Currie Testimony Excerpts

Betty Currie, President Clinton's personal secretary testified before the grand jury on Jan. 28, 1998. Here are excerpts from that appearance:

Q: While Ms. Lewinsky was an intern, do you ever remember her being in the area the immediate area of the Oval Office?

CURRIE: I don't personally remember, but the likelihood is great. They do carry papers back and forth.

CURRIE: Ms. Lewinsky came by the office I remember once as an intern, when she brought the president some pizza during the budget crisis.

CURRIE: To the best that I know, when she was an intern, I didn't think there was...I did not determine any relationship at that time, or that there was one.

Q: Any special relationship.

CURRIE: Any special relationship.

Q: After Ms. Lewinsky left the White House and she was employed at the Pentagon...did she maintain contact with the president?

CURRIE: After Ms. Lewinsky left the White House, yes.

CURRIE: How many times did I personally clear her into the West Wing of the White House? I'd say maybe a dozen...It could be more, it could be less...

CURRIE: She would visit to see me. She could come to an official function. She could have other friends. She had maintained, I'm sure, lots of friends as an intern and a staff member.

Q: Did she ever visit the president?

CURRIE: Yes.

Q: On more than one occasion?

CURRIE: Yes.

Q: Was Ms. Lewinsky ever in the Oval Office with the president, when those two...were in there and they were the only people in there?

CURRIE: I can't remember exactly, but it's highly possible that that could happen.

Q: Do you remember on several occasions that the president and Ms. Lewinsky were in the study together with no one else present?

CURRIE: Yes, I think so.

Q: In our meetings the last several days, you've said you remembered two specific occasions that Ms. Lewinsky and the president were alone together. Do you remember them today, and can you describe them to the grand jurors, please.

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CURRIE: As best I remember it, the two times I remember were the pizza time. And another time I remember was I thought it was after a radio address...Ms. Lewinsky had attended the radio address, and after the radio address the president asked her to come back they were in my office, and he says "Come back: I want to show you the button collection." The president collects buttons...They were at the doorway by the study.

CURIE: On December 28th, I arranged a tour for my church members to tour the White House decorations...I had cleared Ms. Lewinsky in at that time. She did have the option of going on the tour if she wanted to or not. she was late and the church members had gone.

Q: And what happened after that?

CURRIE: The president had come down he was there at the same time when the church members were there. He he and Buddy. And he had greeted my members, and I stood there and had pictures taken with them. It was very nice.

And then he was still there when Ms. Lewinsky arrived.

Q: And then what happened?

CURRIE: The best I can remember, Ms. Lewinsky and I exchanged coordinates in my office, and either she asked to see him or however it happened they were in the Oval area, and I was at my desk...Perhaps 30 minutes.

CURRIE: The president had come in, and he had a guest scheduled to come in, and the guest arrived. And I received a phone call from Ms. Lewinsky asking if she could come by or no, excuse me, I think she asked if the president were in, and I told her that he wasn't. And that was that.

And then I got a phone call from her from one of the gates, and she said, "You had lied to me, that the president is in the office, and he's meeting with someone." And I said, "Yeah, you're right."

She was not too happy about it, and words were exchanged. And she called back again, and she was a little calmer, and she came by to see me...On that occasion, the best I remember, on that day she and I were exchanging getting ourselves back together. He was still there. The best I remember, they went to the Oval.

Q: ... You also told us that approximately a month ago, Ms. Lewinsky told you that you two should use the code name "K" when communicating with each other.

CURRIE: I may be off on the timing, but, yes, we decided to use "K." ...

Q: But it was her suggestion.

CURRIE: The best I remember, yes, sir, it was her suggestion. ...

Q: Let me ask you now about packages and gifts sent by Ms. Lewinsky to the president. You told us that Ms. Lewinsky on several occasions sent packages to the president; is that correct? ...

CURRIE: How many packages I'd say several. ...

It would be couriered to and the courier would leave the package at one of the gates, and then the gate would call and say that there's a package. And then I would usually send an intern out to pick up the package. ...

If they were for him I did not open them. ...

Q: Do you remember a time when an audiotape was sent from ... Ms. Lewinsky to the president?

CURRIE: I remember Monica calling for I don't remember I kind of remember Monica calling to say she was sending a package over, and it was a tape. So I said, "Fine." ...

I'm aware that she gave him a tie ad a T-shirt.

Q: And how are you aware of that?

CURRIE: It appeared on my August '96 birthday list. I kept a list of the birthday gifts he had gotten, and it appears on there that Monica Lewinsky gave him a tie and a T-shirt. ...

I remember seeing a picture of the president by himself, fully attired, and it says excuse me, always be attired. But it said, "Thanks for the tie." ...

Q: ... And that was to Ms. Lewinsky, that is, the inscription.

CURRIE: It may have said, "To Monica," it may have said, "Ms. Lewinsky" ...

To the best that I remember, she would call him "Handsome."

Q: Has Ms. Lewinsky ever called the president "Handsome" in his presence that you heard?

CURRIE: Lots of people do, and, yes, I've heard her say that. ...

Q: You told us when we met with you over these last three days that Ms. Lewinsky gave you a bunch of items. ...

CURRIE: Monica said she was getting concerned, and she wanted to give me the stuff the president had given her or give me a box of stuff. It was a box of stuff. ... I put it under my bed. ...

I think she was just getting concerned. I think people were asking questions about stuff she had gotten. ...

I was going to store it until she told me she wanted it back. ...

Q: ... You told us ... that you always like to think the best of people; is that right?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: And that with regard to the relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky, that you purposely wanted to believe there was no intimate relationship between them. ...

CURRIE: Correct

Q: You also told us that you wanted to be able to say that you didn't know anything about any relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky, is that right?

CURRIE: True.

Q: Tell us what, if anything, Ms. Lewinsky told you about what would happen if somebody had seen them before do something.

CURRIE: I don't think we've ever talked about we had a discussion about that.

Q: Did Ms. Lewinsky ever tell you that, "As long as no one saw us and no one did then nothing happened"?

CURRIE: I don't remember that conversation. ...

Q: Do you remember Ms. Lewinsky ever saying anything like that?

CURRIE: Can I step out for a moment?

Q: Yes, you may. ...

CURRIE: My memory is a little better but not much that if that was said, I would have said, "Stop, stop. I don't want to hear any more."

Q: And that's because you didn't want to hear anything about the relationship?

CURRIE: I didn't want to know anything or be able to say I know anything. ...

Q: ... Right now, I'm just asking whether you remember, or whether you believe that Ms. Lewinsky told you tha.

CURRIE: I believe Ms. Lewinsky said that. ...

Q: January 17, this year ... the day that President Clinton gave a deposition ... in the Paula Jones case. ... Tell us about the phone call from the president.

CURRIE: The best that I can remember of a call, the president called, just said that he wanted to talk to me. And I said, "Fine." He said, "Could you come in on Sunday?" And I said, "Fine." And then we sort of set up an agreeable time that would work. My mother got out of the hospital on Sunday, so we made it, I think, 5:00. ... He said that he had had his deposition yesterday, and they had asked several questions about Monica Lewinsky. ...

And he said ... I think he may have said, "There are several things you may want to know," or "There are things " He asked me some questions.

He asked me about a videotape had I ever seen the videotape. Ooh-ooh, now I can't remember. He had a list of things that he there were, like, three things but now I can only remember the videotape thing he asked me. If you can help me, I will ...

The best that I can remember, sir and it's getting worse by the minute, seems like "Monica was never " "You were always there when Monica was there. We were never really alone." Those two stick in my mind as two statements he made. ...

Q: Did the president also make the statement: "Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right"?

CURRIE: Yes, that statement was made, sir.

Q: Did the president also state to you at that time: "She wanted to have sex with me, and I can't do that, right"?

CURRIE: I don't remember the "right" part coming after there but probably without the "right."

Q: OK. ... And did the president also say to you, "You could see and hear everything"?

CURRIE: Correct. ...

Not only did he wish me to agree to it, but they were right. ...

Q: What do you mean they were also right?

CURRIE: I was always there. I could always hear. And the last one ...

I could not see and hear everything, no. ...

Q: ... One of the grand jurors asked how you perceived the visits that Ms. Lewinsky was making to the president.

CURRIE: I I perceived them as a friend. Ms. Lewinsky had had some problems at the White House, I befriended her, and I think the president befriended her also. ...

To my knowing, no other intern had a relationship like that. ...

JUROR: By Ms. Lewinsky being a young lady, did you ever feel that she was infatuated with Clinton?

CURRIE: Yes, I did. I thought she had a very serious crush on the president. But a lot of people you know.

Continue To Part 2 of Currie Testimony Excerpts