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Sunday, January 25, 1998 Published at 08:08 GMT


Clinton hugs Lewinsky on TV pictures
image: [ President Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky ]
President Clinton hugging Monica Lewinsky

The US media has increased the pressure on President Bill Clinton by broadcasting tapes of a conversation between his alleged lover Monica Lewinsky and her friend Linda Tripp.

The tapes have been obtained by the magazine Newsweek, and transcripts were broadcast by the network ABC.

Pictures of the President with Ms Lewinsky have also been broadcast for the first time. They show President Clinton hugging her at a White House staff rally on his return to Washington after re-election in November 1996.

[ image: Linda Tripp, who taped her calls with Monica Lewinsky]
Linda Tripp, who taped her calls with Monica Lewinsky
The tapes broadcast for the first time on Saturday night were made by Monica Lewinsky's friend, White House secretary Linda Tripp, as they discussed the former's alleged affair with the President. Edited transcripts were broadcast by ABC:

Tripp: "He knows you're going to lie. You've told him, haven't you?"

Lewinsky: "No."

Tripp: "I thought that night when he called, you established that much?"

Lewinsky: "Well, I mean I don't know..."

Tripp: "Jesus, well does he think you're going to tell the truth?"

Lewinsky: "No... Oh Jesus."

Tripp: "So at least he's feeling somewhat safe that this is not going to go any further right now, right?"

Lewinsky: "Yeah."

The channel also broadcast another excerpt:

Lewinsky: "Look, I will deny it so he will not get screwed in the case, but I'm going to get screwed personally."

Tripp: "This is sick, this is sick."

[ image: A private moment in a public place]
A private moment in a public place
Ms Lewinsky's lawyer says she is ready to testify that she did have an affair with President Clinton, and that he told her to lie, to cover it up.

President Clinton has kept quiet as the scandal has deepened, attempting to convince voters that it is 'business as usual' in the White House, but behind the scenes the President is marshalling his forces.

[ image: The President and the Intern]
The President and the Intern
Hillary Clinton is to be interviewed on US TV on Tuesday and is firmly expected to back her husband, while his long-term political ally and former cabinet official Mickey Kantor is to step in as a lawyer for the president.

The White House Communications Director Ann Lewis was interviewed on CNN and repeated President Clinton's unequivocal denial that he had an affair with Ms Lewinsky: "There was no improper relation. There was not a sexual relationship. He did not tell anybody not to tell the truth. Vernon Jordan (Clinton ally) did not tell anybody not to tell the truth. Those are the facts," she said.

The most pressing problem for President Clinton is that he is due to give his State of the Union Address on Tuesday, but his annual set piece spech is in danger of being completely overshadowed by the scandal.

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