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 TIME on politics Congressional Quarterly CNN/AllPolitics CNN/AllPolitics - Storypage, with TIME and Congressional Quarterly

Tripp criticizes 'Monica's Story'

March 8, 1999
Web posted at: 3:20 p.m. EST (2020 GMT)

WASHINGTON (AllPolitics, March 8) -- As Monica Lewinsky tours British book stores promoting "Monica's Story," her former confidante Linda Tripp has taken a jab at Lewinsky's recent comments about her.

During a Sunday appearance on ABC's "This Week," Tripp tore into Lewinsky's account of her affair with President Bill Clinton. "I see it as fiction, I see it as fable, fantasy, farce and fairy tale," Tripp said. "I see almost no bearing on reality."

Tripp said she has read most of the Lewinsky book and sees it as "the world according to Monica."

Three thousand miles away, Lewinsky launched her first book-signing in London. Lewinsky's appearance at Harrod's department store drew such a large media crush that sponsors had to move the 25-year-old former White House intern to a closed room in the famed store.

In a series of interviews with ABC, British TV and TIME magazine, Lewinsky has provided fresh details about her affair with Clinton. She said she "didn't have the maturity to realize exactly how serious this was."

But Tripp said, "This is Monica's self-justification of events that she was complicit in bringing about."

Tripp, who secretly recorded hours of conversations between Lewinsky and herself, sparked the investigation of Clinton when she went to Independent Counsel Ken Starr.

Tripp said "98 percent" of her conversations with Lewinsky were not taped but if they had been documented, Clinton confidante Vernon Jordan would be facing legal consequences.

"I believe that had I been documenting a very crucial time in this sequence of events, there would be no doubt in any of your minds, certainly not the minds of the public, that there was complicity in ensuring that Monica Lewinsky receive a job for her silence and went away peaceably and happily that this did not surface, that she did not make the relationship public," Tripp said.

Jordan has denied any wrongdoing.

Tripp said she was present during Lewinsky's interrogation by FBI agents and prosecutors from the Office of the Independent Counsel, and Lewinsky's allegation that she was mistreated when interviewed by Starr's representatives is false.

"It was an unfortunate situation," Tripp said. "I don't believe anyone wanted to be there. But the reality was, what I read in the book and explanations that I've seen depicting the events of that day, are completely removed from reality.

"At all times they acted professional," Tripp said. There was no G-men sort of attitude, handcuffs, weapons, this kind of thing. Never. They treated her with the utmost professionalism, given the circumstances."

Lewinsky's book has prompted pressure on the Justice Department to investigate how Starr's office treated Lewinsky during their initial encounter.

Investigating the President


Monday, March 8, 1999

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