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Thursday, August 20, 1998 Published at 03:13 GMT 04:13 UK

World: Americas

Presidential DNA 'under the microscope'

Bill and Hillary Clinton on walkabout in Martha's Vineyard

The BBC's Stephen Sackur: Clinton still in danger
President Clinton, currently holidaying in New England, appears to be under renewed pressure over his relationship with former White House intern Monica Lewinksy.

[ image: Monica Lewinsky will testify on Thursday]
Monica Lewinsky will testify on Thursday
Latest reports in the US media say that the independent counsel, Kenneth Starr, has requested a DNA sample from Mr Clinton which he will attempt to match against a stain on Monica Lewinsky's dress.

One of our correspondents in Washington, Bridget Kendall, says an open battle is developing between the president and prosecutor with Mr Starr insisting on his right to find out the whole truth while Mr Clinton is insisting on keeping some things private.

Tom Carver: "There is a danger this might backfire on Kenneth Starr"
Seeking DNA match

Earlier this month, the FBI confirmed it was testing one of Miss Lewinsky's dresses. She is thought to have told Mr Starr's team they would find stains on the dress which would prove she had had an 18-month affair with the president.

[ image: Bill Clinton embraces Vernon Jordan, the man who employed Miss Lewinsky]
Bill Clinton embraces Vernon Jordan, the man who employed Miss Lewinsky
Mr Starr reportedly asked for a blood sample from Mr Clinton several days ago and the White House has provided it.

There has been no official confirmation, but one White House spokesman did not deny it.

Lewinsky called back

Miss Lewinsky, whose testimony formed the backbone of Mr Starr's case against the president, is to appear before the grand jury again on Thursday.

Commentators say her recall suggests Mr Starr's team has questions arising from the president's testimony.

In his evidence, Mr Clinton admitted for the first time he had a relationship with Miss Lewinsky.

Bridget Kendall: "Mr Starr is determined to step up the pressure on Mr Clinton"
Mr Clinton appears to be hoping to weather the storm by laying low in the Massachusetts resort of Martha's Vineyard, with his wife, Hillary, and daughter, Chelsea.

Press on with agenda

White House spokesman Mike McCurry said Mr Clinton plans to press ahead with his political agenda during the last two years of his term.

[ image: Reactions to the president's confession have been mixed]
Reactions to the president's confession have been mixed
Rejecting speculation that Mr Clinton's confession would make him a "lame duck" president, he said: "He believes that he has a significant amount of work to do for the American people."

Several senior Republican leaders have called for Mr Clinton to step down after he admitted he had "misled" people, including Congress and the First Lady, Hillary Clinton.

Some Democrats have also called for him to go.

Former Nixon aide John Dean: "Mr Clinton should never have agreed to testify"
Representative Paul McHale, from Pennsylvania, says: "The president lied under oath. We cannot tolerate that from any president if we're to remain a nation of laws rather than men."

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