New Details Of Lewinsky-Tripp Tapes Reported
Linda Tripp, left, and Monica Lewinsky
WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, June 21) -- More details of secretly recorded telephone conversations between former White House intern Monica Lewinsky and her friend Linda Tripp have been reported in the latest issue of U.S. News and World Report.
The magazine says its associate editor, Elise Ackerman, reviewed two hours of the roughly 20 hours of tapes made by Tripp, which have been turned over to independent counsel Ken Starr. It was unclear whether Ackerman actually heard the tapes, which the magazine said were recorded in October 1997.
U.S. News says Ackerman was not allowed to take notes while reviewing the material and that the story is based on a summary of her recollections prepared afterward, confirmed by an independent source. CNN has not been able to independently verify the existence or accuracy of the tapes.
Among the details disclosed by U.S. News:
- Lewinsky's comments about Clinton seem to indicate that she was infatuated with the president. "The first time I looked in his eyes, I saw something I didn't expect to see," Lewinsky is quoted by U.S. News as saying.
- Lewinsky sent Clinton a taped message in which she suggested going over to the White House to meet him some evening when the people "who hate me" are gone. She told Tripp she called the White House several times to see if he got the tape and if she could see him. But his personal secretary, Betty Currie, told her he was busy, and Lewinsky told Tripp she slammed down the phone in anger, U.S. News said.
- On the tapes, Tripp sometimes seemed to be raising subjects in order to have Lewinsky discuss them. She also seemed to encourage Lewinsky to ask the president for a job, U.S. News said.
- The tapes also indicate that Lewinsky was seeking White House help in getting a new job prior to the time she became involved in the Paula Jones sexual harassment lawsuit against the president, according to U.S. News.
- Tripp complimented Lewinsky on her voice and added, "No wonder the president likes to have phone sex with you." Lewinsky did not respond to the comment, U.S. News said.
Starr is investigating allegations that Clinton had a sexual affair with Lewinsky and then encouraged her to lie about it when giving a sworn deposition in the Jones case.
Tripp, who worked with Lewinsky at the Pentagon, taped telephone conversations with Lewinsky in which the former intern reportedly admitted to an affair with Clinton. The president has denied any sexual relationship occurred.