Tripp: No Stranger To Controversy
By John King/CNN
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, Jan. 22) -- Allegations that President Bill Clinton had an affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky were first raised by a largely anonymous figure and career government worker, Linda Tripp.
Tripp is no stranger to Clinton White House controversies, or to allegations of sexual indiscretions by presidents.
In testimony to Congress in 1995, Tripp defended White House conduct under the Clinton Administration in the aftermath of Deputy White House Counsel Vince Foster's 1993 suicide.
Tripp worked in the counsel's office and was among the last people to see Foster alive.
But her name is also associated with a Bush Administration controversy.
Tripp was known as a source of never-proven allegations about President George Bush's personal life.
Once again, she is at the center of two potentially devastating allegations, this time against Clinton.
It was Tripp who first brought former White House volunteer Kathleen
Willey to the attention of Paula Jones' legal team, alleging the president made improper sexual advances toward Willey.
Willey reportedly emerged from the Oval Office disheveled with her makeup smeared and told Tripp about an alleged incident with Clinton.
Clinton attorney Robert Bennett called Tripp's account a pack of lies, while White House aides labeled her a reckless gossip.
But when Willey was ordered by a judge to give sworn testimony in the case, sources say her affidavit confirmed Tripp's account of unwanted advances.
Tripp associates say her anger at being labeled a liar by Bennett was one reason she decided to record her conversations with Lewinsky.
Tripp's allegations have made her a central figure in the Jones
civil-rights lawsuit. Her recordings are Exhibit A in an investigation of whether the president asked a witness to commit perjury and conspired to obstruct justice himself.
An accounting of Tripp's past work experience was released by the Pentagon today and includes the following information:
- White House, Executive Assistant to White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum 1993 to ??? (she came to the Pentagon in August 1994)
- White House, Executive Assistant, worked for senior advisor Bruce Lindsey January 1993 to April 1993
- White House, Executive Assistant to the Deputy Chief of Staff 1992
- White House, Special Assistant to the Assistant to the President for Media Affairs 1991 to 1992
- Department of the Army, Office of Deputy Under Secretary for Operations Research, Secretary/Stenographer 1990
- Department of the Army, Classified Assignment (Operations Assistant), Fort Bragg, North Carolina 1988 to 1989
- Department of the Army, Army Intelligence Command, Classified unit (administrative assistant), Fort Meade, Maryland 1987
- Department of the Army, HQ Allied Forces Europe, Personal Assistant to the United States Representative, Brunssum, Belgium 1984 to 1987
- Written and oral fluency in German
- Sustained Superior Performance Awards
- Maintained top secret clearance
- Extensive foreign travel