Linda Tripp Regrets Not Blowing the Whistle on Bill Clinton's Affair Sooner


One of the central figures in exposing a scandal that led to President Bill Clinton’s impeachment is expounding on her role and the impact her involvement had on the nation.

As The Daily Caller reported, Linda Tripp addressed a forum gathered in D.C. for National Whistleblower Day.

The one-time White House staffer who secretly recorded conversations with Monica Lewinsky in which the intern described sexual acts with Clinton said she only regrets that it took her as long as it did to take that step.

“I told the truth,” she said during an event hosted by the National Whistleblower Center. “I do fault myself for not having the gumption or the courage to do it sooner.”

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Tripp said she had been “quiet for many years” prior to deciding to gather and release the damning information, blaming fear and allegedly threatening environment within the administration for her failure to act earlier.

“I was afraid on many levels to speak up,” she said. “There was a quote, and I will give you the quote: ‘We will just have to destroy them.’ I first heard these startling words in the West Wing of the White House. They were chilling.”

While she acknowledged she was not the target of that supposed threat, Tripp said she soon “began to fully comprehend what the politics of destruction really, really means.”

Confronted with what she saw as “a culture of corruption” that was “infecting the office of the presidency,” the whistleblower said she did become the target after her decision to release the tapes.

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Telling the crowd that she was “ill-prepared for the power and fury” of the Clinton-backed “smear campaign,” Tripp pointed to the treatment she received through the media as evidence of the effort to destroy her reputation.

The quote she said she heard earlier in the West Wing “was now personal” and directed at her.

“I know what a real high-tech lynching feels like,” she said. “I felt like that’s exactly what happened. It began with the smoke and mirrors that you saw on your TV.”

Tripp spoke to The Daily Caller in an interview explaining her decision to address the topic again after nearly two decades.

“Because it’s important,” she said. “Because it’s honoring whistleblowers. It’s long overdue. We aren’t necessarily recognized for achievement.”

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Though whistleblowers have played an important role in exposing injustices and serious violations, Tripp said many critics write them off as “people who have a gripe.”

She said such dismissal is unwarranted.

“Instead, we need to look at whistleblowers as people who are proactive patriots — people who want a good result and believe in truth and integrity,” she said. “It’s worth it for me to come out of my comfort zone and be here today.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
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