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Excerpts From Tripp-Lewinsky Tapes

July 30, 1999 GMT

Excerpts from more than 20 hours of tape recordings that Linda Tripp made of conversations with Monica Lewinsky, released Oct. 2 as part of evidence referred to the House Judiciary Committee by Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr. The tapes were made between Oct. 3 and Dec. 22, 1997; the date of each conversation was not apparent in the transcripts.


TRIPP: I mean, I believe things happen for a reason, although I have yet to figure out why this happened.

LEWINSKY: I can’t figure it out. Nothing really good has come of it.

TRIPP: Maybe it’s so that you can tell your grandchildren you had an affair with the you-know-what of the you-know-what.

LEWINSKY: I don’t think so. ... What if your grandma right now told you she had an affair with the president? How vastly would that change your grandma’s life? ...


LEWINSKY: You know what’s sad? Is it’s just I’m leaving, and there is nothing I gained from this experience. He _ his behavior in the past few months has really _ really just eroded any _ any notion I ever had of _ like a pleasant memory, you know.

TRIPP: Well, time has a real strange way of coloring things different ways, so maybe in a _ in a few years, you’ll see this differently. And it also depends on whether you continue to have any kind of relationship with him down the road.

LEWINSKY: Which I doubt.

TRIPP: You know. A friendship, a romantic _ who knows? I mean, all of that will play into how your memory serves you.

LEWINSKY: I just wish I could do something_ I wish I could just do something that would make him go, ‘Gee, I was stupid,’ you know? Like, ‘Boy, it was really dumb to let her go’ _ or something.


TRIPP: This navy blue dress. Now all I would say to you is: I know how you feel today ... but you have a very long life ahead of you. ... I would rather you had that in your possession if you need it years from now. ...

LEWINSKY: Well, I’ll think about it. ...

TRIPP: ... It could be your only insurance policy down the road. Or it could never be needed and you can throw it away. ... Maybe I’m being paranoid. ...

LEWINSKY: You are being paranoid. Because I’m never going to come forward with this. So as far as I know _

TRIPP: I know that. ... I’m not saying you would ever come forward with this. I’m just saying _

LEWINSKY: And if someone else did, I would deny, deny, deny.


LEWINSKY: I got ... the creep a tie.

TRIPP: Oh, please.

LEWINSKY: I know. It was 20 bucks at Marshalls.

TRIPP: Oh, good. Who makes it?

LEWINSKY: Calvin Klein. ... Yeah. It’s gorgeous.

TRIPP: Yeah, Marshalls generally _ every now and then you can hit.

LEWINSKY: I know. It’s really nice. ... So I put a really funny note with it. I’m going to send it with the book. ... But with the tie I wrote such a funny card, Linda. ... and I’m like, ‘And just think now you can pay homage to me if you want by having a work week in which you wear one of my ties every day.’ (laughter)

TRIPP: (laughter) ’Cause this will be the fifth one, right?

LEWINSKY: (laughter) Now there are five. It’s the fifth one. ...


LEWINSKY: Linda, I can’t take it anymore.

TRIPP: I know. I know.

LEWINSKY: (crying) It’s just too _ it’s too much for one person. (crying)

TRIPP: Oh, it is too much for one person. ...

LEWINSKY: I go to work every day (crying) and I just (crying), I’m trying to keep it together and I just can’t.

TRIPP: You’ve been a trouper through this, Monica. ...


LEWINSKY: I miss him. You’ll get mad at me. You know what I said at the end?

TRIPP: What?

LEWINSKY: The worst I could say.

TRIPP: ‘Do you love me?’


TRIPP: ‘I love you.’


TRIPP: You didn’t.

LEWINSKY: I did. We’re getting off, and I’m like, all right, ‘I love you, butthead.’ I called him butthead.

TRIPP: You didn’t.


TRIPP: And what’d he say?

LEWINSKY: Just nothing. He just kind of hung up. Or I hung up. I was like, oh, my God, what the hell just came out of my mouth?