even I can see that much."
November 11, 1997
LEWINSKY: I just wish I could understand the (REDACTED) creep. Do you know what I mean? Like -
TRIPP: Look. I don't think there is any understanding him.
LEWINSKY: What goes through his head when he's saying, you know, "She wants to come see me." I mean, the only thing I can think of, that he just doesn't want to, because it's the only thing that makes sense to me. ... I mean, I thought I was being nice. What's there to deal with, you know?
TRIPP: Oh, there's a lot to deal with, Monica. Just because you're being nice? ... I think the real issue is that you're a temptation to him, and I don't think he wants the temptation. He has decided this isn't happening.
LEWINSKY: I sent him that card. It's like what kind of (REDACTED) moron do you have to be?
LEWINSKY: You know what I mean?
TRIPP: Oh, I'm beginning to think he's a huge moron, but that's just my opinion.
LEWINSKY: And I'm beginning to think he's just an (REDACTED) more than a moron.
TRIPP: How about a combination, a moron and an (REDACTED)? (Sighing.) ... Well, his kid's not there, his wife's not there. ... Well, the comfort you can take from this is I'm sure he doesn't have anyone else there either, because she's not there.
LEWINSKY: Well, Nancy (Hernreich, deputy assistant to the President and Director of Oval Office Operations) might be there.
TRIPP: Nancy will not let anybody in that back room.
LEWINSKY: No (REDACTED).
TRIPP: So that's what I'm saying. He's not seeing anybody.
LEWINSKY: Oh, well - oh, that way. ... Yeah, I was. I pretty much am begging to see him. I told him last week I wanted to see him over the weekend. ...
November 13, 1997
LEWINSKY: I go into the back and I like get plonked down into the back, into the study, for probably 20 minutes, a half an hour. So (yawning) finally the creep walked out and then -
TRIPP: Came in?
LEWINSKY: Came in. Finally. And he had like one minute.
TRIPP: What was happening then?
LEWINSKY: Well, see, he had a - a-- president - oh, no. Was he president? Whatshisname, the Mexico guy, Zedillo.
LEWINSKY: Waiting for him.
TRIPP: You're kidding.
LEWINSKY: No. No.
TRIPP: So how was it?
LEWINSKY: It was - I mean, it was - it was so nothing that you can't even say - can't even grade it. You know, I mean -
TRIPP: 'Cause it was so quick.
TRIPP: At least you got in, Monica.
LEWINSKY: ... I am like so grateful for that. You have no idea. ... Oh, my God, Linda, he looked so (REDACTED) gorgeous.
LEWINSKY: I don't know. He just looked so gorgeous.
November 16, 1997
LEWINSKY: ... I was upset, when I worked there about him. ... I was constantly, constantly thinking he forgot who I was. ...
TRIPP: Well, how could he have forgotten who you were when you were seeing him?
LEWINSKY: ... I was crazy, Linda. I mean, it seems to me that it was like if I didn't see him, then he forgot who I was. ... And if he didn't call, he forgot who I was. ... I don't know if you know this or not or ever realized it, but - you know, I got over (REDACTED) with the creep. ...
... Right before this had happened, right before this started with the creep, I had gone to Portland in the end of October. ... And I had not seen Andy since July, and I had gone there pretty much to see my friends and to see him. ... and then we did end up getting together, but it wasn't that great. And then - I was there about a week. And so then I went to see him again and we were supposed to fool around, and he like pulled all this (REDACTED) on me. He didn't want to do this anymore, he couldn't do it, he couldn't do it. And I ... was like hysterically crying.
LEWINSKY: So I was - hated his guts, you know? Came back from Portland and ... got my hair done, and ... like a week and half later was when this whole thing started.
TRIPP: A week and a half later is when what started?
LEWINSKY: The stuff with the creep. ...It was like shifting my focus, and so it was, it was so, like important, for me to get over Andy. I mean, it was just funny, he was the vehicle for it, you know?
LEWINSKY: But - so- that contributed a little, I think, to - to my-
LEWINSKY: - whatever with him, you know. And I really - I really felt like, oh, there's a different girl every day and he was gonna forget. You know, I mean, when this first happened, I mean, I said to my mom, I said, "Well, I think he just fooled around with me because his girlfriend was probably furloughed."
TRIPP: You idiot.
LEWINSKY: I'm not kidding you. That's what I thought.
TRIPP: Oh, my God. Monica -
LEWINSKY: I got - oh - oh - and I bought a beautiful, beautiful, rad red very thin silk sweater top.
LEWINSKY: That - it's for my next visit - if I ever have one again.
TRIPP: You in red. Yes.
LEWINSKY: Which I think I will. I think eventually I'll have to, right?
LEWINSKY: I have to give him his Christmas present.
LEWINSKY: It probably won't be for forever, but -
TRIPP: Just because you wear a red sweater does not mean you have to wear red lipstick.
LEWINSKY: I understand that.
TRIPP: Okay. I'm just trying to-
LEWINSKY: I wouldn't ever wear red lipstick to see him.
LEWINSKY: You know, I don't know. I kind of feel like what's the point? Why should I have to discuss it with him? Why should I have to go through the stress and the anxiety of trying to get him on the phone? You know? I don't know.
TRIPP: I don't know that I'd stop my dialogue with Betty just - you might want to cool it with him for a little bit.
LEWINSKY: Oh, you know what? And Betty is a real big help, isn't she?
TRIPP: Oh, I don't know. I can't - you know, I go from one way or the other. At least she smuggled you in the other day and hid you.
LEWINSKY: ... (sigh) - I don't know. What would happen if, gee, I don't know, he wanted to see me on his own? Wouldn't that be nice?
TRIPP: Yeah. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one right now, not in the disengaged mode he's in. ... He owes you an explanation.
LEWINSKY: So - and I'd just like to say so, you know, and if you can't explain it to me, then I think you - somebody owes you an explanation.
TRIPP: He can explain it.
LEWINSKY: You know? But, I mean, it's just jobs, seven different things I could have done. And that's not asking for too much, either. ... I'll never forget when he said something or another to me, he said, "Well, you can, you know, go wherever you want - well, within reason." Well, that's what he said to me. And I - you know, I thought to myself - I didn't say it. I bit my tongue - but I was thinking, "No, you (deleted), I'm gonna say I want to be chief of staff."
TRIPP: The whole thing is - is so just fundamentally unfair.
TRIPP: I mean - I don't know. I- I- I- hate him for it, but on the other hand, I understand why he would have felt awkward. But I think he owes you that truth. I really do. ... You know, you're the type of person who would accept that, you know, if he were frank with you.
LEWINSKY: I think - I think that - and I think you've said this, too, but I think part of him wanted to bring me back because he promised me, he felt bad what happened. But I think a big part of him didn't.
TRIPP: ... I think he has a problem. And I think he knows he has a problem. And I think he knows that faced with temptation, with a willing partner that he finds sexy, he would not be able to mend his ways. And whether or not he's mending his ways on the road or any other place, I believe him when he says he wants to behave to a certain extent because -
LEWINSKY: I think he talked himself out of even being attracted to me. I really do.
LEWINSKY: Uh - there is just like nothing there. I mean, it's just weird, because there was something there last month, but there was nothing there the other night.
November 17, 1997
LEWINSKY: I don't see how like, you know I don't feel like anybody is saying "Gee you know I am really sorry this happened. I am really sorry. You got really (delete) over and it's someone's fault."
TRIPP: Well maybe he feels maybe he has made himself feel that the fact that his people got you a job at the Pentagon-
TRIPP: Means that you were taken care of, kind of thing.
LEWINSKY: I, I--
TRIPP: I mean it was more money right?
LEWINSKY: Um, a little bit, but not much. Part of it was-
TRIPP: But you didn't - the good thing is you didn't have to take a loss.
LEWINSKY: No. ... But I mean who can, who can put a price, I mean you know this. ... Who can put a price on working there? I mean, I was thinking when I was in New York I will never work in a place as beautiful. ... I will never work in as a prestigious place. ...
TRIPP: I know. It seems unfair. It seems grossly unfair, actually.
TRIPP: ... Well, he's into kind of denial anyway. ... I mean he denied Kathleen Willey to you.
TRIPP: And do I believe he harassed her? Of course not. I mean in the true sense of the world, the word, of course, not. Do I think he kissed her? Yeah.
LEWINSKY: You know.
TRIPP: It's hard to fake beard burn. Thank God, I didn't say that.
TRIPP: The ultimate thing is if this is your last hurrah, you'd better get something out of it that's - you know, that you can stick with. Because this is a good stepping stone. It's not many times that you're going to have someone of that stature opening a door for you.
LEWINSKY: Yeah. ... I just wish I didn't have all this emotional stuff. I wish I could be like him. (Redacted).
TRIPP: Oh, I'm so glad you're not.
LEWINSKY: ... I guarantee you he has not gone through one ounce of pain having to do with me in the past six, seven months. He just - threw it all away, you know?
TRIPP: And, of course, we don't know any of that.
LEWINSKY: Well, you know what -
TRIPP: Well, we don't. You always say we don't, and we don't know.
LEWINSKY: Linda, you know? What good is - what good is whatever it is, whatever it is - if he feels anything, what good is it, because he doesn't act on it? So it's nothing.
TRIPP: Well, he stopped acting on it.
LEWINSKY: Well - you know. But I just got mad today when I started thinking about all of the times, you know, that it's like - Betty didn't get to him.
TRIPP: Hah -
LEWINSKY: But, you know, the flip side of it, too, though, Linda, is that it's like, well, when's the last time I went there because he wanted to see me on his own? You know?
TRIPP: I don't know.
TRIPP: Yeah, it's a long time.
LEWINSKY: You know? I think - February or maybe March. ...
LEWINSKY: Mm-hmm. You know, it's November.
TRIPP: It's hard to believe.
LEWINSKY: It's hard, you know.
LEWINSKY: It's gonna be hard for a long time. (Sigh.)
TRIPP: Well, the bright side is that if you do get a wonderful job in New York and get settled in a place and start a new life, that this could be the door that needed to open.
TRIPP: I mean, I believe things happen for a reason, although I have yet to figure out why this happened.
LEWINSKY: I can't figure it out. Nothing really good has come of it.
TRIPP: Maybe it's so that you can tell your grandchildren you had an affair with the you-know-what of the you-know-what.
LEWINSKY: I don't think so. ... What if your grandma right now told you she had an affair with the president? How vastly would that change your grandma's life?
LEWINSKY: Okay someone, who didn't care about me and just looked at the situation -
LEWINSKY: - would say, well, uh, you know, she didn't try and fool around with the President.
TRIPP: Oh, that's such a terrible thing to say.
LEWINSKY: But it's true, though. It true.
TRIPP: Wait. What's true? Like you did it be yourself?
LEWINSKY: But the United States President - right. Okay, I'm not saying - the difference is -
TRIPP: The difference is he did it -
LEWINSKY: It didn't happen to him.
TRIPP: Right. And also the difference is he's 50 years old and he should have known better. And he didn't have to pay a price - you did. Hugely. So don't tell me that. I mean you're not a stalker. You were an invited guest. You know? Hah. Don't talk to me about that. ...
TRIPP: It's like - it makes you sound demented or something. I mean, it makes you - uh- I that just angers me beyond belief. But it certainly keeps him in the clear. "Hey, we had to get her out of here, she was stalking me." ...
TRIPP: Yeah. That part really does anger me because it's - it's a - a taint on your integrity and your reputation and your character, all of which is so richly undeserved, it's - it's - it's nauseating.
TRIPP: And, you know, you say what you did was wrong. Well, of course it was wrong, he was a married man. But, I mean, are you making a moral judgment here? I mean, because he's so far beyond moral judgments. And, in terms of labeling you the stalker, when it was a two-way street, kills me.
But the beauty of it is it has stayed internal, and it will never taint you down the road. And that is important, I mean, you will not suffer beyond the normal regret that you have to leave by that reputation. That won't go anywhere else.
LEWINSKY: You know what's sad? Is it's just I'm leaving, and there is nothing I gained from this experience. He - his behavior in the past few months has really - really just eroded any - any notion I ever had of - like a pleasant memory, you know.
TRIPP: Well, time has a real strange way of coloring things different ways, so maybe in a - in a few years, you'll see this differently. And it also depends on whether you continue to have any kind of relationship with him down the road.
LEWINSKY: Which I doubt.
TRIPP: You know. A friendship, a romantic - who knows? I mean, all of that will play into how your memory serves you.
LEWINSKY: I just wish I could do something- I wish I could just do something that would make him go, "Gee, I was stupid," you know? Like, "Boy, it was really dumb to let her go" - or something.
LEWINSKY: You know what I mean?
TRIPP: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.
November 18, 1997
LEWINSKY: ... I saw him on like Sunday and then I said to him, I said, "Oh, look for me at the arrival ceremony on blah, blah, blah. My mom and my aunt are coming."
TRIPP: But he didn't know which was which.
LEWINSKY: No, but he, you know, he said, " I saw them. They're cute." And I said, "Shut up."
LEWINSKY: Not that cute. Like, not cuter than me.
TRIPP: I wonder what he was thinking?
LEWINSKY: How he could do them, too.
TRIPP: Well, probably thinking it would be more appropriate to do them. I mean, they're even younger than he is, for God's sake.
LEWINSKY: Right. My mom is younger than he is.
TRIPP: Mm-hmm. I wonder if he ever reflects on the fact that here he is having a fling with someone that is close to his daughter's age. And I have to say in answer to my own question, I believe a lot he's thought about that, because I think that's a great big part.
LEWINSKY: He's never said it, and I thought if he -
TRIPP: Oh, God, Monica. He's not going to say that, because that just - that - that just brings to the forefront a really crummy issue. ...
LEWINSKY: Oh. (Sigh.) ...
TRIPP: Good. Well, what are you gonna wear when you go to - ummm - L.A.?
LEWINSKY: Well, I have my black uniform. I'll wear that ...
LEWINSKY: And then I'm gonna wear the navy dress I wore to the radio address that still has the (REDACTED) on it for Thanksgiving.
TRIPP: Well, how - you're what, you're gonna get it cleaned?
TRIPP: Oh, God.
LEWINSKY: Well, I mean, like I haven't worn it for a year, you know?
LEWINSKY: It's about time. Out with the old, you know?
TRIPP: Oh, that's too bad.
LEWINSKY: I know ...
November 20, 1997
TRIPP: ... This navy blue dress. Now all I would say to you is: I know how you feel today and I know why you feel the way you do today, but you have a very long life ahead of you. ... I would rather you had that in your possession if you need it years from now. That's all I'm gonna say.
LEWINSKY: You think that I can hold onto a dress for 10, 15 years with (REDACTED) from
TRIPP: Hey, listen. My cousin is a genetic whatchamacalit
TRIPP: and during O.J. Simpson, I questioned all the DNA and do you know what he told me?
TRIPP: ... He said that on a rape victim now ... if she has preserved a pinprick size of crusted semen, 10 years from that time, if she takes a wet Q-Tip and blobs it on there ... they can match the DNA with absolutely with certainty.
LEWINSKY: So why I (sic) can't I scratch that ... off and put it in a plastic bag?
TRIPP: You can't scratch it off. You would have to use a Q-Tip. And I feel like this is what I would tell my own daughter. ...
LEWINSKY: Well, I'll think about it. ...
TRIPP: ... It could be your only insurance policy down the road. Or it could never be needed and you can throw it away.
But I- I never, ever want to read about your going off the deep end because someone comes out and calls you a stalker or something and you have and he confirms it. ... Maybe I'm being paranoid. ...
December 12, 1997
TRIPP: You know what, Monica? It's going to work out. It's going to work out, because I have - I have true faith that you're going to go up to New York, you're going to get a wonderful job, this is all going to go away. ...
I don't want anything to surface that's going to get back to the Big One. ... For many, many reasons. Your safety, my safety, my kids' safety, everyone's safety is really the biggest thing on my mind. Trust me.
LEWINSKY: I do. ...
LEWINSKY: ... I trust you and my aunt at the same level, and my mom I just trust more. But she's my mom. ... And I know you and my aunt would do everything to protect me.
TRIPP: I am not ever going to let myself be responsible for any pain to you after what I've seen you go through. You have the world by the balls. I have pride for you, I don't know about you. Its about her fathers fault. Its like such a package and for some bizarre reason you don't get it.
LEWINSKY: I know and I'm trying to trust you because I trust your judgment.
December 22, 1997
TRIPP: what do you envision me saying to Kirby?
LEWINSKY: (crying) I don't know. I don't know.
TRIPP: If they ask me and I say no, that's perjury.
LEWINSKY: It's obviously different for us. I don't see it as that bad. I grew up lying, in my family we always lie. If you want anything you have to lie. I would lie to my dad to get money. My mom would always lie to my dad.
LEWINSKY: What if I promised you job security?
TRIPP: Then he'll know we talked, you might as well say the whole thing. There's no --
TRIPP: I'm being a bad friend because I don't want to lie. I would make you stop crying and your life so much easier if I would just lie and I feel like I'm sticking a knife in your back and I know that if I have to go forward with this I will lose a dear friend. And I keep my friends over a lifetime.
LEWINSKY: Well if it all goes, I don't know what I'm going to do it. I will deny it so he doesn't get screwed in the case but I'll get screwed. It would be obvious to him, you would say things that would make it obvious that I told you.
TRIPP: This is sick, this is sick. I have to make a date late in the month and then I need to go away and have my foot accident.
TRIPP: Tell Doug? I don't think telling Doug is smart.
LEWINSKY: I can't get to into this but If you think hard about this it would be really good for me to not be here this month.
TRIPP: What if this doesn't work? I think I can make it work on the work side but its not routine for me to tell Kirby where I am at all times. I can't run from a subpoena.
LEWINSKY: he shouldn't ask for a date, he should wait for them.
TRIPP: he thinks the subpoena was sloppily written. I see it not so much as sloppily written but broad.
LEWINSKY: It is broad, if you knew about one you might know about more.
TRIPP: If they ask about more, I think that's a question that Kirby can object to. He said this one was going to take a lot of work. I can't lie under oath so I have to think of a way that I don't have to. And being getting killed or something happening to one of my family members isn't an option. I wish you'd tell the big one. I'd be afraid for my life but I wouldn't have t his boulder on my chest. But I know that's almost impossible for you.
LEWINSKY: I cant do that. I would just kill myself. I cant deal with that.
TRIPP: He has never asked the question have you told anyone?
LEWINSKY: He said something and I said no.
TRIPP: He knows youre going to lie doesn't he? When you had that phone conversation.
LEWINSKY: Well, I don't know.
TRIPP: Oh jesus. Well does he think youre gonna tell the truth?
LEWINSKY: I don't know.
TRIPP: Did you discuss how your name could have possibly gotten in?
TRIPP: I'm willing to go to Kirby tomorrow and do whatever it Is that would put me in a position to not lie. It's not my wish to smear you and smear him. If my lawyer can help. I don't know what to do.
LEWINSKY: Nobody saw him give me any of these things. Nobody saw us.
TRIPP: Are you positive nobody saw you in the study?
LEWINSKY: even if they saw they saw me in the study they didn't see any of the.
TRIPP: what about Betty?
LEWINSKY: She thinks she will but generically but about me. Nobody saw him give me the thing.
TRIPP: Did anybody see you go in there?
LEWINSKY: No I don't think so.
LEWINSKY: Whatever they have it has to be inadmissible. I'm convinced of that with every bone in my body.
January 13, 1998
TRIPP: Do you - can I ask you something?
TRIPP: Are you bound and determined to do what you plan to do?
LEWINSKY: I -
TRIPP: You-- are you-- are you positive in your heart that you want to do that? I mean -
TRIPP: I'm only saying - I'm only saying that in case you should change your mind.
LEWINSKY: No. I - I - I first of all, for fear of my life -
LEWINSKY: - I would not. For fear of my life, I would not - I would not cross these - these people for fear of my life, number one.
LEWINSKY: I could not live with myself if I caused trouble. I - that is just - that is not my nature. I am a good person. I think no matter what - no matter how he has wronged me, no matter how many girlfriends he had, no matter how many people he abused, no matter how many, it - it was my choice. ...
LEWINSKY: I have fear about one thing, and that's you saying something. I have no fear. It is hard, it is scary. I don't like it. I don't feel comfortable (inaudible). ...
TRIPP: I think everybody has a, an, a moral code of some sort.
LEWINSKY: We do, but to everybody it's different.
TRIPP: I mean all these years of testifying and doing this and doing that it - it would never have crossed my mind to lie under oath.
LEWINSKY: ... No, I know it's a big thing and I (sighing). You know I know that it's not a matter-- I would be indebted to you for life. I would do anything. I would write you a check for (REDACTED) ... because even though he despises me right now, I know in my inner mind I love him.
TRIPP: I know.
LEWINSKY: And just to even protect him.
TRIPP: I know that Monica, believe me. ...
... LEWINSKY: If I were you, I would say: "Well, I don't, I might have, but I don't remember." That's the phrase. That's the phrase my lawyer told me. Everything is, "I might have, but I don't remember."
"Were you ever alone with the president?"
"Um, it's possible I may have taken him a letter on the weekend, but, you know, I might have, but I don't really--" ...
LEWINSKY: What about if I made you a promise, if I-- I promised you that if you lost your job because of this, if you lied under oath and lost your job then I would tell the creep that you lied under oath and that you knew everything. ...
TRIPP: And obviously you can't have a conversation with him (Clinton) now about me, because, obviously -
LEWINSKY: I can't even get in touch with him. ...
TRIPP: He promised you the present, Monica.
LEWINSKY: Big (REDACTED) deal. ... he also promised me a job anywhere I wanted to work. Didn't he?
LEWINSKY: He promised me he wouldn't dump me that day. He dumped me. He promised he'd call. He didn't call. He promised to do a lot of (REDACTED) things. ... My attitude is this: ... I am not going to sit there and pretend he is the all mighty pristine man, and he has never looked at another woman. ...
TRIPP: Okay. So all right. Let me think. But if - getting back to my point, if I lie under oath ... he doesn't even appreciate it, because -
LEWINSKY: Yes, he will.
TRIPP: - he doesn't know it. ...
LEWINSKY: ... if somebody said to him, "Is Monica lying under oath," he would say yes. But when he on his own thinks about it, he doesn't think about it in those terms, Okay?
LEWINSKY: Okay? He thinks of it as, "We're being safe. We're being smart." Okay? "We're being smart, we're being safe, it's good for everybody." ...
The truth is if I felt - and I know this is going to sound really hokey, but -
LEWINSKY: To me a little bit of - it's for the country. Every president, every (REDACTED) president we have ever had has always had lovers because the pressure of the job is too much. Too much.
LEWINSKY: Too much to always rely on your wife, with whom you have too much baggage - which you inevitably will if you got to that point. And I think it's bad for the country.
TRIPP: When - if I lie under oath, and he is even semi-aware of the Kathleen thing and - and that's - that's better. Okay? Isn't it more like someone who, who - you know how when someone does you a - you're indebted to someone? And so, in order to free yourself of feeling indebted, you turn on them? Like you - you disassociate completely because you don't want to be indebted to that person. ... Like your usefulness is done. I mean, that's a huge fear.
LEWINSKY: I think he would be too afraid to do that. But I don't know because I could be in the same boat.
TRIPP: He told Kathleen. "Deny. Deny. Deny." I can't imagine he's going to change it now.
LEWINSKY: When did he tell Kathleen this?
TRIPP: When she was afraid that Hillary would come in, and he said, "I've got that covered."
TRIPP: And she said, "What if someone has seen me?" And he said the same thing.
LEWINSKY: Yeah. But, okay? First of all, I think it's impossible to think he's going to admit to Kathleen. But let's just say he did. How - why does that change anything you say?
TRIPP: That's true, because I wasn't in the room.
LEWINSKY: You weren't in the room. You are a nonissue here.
TRIPP: Thats my point.
LEWINSKY: I said to him (Vernon Jordan), "What if someone's been tapping my phone and - that's illegal, but they fed the information to someone else? So that this someone else is going to pretend they knew and that I told them or whatever it was."
TRIPP: Right. That's close enough. And what did he say?
LEWINSKY: And he said, "Well, as long as you say it didn't happen, it didn't happen."
TRIPP: But did he address the perjury issue at all? Because that is perjury?
LEWINSKY: Okay. He - yeah. He said that - he said, "You're not gonna go to jail. You're not gonna go to jail."
TRIPP: You're not gonna go to jail, but did he ... assess what could happen? I mean, assuming - let's say worst case, they come up to me or to you and say, "You on this date and this date said something completely wrong to us. It's obviously a falsehood."
And let's just it's perjury or can be construed as perjury. Did he -
LEWINSKY: I would say it's not. What I said is true. It did not happen. She is - I did not say that. She must have misunderstood.
TRIPP: I mean, you're not hearing what I'm saying. I understand all that.
TRIPP: I - I - I've gotten that.
LEWINSKY: See, no. No. I understand what you're saying. What I'm trying to show you is that what he has showed me is that there's no way to get caught in perjury situation (sic) like this.
January 15, 1998
TRIPP: And then there's perjury. I mean, that's huge. ... I've said this to you over and over again. I don't have the protection you have. I don't have anyone looking out for me.
LEWINSKY: I don't -
TRIPP: ... You're a single girl, you're young. Putting you in a job in New York ... it's a cakewalk.
Me? I've got a house. I've got a mortgage. I've got two kids in college. ... I've perjured myself for these people and I'm (REDACTED). ...
TRIPP: You have the luxury of Vernon Jordan knowing the truth. ...
LEWINSKY: What truth?
TRIPP: Look, he knows that you are putting ... everything on the line and lying under oath.
LEWINSKY: So what is it - so what is it he's going to protect me from? Perjuring myself so I go to jail? ...
TRIPP: No, you're not hearing what I'm saying. ... He knows what you have done. And so, you're protected because they're never going to (REDACTED) you over.
LEWINSKY: Hah. They already (REDACTED) me over. ...
LEWINSKY: I was going to tell my dad because my mom had this really good idea that my parents should come sit in on the deposition.
LEWINSKY: But then the "liar" said that that's not a good idea.
LEWINSKY: It's not because then, really, because then they'll say, "Well, what did you know? What do your parents know about all this?" And then they could subpoena my parents.
TRIPP: Well, then you could have your father because he knows nothing -
LEWINSKY: Yeah. He'd probably say - I mean - he wouldn't say this, obviously, but it'd be like, "Well, yeah, he was like checking my daughter out. You know?"
TRIPP: I wouldn't mind seeing him, you know, have to, have to, admit in public that he has a problem.
LEWINSKY: Oh I would. ...My God, I'd die.
TRIPP: But he has a problem, Monica, he does.
LEWINSKY: He does. And you know what?
TRIPP: He knows it.
LEWINSKY: He has a problem and we, the American people, elected him, so let him do his stupid job. You know?
My American Experience
Who is your favorite 20th-century American president? Was it FDR? Reagan? Clinton? Or one of the other 14 men who helped usher the United Sates through the 1900s? Who do you think was the most influential?