Tripp-Lewinsky Tapes Excerpts

Following are excerpts from audio tapes that Linda Tripp made of conversations with Monica Lewinsky. The transcripts were released Oct. 2, 1998, 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 precise date of each conversation was not apparent in the transcripts.

(Tripp and Lewinsky, on the phone, discuss job offer from U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Bill Richardson)

LEWINSKY: ... We were sitting right near the entrance and so he kind of came in and so I said "Ambassador Richardson, Monica Lewinsky." He said, "Oh, hi. How are you?" And, I introduced him to my mom and to Peter and then he said something or another and said "Well, we're just waiting for you. The ball's in your court."

TRIPP: Unreal.

LEWINSKY: "I want to hire you."

TRIPP: I don't believe this. Where were you at dinner?

LEWINSKY: We went to 21.

TRIPP: Yeah? Who was he there with?

LEWINSKY: His wife.

TRIPP: Is that not the most bizarre thing?

LEWINSKY: It was so weird. It was really weird. Like really weird.

TRIPP: ... Do you when you're up there, though, do you feel like you're gonna enjoy living there?

LEWINSKY: ... I just kind of feel like I feel really cheated, you know. ... And I said I feel like I'm moving to New York and because I have to, but it's not what I would be doing by choice. ...

LEWINSKY: ... She (Lewinsky's mother) said, ... `Monica, if you went back there, let alone that all these people are nasty and they're venomous. She goes, `You would just be just as miserable as you are now.' You know, she was like, `He would never see you enough. It would never be enough.' ...

... and there is some truth to that because ... I was upset, when I worked there about him. ...

... I was constantly, constantly thinking he forgot who I was. ...

TRIPP: Well, how could he have forgotten who you were when you were seeing him?

LEWINSKY: ... I was crazy, Linda. I mean, it seems to me that it was like if I didn't see him, then he forgot who I was. ...

... And if he didn't call, he forgot who I was.

... I don't know if you know this or not or ever realized it, but you know, I got over (REDACTED) with the creep. ...

... Right before this had happened, right before this started with the creep, I had gone to Portland in the end of October. ... And I had not seen Andy since July, and I had gone there pretty much to see my friends ad to see him. ...

... and then we did end up getting together, but it wasn't that great. And then I was there about a week. And so then I went to see him again and we were supposed to fool around, and he like pulled all this (REDACTED) on me. He didn't want to do this anymore, he couldn't do it, he couldn't do it. And I ... was like hysterically crying.

TRIPP: Mm-hmm.

LEWINSKY: So I was hated his guts, you know? Came back from Portland and ... got my hair done, and ... like a week and half later was when this whole thing started.

TRIPP: A week and a half later is when what started?

LEWINSKY: The stuff with the creep. ...

LEWINSKY: ... And I really I really felt like, oh, there's a different girl every day and he was gonna forget. You know, I mean, when this first happened, I mean, I said to my mom, I said, "Well, I think he just fooled around with me because his girlfriend was probably furloughed."

TRIPP: You idiot.

LEWINSKY: I'm not kidding you. That's what I thought.

TRIPP: Oh, my God. Monica ... I read that he spent the night at, um or was it on the news today at Steven Spielberg's partner's house? Castlebaum or Castleman or something.

LEWINSKY: ... You know, about a week ago, there was this thing in The New York Post saying that, um, they had offered him to be a partner in Dreamworks when he becomes ex-president and that they had already staked out this land and had have already bought him a house out there.

TRIPP: You're kidding.

...LEWINSKY: I got oh oh and I bought a beautiful, beautiful, rad red very thin silk sweater top.

TRIPP: Ooh.

LEWINSKY: That it's for my next visit if I ever have one again. ... I have to give him his Christmas present.

TRIPP: Yeah.

LEWINSKY: It probably won't be for forever, but

...TRIPP: Well, you may have reason to call because you may end up um hearing something from Vernon.

LEWINSKY: And so what? So what do I need to say? Well, just I took something, or what?

TRIPP: Well, no. You're gonna discuss it with him, aren't you?

LEWINSKY: You know, I don't know. I kind of feel like what's the point? Why should I have to discuss it with him? Why should I have to go through the stress and the anxiety of trying to get him on the phone? You know? I don't know.

TRIPP: I don't know that I'd stop my dialogue with Betty just you might want to cool it with him for a little bit.

LEWINSKY: Oh, you know what? And Betty is a real big help, isn't she?

TRIPP: Oh, I don't know. I can't you know, I go from one way or the other. At least she smuggled you in the other day and hid you.

LEWINSKY: ... (sigh) I don't know. What would happen if, gee, I don't know, he wanted to see me on his own? Wouldn't that be nice?

TRIPP: Yeah. I wouldn't hold my breath on that one right now, not in the disengaged mode he's in. ... He owes you an explanation.

LEWINSKY: So and I'd just like to say so, you know, and if you can't explain it to me, then I think you somebody owes you an explanation.

TRIPP: He can explain it.

LEWINSKY: You know? But, I mean, it's just jobs, seven different things I could have done. And that's not asking for too much, either. ... I'll never forget when he said something or another to me, he said, "Well, you can, you know, go wherever you want well, within reason." Well, that's what he said to me. And I you know, I thought to myself I didn't say it. I bit my tongue but I was thinking, "No, you (deleted), I'm gonna say I want to be chief of staff."

... TRIPP: The whole thing is is so just fundamentally unfair.

LEWINSKY: Yep.

TRIPP: I mean I don't know. I I I hate him for it, but on the other hand, I understand why he would have felt awkward. But I think he owes you that truth. I really do. ... You know, you're the type of person who would accept that, you know, if he were frank with you.

... LEWINSKY: I think I think that and I think you've said this, too, but I think part of him wanted to bring me back because he promised me, he felt bad what happened. But I think a big part of him didn't.

TRIPP: ... I think he has a problem. And I think he knows he has a problem. And I think he knows that faced with temptation, with a willing partner that he finds sexy, he would not be able to mend his ways. And whether or not he's mending his ways on the road or any other place, I believe him when he says he wants to behave to a certain extent because

LEWINSKY: I think he talked himself out of even being attracted to me. I really do.

TRIPP: Really?

LEWINSKY: Uh there is just like nothing there. I mean, it's just weird, because there was something there last month, but there was nothing there the other night. ...

TRIPP: It it's unfair. To everybody. I mean, it's just stupid. If it had been me, I would have I would have begged you not to go for that 60-second visit.

LEWINSKY: Because I didn't know it was gonna be 60 seconds.

TRIPP: Yeah, true.

LEWINSKY: You know? I I thought it would be 15 minutes. So all right. I'm going to bed.

... LEWINSKY: I don't see how like, you know I don't feel like anybody is saying "Gee you know I am really sorry this happened. I am really sorry. You got really (delete) over and it's someone's fault."

TRIPP: Well maybe he feels maybe he has made himself feel that the fact that his people got you a job at the Pentagon

LEWINSKY: Huh.

LEWINSKY: I'm just I'm starting to get a little nervous about Vernon.

TRIPP: Why?

LEWINSKY: I don't know. I uh I think I just want everything to be easy. I want him to call me and say, "You know, how does this amount of money, doing this here sound?" And I say, "That's sound great." He says, "Okay. Consider it a done deal."

TRIPP Mm-hmm.

LEWINSKY: You know? And then I get some call from personnel, whatever the place is, and, "We understand you're joining our staff," you know? ...

... TRIPP: Well, I'm just saying, you know, you can also hold his feet to the fire just a little bit if if what he comes up with doesn't appeal to you, he there are many choices there. ...

LEWINSKY: Yeah.

TRIPP: The ultimate thing is if this is your last hurrah, you'd better get something out of it that's you know, that you can stick with. Because this is a good stepping stone. It's not many times that you're going to have someone of that stature opening a door for you.

LEWINSKY: Yeah. ... I just wish I didn't have all this emotional stuff. I wish I could be like him. (Redacted).

TRIPP: Oh, I'm so glad you're not.

LEWINSKY: ... I guarantee you he has not gone through one ounce of pain having to do with me in the past six, seven months. He just

threw it all away, you know?

TRIPP: And, of course, we don't know any of that.

LEWINSKY: Well, you know what

TRIPP: Well, we don't. You always say we don't, and we don't know.

LEWINSKY: Linda, you know? What good is what good is whatever it is, whatever it is if he feels anything, what good is it, because he doesn't act on it? So it's nothing.

TRIPP: Well, he stopped acting on it.

LEWINSKY: Well you know. But I just got mad today when I started thinking about all of the times, you know, that it's like Betty didn't get to him.

TRIPP: Hah

LEWINSKY: But, you know, the flip side of it, too, though, Linda, is that it's like, well, when's the last time I went there because he wanted to see me on his own? You know?

TRIPP: I don't know.

LEWINSKY: February.

TRIPP: Really?

LEWINSKY: Uh-huh.

TRIPP: Yeah, it's a long time.

LEWINSKY: You know? I think February or maybe March. ...

... LEWINSKY: Mm-hmm. You know, it's November.

TRIPP: It's hard to believe.

LEWINSKY: It's hard, you know.

TRIPP: (Sigh.)

LEWINSKY: It's gonna be hard for a long time. (Sigh.)

TRIPP: Well, the bright side is that if you do get a wonderful job in New York and get settled in a place and start a new life, that this could be the door that needed to open.

LEWINSKY: Yeah.

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?

TRIPP: Nothing.

LEWINSKY: I did see the cutest boy in the elevator yesterday.

TRIPP: Oh, where?

LEWINSKY: At loomingdale's. He was so cute.

TRIPP: See? So much a bigger pool there.

LEWINSKY: It is. I like you know, I like guys who have he had a big scar on his forehead.

TRIPP: Mm-hmmm.

LEWINSKY: And I like that.

TRIPP: Monica

LEWINSKY: I do. I just I like somebody who looks a little different you know what I mean?

TRIPP: With a scar?

LEWINSKY: Well, yeah.

TRIPP: Pfft.

LEWINSKY: No, but he was nice looking.

TRIPP: Well, I think we can safely agree that we don't agree on men. ...

... LEWINSKY: All right. Well, I'm sorry if that upset you.

TRIPP: Well, it was very it was just it didn't make me upset so much as just plain angry, you know? ...

... LEWINSKY: Okay someone, who didn't care about me and just looked at the situation

TRIPP: Mm-hmm.

LEWINSKY: would say, well, uh, you know, she didn't try and fool around with the President.

TRIPP: Oh, that's such a terrible thing to say.

LEWINSKY: But it's true, though. It true.

TRIPP: Wait. What's true? Like you did it be yourself?

LEWINSKY: But the United States President right. Okay, I'm not saying the difference is

TRIPP: The difference is he did it

LEWINSKY: It didn't happen to him.

TRIPP: Right. And also the difference is he's 50 years old and he should have known better. And he didn't have to pay a price you did. Hugely. So don't tell me that. I mean you're not a stalker. You were an invited guest. You know? Hah. Don't talk to me about that. ...

... TRIPP: It's like it makes you sound demented or something. I mean, it makes you uh I that just angers me beyond belief. But it certainly keeps him in the clear. "Hey, we had to get her out of here, she was stalking me." ...

... TRIPP: Yeah. That part really does anger me because it's it's a a taint on your integrity and your reputation and your character, all of which is so richly undeserved, it's it's it's nauseating.

LEWINSKY: Yeah.

TRIPP: And, you know, you say what you did was wrong. Well, of course it was wrong, he was a married man. But, I mean, are you making a moral judgment here? I mean, because he's so far beyond moral judgments. And, in terms of labeling you the stalker, when it was a two-way street, kills me.

But the beauty of it is it has stayed internal, and it will never taint you down the road. And that is important, I mean, you will not suffer beyond the normal regret that you have to leave by that reputation. That won't go anywhere else.

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. An 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: Mm-hmm.

LEWINSKY: You know what I mean?

TRIPP: Mm-hmm. Mm-hmm.

LEWINSKY: You know, he's he never made calls when he comes home late. Never made sense to me, right? (He) calls me at 1:30, 2 o'clock, 3 o'clock in the morning normally.

TRIPP: Yeah.

LEWINSKY: But but he seems to he has never called when he's gotten home at 12:00. ...

He gets home I think he's going straight to Camp David that's what I read somewhere but the Baba won't be there.

TRIPP: Oh.

LEWINSKY: You know. But I don't think he'd call. But maybe I don't know. And I was thinking today, you know, would I have the nerve would I have the nerve to sort of whisper into the phone, you know, something like "I can't talk, I have someone here."

TRIPP: Oh, God. ... Well, that would be food for thought, but I don't think so. I wouldn't do it.

LEWINSKY: I think I just wonder.

TRIPP: I I don't know. I hate games like that. ...

LEWINSKY: Yeah. Well, I don't like 'em either but sometimes you have to play 'em.

TRIPP: He he doesn't need to know your private business anyway, even if it were true. I'm I'm sure he never assumed he was the only one.

LEWINSKY: No, I know. But there's a big difference, OK? Isn't there a difference I never assumed I'm the only one and there's a difference hearing about someone else.

TRIPP: Mmm. True.

LEWINSKY: You know?

TRIPP: All right. I have to go or I'm never gonna go.

LEWINSKY: OK. ...

(New conversation)

LEWINSKY: ... My mom ... felt like I should send him the list and say, you know, I mentioned this to you and, you know, kind of keep trying to blame it on (deputy director of personnel Marsha Scott). ...

TRIPP: Well, because Marsha lied to you.

LEWINSKY: Yeah. You know, that's she said, too. I was hysterical. I called her from the phone booth, because she called me at work. ...

And then I was leaving so I was like, "I'll call you in a minute" and I was just crying in the phone booth.

TRIPP: Yeah. Well, she you know, Marsha did lie to you. She (REDACTED) you over. ...

I do believe it was more a jealousy thing than anything else.

LEWINSKY: I don't know about jealousy.

TRIPP: A threatening thing. You know, because

LEWINSKY: But I couldn't I don't know. And maybe I have the wrong take on it, you know? Maybe I'm giving him too much credit. I kind of feel like he was had Marsha carged forward and done what she was supposed to do ... he wouldn't have been upset.

Continue To Part 2 of Tripp-Lewinsky tapes

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