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Tripp: I was told not to record White House gifts

Tripp
Tripp talked to CNN's Larry King Friday night  

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Linda Tripp, best known for her role in the Monica Lewinsky scandal, says she was told by Clinton White House officials not to report gifts given to the Clintons.

Appearing on CNN's "Larry King Live" Friday, the former White House aide said she was told not to fill out the forms for reporting gifts.

"Gifts were coming in from everywhere ... I'm filling out gift unit forms. I know exactly what the procedure is. They didn't want any part of that," said Tripp, who later was transferred to a Pentagon job.

TRANSCRIPT
 

Former president Bill Clinton and his wife, Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., have come under fire for allegedly trying to keep gifts made to the White House while Clinton was in office.

They agreed Friday to pay more than $85,000 for gifts given to the first family during the president's last year in office "to eliminate even the slightest question" of impropriety.

Those gifts included a $7,375 couch and coffee table set, from the ex-wife of financier Marc Rich. Clinton pardoned Rich in the final hours of his presidency.

Tripp tape-recorded telephone conversations in which White House intern Lewinsky discussed her sexual encounters with Clinton in the White House; Tripp later turned over the tapes to the Office of Independent Counsel and was the star witness in a grand jury investigation.

Her disclosures about the Lewinsky affair helped lead to Clinton's impeachment.

Tripp worked on the White House staffs of presidents George H. Bush and Clinton as a "General Schedule" employee of the U.S. government -- a civil servant who can be fired only for cause. Under Clinton, she was moved into a higher paying political patronage job -- meaning she served at the pleasure of the president.

After the disclosure of the tapes, she was transferred to the Pentagon where she was a public affairs specialist for the Defense Manpower Data Center with an annual salary of about $100,000. She was forced to leave that job last month shortly after George W. Bush was inaugurated.

Tripp was indicted in Maryland last year on illegal wiretap charges for recording the Lewinsky conversations, but those charges were later dropped.



RELATED STORIES:
Park Service says gifts Clintons returned were government property
February 9, 2001
Clintons to return $28,000 in White House furnishings
February 7, 2001
Linda Tripp suing Pentagon over leaks designed to 'sabotage' career
January 25, 2001

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