The woman who exposed Bill Clinton’s affair with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, leading to his impeachment by the House in 1998, went public with a radio interview on Sunday harshly critical of both Clintons during his eight-year presidency.
Linda Tripp, the one-time confidante of Lewinsky who secretly taped her phone conversations and turned them over to a federal prosecutor, said the former president had affairs with ‘thousands’ of women – and that the former first lady knew about them.
Tripp also said she went public about the Lewinsky-Clinton affair to save her life, as she was worried at the time that she was in danger.
Tripp made the comments in an interview with investigative radio reporter Aaron Klein on Sunday. In the interview, she also said the president had an ongoing affair with another staffer at the same as Lewinsky.
The former first lady not only knew about her husband’s misbehavior, ‘She made it her personal mission to disseminate information and destroy the women with whom he dallied,’ Tripp said.
Tripp said Clinton is inappropriately presenting herself as ‘a champion of women’s rights worldwide in a global fashion, and yet all of the women she has destroyed over the years to ensure her political viability continues is sickening to me.’
Under questioning by Klein, Tripp said she turned tapes of her conversations with Lewinsky over to independent counsel Kenneth Starr because Lewinsky was threatening Clinton with exposing the affair, putting her and Tripp’s lives in danger.
‘I say today and I will continue to say that I believe Monica Lewinsky is alive today because of choices I made and action I took,’ Tripp told Klein.
‘That may sound melodramatic to your listeners. I can only say that from my perspective I believe that she and I at the time were in danger, because nothing stands in the way of these people achieving their political ends.’
‘Had it not become public when it did… We may well have met with an accident. It’s a situation where unless you lived it as I did you would have no real framework of reference for this sort of situation.’
Tripp had a non-partisan job in the Clinton administration for about a year and a half after he took office. Her desk was initially just outside the Oval Office and then later was next to the first lady’s second floor office.
Besides Lewinsky, Tripp said Clinton carried on a separate affair during his presidency – a claim she has made before in depositions in the Lewinsky case, but has never discussed publicly. She would not reveal the woman’s identity.
Tripp didn’t contain her criticism of the Clinton to sexual misbehavior – she went on to slam the president and first lady for a variety of scandals during the administration.
She told Klein she had experienced ‘years of alarm at what I had seen in the Clinton White House, particularly Hillary and the different scandals, whether it was Filegate, Travelgate, Whitewater, Vince Foster.’
‘All of the scandals that had come before and were so completely obliterated in the mind’s eye of the American people because of the way all of them were essentially discounted.
‘So I watched a lying president and a lying first lady present falsehoods to the American people,’ she said.
“So my dismay predated the January 1998 period when the Monica Lewinsky scandal surfaced. To me it was very important that the American people see what I was seeing. My years with the Clintons were so disturbing on so many levels.’
Tripp said while Lewinsky ‘fancied herself in love,’the president ‘fancied himself entitled.’ The intern eventually told Clinton that Tripp also knew of the affair, which Tripp said put both of them in danger.
‘It was nothing more than a servicing agreement. She romanticized that there was an affair. And when it didn’t pan out the way she had hoped it would… She essentially lost her mind and started acting in erratic and frightening ways… She never realized the implications of threatening a president or her behavior. And I did.’
Tripp went on to say that ‘everyone knew within the West Wing, particularly those who spent years with [the president], of the thousands of women… This was a pattern of behavior that has gone on for years. And the abuse of women for years.’
‘So it was common knowledge, let’s put it this way, within the West Wing that he had this problem. It was further common knowledge that Hillary was aware of it.’
The former first lady has steadfastly refused to discuss her husband’s past on the campaign trail so far, and the former president himself has likewise declined to answer questions about his part, which have been raised most notably by Republican front-runner Donald Trump.