EXCLUSIVE: 'She is a destroyer of women should they get in her way.' Linda Tripp tells how Hillary Clinton became stronger when horndog Bill Clinton was in the dog house
- Linda Tripp exposed President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky after she secretly taped conversations with the White House intern in the 1990s
- Tripp, now 68,?still has a disdain for the former president and stands by her decision to expose the affair and slams the once presidential couple
- She said in an exclusive interview with DailyMailTV: 'They are completely unscrupulous. There are no rules, no laws that apply to them'?
- The former White House aide claims that Bill is a 'sexual predator' and Hillary a 'destroyer of women' who would sometimes act as de facto president?
- Now living in rural Virginia, Tripp believes that America 'dodged a bullet' when Hillary lost the presidency to Donald Trump?
- She said: 'I think the most hurtful thing for me to watch during the campaign was [that] she touted herself as a champion of women'
The woman who outed White House intern Monica Lewinsky as Bill Clinton's 'mistress,' paints the former president with the same brush as men like Harvey Weinstein, Matt Lauer and Kevin Spacey – a sexual predator.
Linda Tripp felt compelled to speak out to DailyMailTV after two decades of silence, saying that giving the President 'a pass' for his behavior all those years ago brought us to where we are today.
Tripp has pointed to that time in history as giving men in power the permission to abuse their status in order to satisfy their sexual appetites.
But Bill Clinton wasn't the only one to abuse his power. Tripp calls Hillary, 70, a 'destroyer of women' who would do anything to protect their 'political viability.'
Working at the White House for the Clinton administration for two years, Tripp says she witnessed 'unfathomable' deeds of the 'unscrupulous' couple that makes her confident America 'dodged a bullet' when Hillary lost the presidency to Trump.
Tripp is stepping forward again to reveal the true character of Hillary, who she describes as a scheming wife who would grow stronger when her horndog husband misbehaved.
From her farmhouse home in the hills of Virginia, Tripp said: 'I think the most hurtful thing for me to watch during the campaign was [that] she touted herself as a champion of women. She is a destroyer of women should they get in her way.'?
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Linda Tripp (pictured) exposed President Bill Clinton's affair with Monica Lewinsky after she secretly taped conversations with the White House intern in the late 1990s
Tripp has painted Bill Clinton, 71, as a 'sexual predator,' with an 'addiction' and Hillary, 70, as a 'destroyer of women' who would do anything to protect their 'political viability'. Pictured: The Clintons at Trump's inauguration ceremony in January?
Bill Clinton met Lewinsky at a White House function in 1997, and continued to pose together even after starting their White House affair. They are pictured together - Lewinsky wearing her infamous blue dress - following a radio address in February 1997
Tripp's disdain for the Clintons is palpable.?
It was her second husband who encouraged her to speak out when, as they watched the election results usher in Hillary's defeat last year, Tripp turned to him and said: 'The nation will never know what a bullet it dodged tonight.'
She recalled: 'He said, "That story is one that should be told."'
Tripp explained: 'What I saw for two years is nothing the American people could have fathomed.?Most politicians speak with forked tongues but this was something quite different. There are no rules, no laws that apply to them.'?
She added: 'I think by nature Bill Clinton would turn the other cheek knowing as he does what his role was with these women. But Hillary's role was that she said, "We'll just have to destroy them," and she means it.'
Looking back, Tripp said, she 'underestimated' the Clintons and, 'the power of a joined force.'?
The power Tripp observed as wielded by Hillary made her uncomfortable.
She said: 'I don't pretend to know the inner workings of that marriage. I can only say it was a marriage the likes of which I had never seen.
'When he was in the doghouse, which was routinely, she became stronger. And with that strength came power.?
'She was able to act as the de facto President until his behavior improved.'?
With Trump winning the presidency, Tripp thinks America dodged a bullet with Hillary. She said: 'I think the most hurtful thing for me to watch during the campaign was [that] she touted herself as a champion of women. She is a destroyer of women should they get in her way'
Tripp said it was her 'lifelong dream to work in the White House' but things soured when ?Bill Clinton took over the Oval Office in 1993
Tripp worked for, and admired, George Bush Sr but, when Clinton took office in 1993, her excitement at having a President 'of her generation,' quickly soured.?
She said: 'It was a lifelong dream to work in the White House. I pinched myself every day that I was allowed to work [there] in any capacity…to be allowed to be a small part of it was such an honor and a blessing.'
But with the arrival of the Clintons that 'changed very, very quickly.'?
Tripp said: 'I think we just approached life differently but that really didn't appall me because we're all people of different viewpoints.
'It was something far more sinister than that. They are completely unscrupulous.'
As far as she is concerned, Bill's sexual appetite is tantamount to 'an addiction.' She said: 'To me he is a predator and always will be a predator.
'He sees women as a sort of enormous smorgasbord…and he takes what he wants and it's something to which he feels entitled.
'He was the leader of the free world and she was an intern, a kid, who happened to be extremely emotionally young for her age.
'To them it was presented as a) it didn't happen and b) if it did happen it was consensual and nobody's business.'?
Tripp has dismissed the change of heart expressed by Clinton allies now saying Bill should have stood down over the scandal as, 'a day late and a dollar short.'
She added: 'We should have had this dialogue then and I think a lot of things would have been different in the ensuing years.
'The congressmen, all of the folks you are hearing about now with women coming out so many years later makes you realize that when the President gets a pass for something that egregious, he essentially gave tacit permission to all those who followed to do the same.'??
Tripp said she never witnessed a marriage like the Clintons'. She added: 'When he was in the doghouse, which was routinely, she became stronger. And with that strength came power. She was able to act as the de facto President until his behavior improved'
Looking back, Tripp said, she 'underestimated' the Clintons and 'the power of a joined force.' Pictured: Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton at a White House Christmas party in 1996
It marks almost exactly 20 years since the career civil servant made secret recordings of conversations in which Lewinsky shared intimate details of her relationship with Clinton who, at 49, was 27 years her senior.
According to Tripp, the biggest lie of all was that what happened between Lewinsky and Clinton was an 'affair.'
She said: 'I think the largest misconception would be that this was a consensual affair, or that it had some sort of romantic element to it which it didn't.?
She continued:?'This was part of his pattern where women are a means to an end. It was almost a servicing agreement but she romanticized it.
'I always say that Monica was 14. Look, she fancied herself in love. He fancied himself entitled.'
Tripp's decision to hand the tapes over to Independent Counsel Kenneth Starr in return for immunity was seen, almost universally, as an act of betrayal.
In the furor that followed Tripp was depicted as the bitter older woman who had vindictively skewered her trusting 'best friend' and a President in whose politics she did not believe.?She had inserted herself into a situation that, however unsavory, was a private matter between husband, wife and mistress.
She received death threats. She was branded ugly inside and out - famously mocked on SNL in which John Goodman portrayed her in unflattering skits.
Speaking at the time Donald Trump, then freshly divorced from Marla Maples, described Tripp as 'evil personified.'?
Tripp, now 68,?outed the young Lewinsky as Bill Clinton's mistress through secretly taped conversations with the 22-year-old Washington intern. Pictured: Clinton and Lewinsky
Clinton's impeachment in December 1998 was overturned in February of the following year. Today Tripp's disdain for Clinton is palpable. As far as she is concerned his sexual appetite is tantamount to 'an addiction.' She said: 'To me he is a predator and always will be a predator'
Yet, Tripp said: 'He was no different than so many others who believed the news as it was presented to them. And I can't fault them for that.
'Had I not known the situation and exactly what had happened, I would have thought I was evil personified.'
But she said: 'I didn't just wake up one day and decide to go after a sitting President.'?
Nor, she insisted, did she decide to go after her 'best friend.' In fact describing her relationship with Lewinsky as friendship at all is, Tripp said, a 'stretch.'
Instead, she has revealed that her actions were driven by values ingrained in her Roman Catholic youth - 'right and wrong, black and white with very little grey' - and came as the devastating climax to her time working in the White House and Pentagon.
Other women came and went through the Oval Office, Tripp said. She may not have approved, but it never occurred to her to speak out because 'they were all consensual adults.'
'Most of them were married. Most of them thought that it was completely cool,' she said. 'And several of them talked openly about it.'
What really bothered Tripp, who worked first for the Oval Office and then with Vince Foster for the Counsel to the President, was what she witnessed from her ring-side seat of the inner workings of a scandal-ridden administration.
First came Whitewater when the Clintons' financial contributions to real estate deals in Arkansas during Bill's governorship came under scrutiny, then Travelgate in 1993 when seven members of the travel office were fired allegedly to make way for Clinton cronies.
Then in 1993 White House Counsel, Clinton's childhood friend and Hillary's former law partner Vince Foster was found shot in the head. The death was ruled suicide but questions and conspiracy swirled.?
Lewinsky's obsession was such, Tripp said, that she would call Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie as many as 20 times a day, trying to get back into the Oval Office
Although Tripp said she was the 'most hated woman in America' she would do it all over again and was 'compelled' to act because she felt Bill was a 'sexual predator,' with an 'addiction'. Pictured: Tripp and Lewinsky?
Tripp added: 'She was obsessed with Bill Clinton. And what she was reading as a romance was something completely different to him. I knew how he operated, this was nothing new to me'
Tripp was 'front and center' and saw, she said, 'things that were reported publicly in a way that bore no resemblance to what was really happening.'
In 1994, Tripp was promoted out of the White House to a role in the Pentagon's public affair's office.
By then, she said, 'it was clear there was going to be a parting of ways.'
That might have been that - Tripp was back in her 'comfort zone' - had Monica Lewinsky not been 'dumped' in the Pentagon in April 1996 when Hillary learned about her relationship with Clinton.?
Tripp said: 'We all wondered how on earth she had landed that job. It became clear [that] she was having an affair with somebody of significance.'?
It was only after Clinton's 50th birthday celebrations at Radio City Music Hall in New York that Lewinsky told Tripp that the person of significance was the President himself.
Tripp believes the reason Lewinsky singled her out as a confidante was because she had 'jumbo pictures' of Clinton in her office as part of a project she was working on.
She said: 'I wish I could find words to explain that dynamic [between us]. Monica looked like a young woman. She was lovely.?She's smart and witty. But she was a child in every sense.
'She was obsessed with Bill Clinton. And what she was reading as a romance was something completely different to him. I knew how he operated, this was nothing new to me.'
Lewinsky's obsession was such, Tripp said, that she would call Clinton's secretary, Betty Currie as many as 20 times a day, trying to get back into the Oval Office.
Tripp said: 'Monica was so obsessed that there was absolutely no possibility of changing that. She believed that they would grow old together.'?
Today, Tripp maintains that what she went on to do was about protecting, not destroying, Lewinsky - though she knew in her heart the 22-year-old was too infatuated with her older lover to comprehend that
Tripp said that she knew Lewinsky would never forgive her but: 'To me it was worth that risk - to have her hate me for life - if it would come to an end.' Pictured: Lewinsky in 2015
She continued:?'She believed that the 15 minute interludes [of oral sex] was all he could spare and Hillary was still hanging around so she hoped that she would somehow disappear. It was all fantasy.'
According to Tripp, the only time Clinton actually spoke to Lewinsky or appeared to take any interest in her beyond physical acts was, 'when he became aware she may have shared the information [of their relationship] with someone else.'
Clinton began giving Lewinsky little gifts, Tripp recalled - including a copy of Walt Whitman's 'Leaves of Grass,' a book he gave to Hillary during their courtship.?
Tripp said: 'Monica found significance in it. I knew what he was doing. He needed to keep her on the reservation and this was now a danger.'
Today Tripp maintains that what she went on to do was about protecting, not destroying, Lewinsky - though she knew in her heart the 22-year-old was too infatuated with her older lover to comprehend that.
Tripp, then a divorced mother-of-two, said: 'My children were close in age to Monica.
'Her mother was in New York, Monica was living alone in an apartment in the Watergate, so she had ample time to obsess continually.
'At first I found her a little on the bimbo side but I came to realize that none of that is true. She is a smart, witty, caring, giving person who happened to be in the throes of an enormous obsession.
'I became fond of her and it pained me to do what I did. But I knew I had to do it.'
After all that she had witnessed during her tenure at the White House, Tripp said, 'I desperately wanted there to be some accountability for what he was doing.
'With Monica, it just put me over the edge. The kind of abuse of a kid was just so unconscionable. It was horrible, even for him.'?
The 68-year-old has dismissed the change of heart expressed by Clinton allies now saying he should have stood down as, 'a day late and a dollar short'
?Tripp said: 'The congressmen, all of the folks you are hearing about now with women coming out so many years later makes you realize that when the President gets a pass for something that egregious, he essentially gave tacit permission to all those who followed to do the same'
Tripp added: 'When the President gets a pass for something that egregious, he essentially gave tacit permission to all those who followed to do the same'. Pictured: Bill Clinton with the 1995 class of White House interns, with Lewinsky circled in the back?
Tripp continued: 'I knew I would destroy her fantasy but I always said to myself the measure of whether this is something I can do or not was whether I would want that done to my daughter.
'By that I mean documenting evidence and exposing it and the answer was always a resounding, 'Yes.' I would have wanted an adult to put an end to it.
'Monica was threatening suicide on a regular basis - we're talking histrionics the likes of which you've never seen.
'She called me hundreds of times a week, literally. So yes, I knew it was going to be very painful for her. But I also knew it was the best thing I could do for her.'
And after Lewinsky told Clinton that Tripp knew of their affair, on July 4th weekend 1997, Tripp said: 'I am not so certain that Monica would not have been at some risk.'
Tripp was reluctant to specify just what she means by 'risk.'
When pressed she said: 'We were dealing with unscrupulous people with no boundaries, no rules that apply to them.'
At the very least, she reasoned, Lewinsky was at risk of having her credibility destroyed.
This was part of her motivation in persuading Lewinsky not to send?a blue dress bearing a semen stain from the President to be dry-cleaned. She wanted there to be irrefutable evidence - insurance for whatever might come their way.
For Tripp's part, her decision to document her conversations with Lewinsky was cemented by the Paula Jones case.
In May 1994, Jones filed a suit alleging that three years earlier Clinton, then governor of Arkansas, had tried to force himself on her during a hotel room meeting in Little Rock. She worked for the state's industrial commission at the time.
Tripp said: 'I knew instinctively based on his pattern that Paula Jones was telling the truth but I knew that this was a lawsuit that she would lose.'?
Today, Tripp is a very different figure from the woman who made headlines all those years ago. Her extraordinary physical transformation was part of a process of reclaiming her life
If she has any regret today it is not that she acted, but that she did not act sooner. She said: 'Had I taken notes during that year and a half, he would have been impeached successfully'?
Tripp now lives in her charming farmhouse home set amid the rolling horse country of Northern Virginia (pictured)
?She wanted Jones to 'have her day in court' and she wanted Lewinsky to be deposed because everything that Lewinsky had shared with Tripp seemed, to her, to support Jones' assertions.
Tripp said: 'I hadn't documented anything she had said in real time. I hadn't taken notes while she was crying obsessively or planning obsessively or bemoaning his lack of response obsessively.'
Pausing, Tripp admitted: 'The betrayal for me was that I had to have her recreate that year and a half in conversations.
'It was manipulative without a doubt. But it wasn't done to hurt her.
'It was done to make him unable to lie and unable to destroy others while lying.'
Tripp said that she knew Lewinsky would never forgive her but: 'To me it was worth that risk - to have her hate me for life - if it would come to an end.'
As hard as it may be for many to understand, Tripp said, she felt 'protective' towards Lewinsky.
The last conversation Tripp and Lewinsky ever had was at the Ritz Carlton in Washington.
By then Tripp had handed her evidence over to Kenneth Starr and he had her wear a wire to the meeting.?
Tripp's tape recordings of Monica Lewinsky led to an investigation of an alleged presidential affair. Pictured: Lewinsky and Clinton?
Former White House intern Monica Lewinsky looks at President Clinton at the White House on November 6, 1996, as they chat briefly during a ceremony gathering the White House interns
But, Tripp recalled. 'She was cagey. I think she knew something was going on.
'It was an extremely stressful horrific time and none of it was positive.
'Because even though I knew I was doing the right thing, I knew how it would hurt her.'?
Again and again Tripp returned to the point that, for her, there was simply no choice but to act.
If she has any regret today it is not that she acted, but that she did not act sooner.
She said: 'Had I taken notes during that year and a half, he would have been impeached successfully.'
Clinton's impeachment in December 1998 was overturned in February of the following year.?
Today she says she was 'complicit' in her depiction as the villain of the piece. She said, 'When I saw the pictures [of myself] I realized how far I had fallen because when I worked at the White House I looked human and okay but my way of dealing with stress is just to eat.'
Hoards of unflattering images of Tripp flooded the newly minted 24-hour news cycle.
She said, 'Seeing these images a gazillion times a day was horrifying.'
Today Linda is a very different figure from the woman who made headlines all those years ago. She quite rightly suspects that people will be amazed by how different she looks. Twenty years on she appears more youthful, glamorous and comfortable in her own skin.
Looking back, she feels she was somehow 'complicit' in making herself an easy figure to hate. She responded to the pressure of the scandal by over-eating and gained a great deal of weight.?
She 'lost herself' and let herself go and the criticism she received was brutal and wounding. She said her children found it particularly hard because 'children always think their mother is beautiful.'?
Tripp said: 'I always say I did the right thing; I did it the wrong way. But there is no manual for exposing a sitting President. There is no-one to tell you how to do it'
She added: 'For me it wasn't about left and right. It was about right and wrong. Sometimes things are too important not to talk about'
Her extraordinary physical transformation was part of a process of reclaiming her life – she had cosmetic surgery, she lost the weight she had gained, she found a loving and supportive husband in Dieter Rausch, she became herself again and she did it all out of the glare of the spotlight.
She lives with second husband, German architect Rausch, 63, - a childhood sweetheart who reached out to her during her darkest days, offering support and ultimately rekindling their romance. Home is a charming farmhouse set amid the rolling horse country of Northern Virginia.
They have seven grandchildren, who she described as 'the joys of our lives' and, for the past 16 years she and Dieter have run a successful year-round Christmas store in picturesque Middleburg, Virginia.?
Tripp was not destroyed nor was she defined by the scandal she exposed.?She said: 'It was painful. It still is painful when I think about it.
'I didn't want the 15 minutes of fame or infamy. I didn't choose to extend it. I'm a behind the scenes person on a good day.'
But it saddens her that the events of so many years ago have defined Lewinsky, now 44.
She said: 'I wish that her name didn't conjure an image that is so false.
'But she wanted to protect the President because she thought they might still have a future.'?
Tripp now lives with second husband, German architect Dieter Rausch, 63, - a childhood sweetheart who reached out to her during her darkest days, offering support and ultimately rekindling their romance
The couple have seven grandchildren and for the past 16 years she and Dieter have run a successful year-round Christmas store in picturesque Middleburg, Virginia (pictured)
She continued: 'She believed they were star struck lovers. I think she needed to believe that. My hope was that one day, when she grew up, she would understand that that in fact was not true and that maybe, just maybe, I did this for the right reason.'
Tripp no longer harbors that hope. When Lewinsky testified before the grand jury and was asked if she had anything to add she said simply, 'I hate Linda Tripp.'
Tripp has no reason to think that Lewinsky's view has changed; but the national conversation has.
She said: 'I think 20 years ago I just wanted to hide. I did not want to expose my family to more pain. I do believe though that my children and my grandchildren deserve to hear the other side of the story.
'More than that, even on a global scale my small part to that extent that I can share what really happened 20 years ago may help in the future.
'Maybe it will give people pause…in terms of what people will put up with of men, specifically in positions of power.
'I desperately wish that the outrage had been there years ago. [Now] I just feel compelled to talk about things that should have been addressed head on back then and I was too naive and shell-shocked to do it.
'I always say I did the right thing; I did it the wrong way. But there is no manual for exposing a sitting President. There is no-one to tell you how to do it.
'For me it wasn't about left and right. It was about right and wrong.
'Sometimes things are too important not to talk about.'
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