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Thursday, January 29, 1998 Published at 16:25 GMT


Clinton bounces back

The Clintons appear to have survived the initial allegations

President Bill Clinton is more popular with the American public now than when the latest round of allegations of impropriety emerged last week.

A CNN poll has given the President an all-time-high 67% approval rating and polls for the Wall Street Journal and NBC also showed Mr Clinton's approval rating had jumped from 59% to 68% during the allegations of misconduct.

[ image: Mr Clinton's trip to the Midwest was a success]
Mr Clinton's trip to the Midwest was a success
On Wednesday Mr Clinton escaped the Washington media microscope on a visit to Illinois, while Hillary Clinton continued a vigorous defence of her husband via set-piece television interviews.

Mr Clinton has still given no account of what type of relationship he did form with Ms Lewinsky when she briefly volunteered at the White House three years ago.

Meanwhile, prosecutor Kenneth Starr has continued his investigation into the President undeterred by accusations that he is at the centre of a right-wing conspiracy.

The latest media revelation in both The New York Times and The Washington Post says Ms Lewinsky, the 24-year-old former White House worker with whom Mr Clinton is alleged to have had a sexual relationship, returned to the Oval Office on December 28.

[ image: Monica Lewinsky: fresh allegations against her]
Monica Lewinsky: fresh allegations against her
If true, the meeting took place 11 days after Ms Lewinsky was subpoenaed to testify on oath about her relationship with the president in Paula Jones' sexual harassment case.

The basis of the scandal surrounding Mr Clinton hinges on whether or not he pressured Ms Lewinsky to lie about their relationship.

Ms Lewinsky continues to hide out in the Watergate apartment block where she has been since the whole affair began over a week ago.

Her lawyer, William Ginsburg, said: "She cannot go out, she is besieged. She is very strong emotionally ... she gets momentarily depressed."

And, as the flow of charges against Mr Clinton appears to have started to dry up, she is facing her own smear campaign.

Mr Ginsburg admitted she had previously had a long affair with a married man, but denied reports in The New York Post that Penthouse had offered her $2m for an exclusive interview and nude photographs.

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