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CLINTON: Where is that, sir? I don't want to get -- I just want to what page is that?
QUESTION: Well, actually...
CLINTON: No, it hadn't, because I saw a witness list much earlier than that.
QUESTION: Much earlier than december 28th?
CLINTON: Oh, sure. It had been earlier than -- she -- I believe Monica...
QUESTION: Page 69.
CLINTON: I believe Monica Lewinsky's name was on a witness list earlier than when she was subpoenaed.
CLINTON: So I believe, when I was answering this question -- at least I thought I was answering when I found out -- yes, see, there's -- on page 68, "Did anyone other than your attorneys ever tell you Monica Lewinsky had been served with a subpoena in this case?" Then I said, "I don't think so." Then I (sic) said, "Did you ever talk to Monica about the possibility that she might be asked to testify in this case?" Then I gave an answer that was nonresponsive that really tried to finish the answer above. And I said, "Bruce Lindsey." I think Bruce Lindsey told me that she was. I think maybe that's the first person who told me that she was. And I want to be as accurate as I can. And that -- I believe that Bruce is the first person who told me that Monica had gotten a subpoena.
QUESTION: Did you, in fact, have a conversation with Mr. Jordan on the evening of december 19, 1997, in which he talked to you about Monica being in Mr. Jordan's office, bringing a copy of the subpoena, and being upset about being subpoenaed?
CLINTON: I remember that Mr. Jordan was in the White House, and on december 19th, for an event of some kind. But he came up to the residence floor and told me that he had -- that Monica had gotten the subpoena and that Monica was going to have to testify. And I think he told me he recommended a lawyer for her. I believe that's what happened. But it was a very brief conversation. He was there for some other reason.
QUESTION: And if Mr. Jordan testified that he had also spoken to you
at around 5:00 p.m. -- and the White House phone logs reflect this -- that he called you at around the time he met with Ms. Lewinsky and informed you then that she had been subpoenaed. Is that consistent with your memory? Also on the 19th.
CLINTON: I had a lot of phone conversations with Vernon about this. I didn't keep records of them. I mean, I have some records. My memory is not clear. My testimony on that was not clear. I just knew that I had talked to Vernon at some time. But I thought that Bruce was the first person who told me.
QUESTION: But Mr. Jordan had also told you? Is that right?
CLINTON: Yes. I now know I had a conversation with Mr. Jordan about it where he said something to me about that.
QUESTION: And that was probably on the 19th. december 19th.
CLINTON: Well, I know I saw him on the 19th, so I'm quite sure. And if he says he talked to me on the 19th, I believe he would have better records and I certainly think he's a truthful person.
QUESTION: Getting back to your meeting with Ms. Lewinsky on december 28th, you are aware that she's been subpoenaed.
QUESTION: You are aware, are you not, Mr. President, that the subpoena called for the production of, among other things, all the gifts that you had given Ms. Lewinsky? You were aware of that on december 28th, weren't you?
CLINTON: I'm not sure, and I understand this is an important question. I did have a conversation with Ms. Lewinsky at some time about gifts, the gifts I'd given her. I do not know whether it occurred on the 28th or whether it occurred earlier. I do not know whether it occurred in person or whether it occurred on the telephone. I have searched my memory for this because I know it's an important issue. Perhaps if you -- I can tell you what I remember about the conversation and you can see why I'm having trouble placing a date.
CLINTON: The reason I'm not sure it happened on the 28th is that my recollection is that Ms. Lewinsky said something to me like "What if they ask me about the gifts you've given me?" That's the memory I have. That's why I question whether it happened on the 28th, because she had a subpoena with her, a request for production. And I told her that if they asked her for gifts, she'd have to give them whatever she had, that that's what the law was. And let me also tell you, Mr. Bittman, if you go back and look at my testimony here, I actually asked the Jones' lawyers for help on one occasion when they were asking me what gifts I had given her so they could -- I was never hung up about this gift issue. Maybe it's because I have a different experience. But you know, the president gets hundreds of gifts a year --maybe more. I have always given a lot of gifts to people, especially if they've given me gifts. And this was no big deal to me. I mean, it's nice, I enjoy it. I gave dozens of personal gifts to people last Christmas. I give gifts to people all the time. Friends of mine give me gifts all the time -- give me ties, give me books, give me other things. So it was just not a big deal. And I told Ms. Lewinsky that just -- I said, you know, if they ask you for this, you'll have to give them whatever you have. And I think, Mr. Bittman, it must have happened before then. Either that, or Ms. Lewinsky didn't want to tell me that she had the subpoena, because that was the language I remember her using.
QUESTION: Well, did she tell you, Mr. President, that the subpoena specifically called for a hat pin that you had produced, or that you had given her?
CLINTON: I don't remember that. I remember, sir -- I've told you what I remember. It doesn't mean that my memory is accurate. A lot of things have happened in the last several months. A lot of things were happening then. But my memory is she asked me a general question about gifts. And my memory is she asked me in the hypothetical. So it's possible that I had a conversation with her before she got a subpoena. Or it's possible she didn't want to tell me that was part of the subpoena. I don't know. But she may have been worried about this gift business, but it didn't bother me. My experience was totally different. I told her, I said, look, the way these things work is when a person gets a subpoena, you have to give them whatever you have. That's what the rule -- that's what the law is. And I -- when I was asked about this in my deposition, even though I was not trying to be helpful, particularly to these people that I thought were not well-motivated or being honest or even lawful in their conduct vis-a-vis me -- that is, the Jones' legal team -- I did ask them specifically to enumerate the gifts. I asked them to help me because I couldn't remember the specifics. So all I'm saying is, it didn't -- I wasn't troubled by this gift issue.
QUESTION: And your testimony is that Ms. Lewinsky was concerned about her turning over any gifts that you had given her, and that your recommendation to her was, absolutely, Monica, you have to produce everything that I have given you? Is that your testimony?
CLINTON: My testimony is what I have said. And let me reiterate it. I don't want to agree to a characterization of it; I want to just say what it was. My testimony is that my memory is that on some date in december -- and I'm sorry I don't remember when it was -- she said, well, what if they ask me about the gifts you have given me? And I said, well, if you get a request to produce those, you have to give them whatever you have. And it just -- to me, it -- I didn't then, I don't now see this as a problem.
CLINTON: And if she thought it was a problem, I think it must have been from really a misapprehension of the circumstances. I certainly never encouraged her not to comply lawfully with the subpoena.
QUESTION: Mr. President, if your intent was, as you have earlier testified, you didn't want anyone to know about this relationship you had with Miss Lewinsky, why would you feel comfortable giving her gifts in the middle of discovery in the Paula Jones case?
CLINTON: Well, sir, for one thing, there was no existing improper relationship at that time. I had, for nearly a year, done my best to be a friend to Miss Lewinsky, to be a counselor to her, to give her good advice and to help her. She had, for her part, most of the time, accepted the changed circumstances. She talked to me a lot about her life, her job ambitions. And she continued to give me gifts. And I felt that it was the right thing to do to give her gifts back. I have always given a lot of people gifts. I have always been given gifts. I do not think there is anything improper about a man giving a woman a gift or a woman giving a man a gift, that necessarily connotes an improper relationship. So it didn't bother me. I wasn't -- you know, this was december 28th. I was -- I gave her some gifts. I wasn't worried about it. I thought it was an all right thing to do.
QUESTION: What about notes and letters? Cards, letters and notes to Miss Lewinsky? After this relationship, this intimate, inappropriate, intimate relationship between you and Miss Lewinsky ended, she continued to send you numerous intimate notes and cards. Is that right?
CLINTON: Well, they were -- some of them were somewhat intimate. I'd say most of them -- most of the notes and cards were affectionate, all right. But she had clearly accepted the fact that there could be no contact between us that was in any way inappropriate. Now, she sent cards sometimes that were just funny, even a little bit off color, but they were funny. She liked to send me cards, and I got a lot of those cards. I have several, anyway. I don't know a lot. I got a few.
QUESTION: She professed her love to you in these cards after the end of the relationship, didn't she?
QUESTION: She said she loved you.
CLINTON: Sir, the truth is that most of the time, even when she was expressing her feelings for me in affectionate terms, I believe that she had accepted, understood my decision to stop this inappropriate contact. She knew from the very beginning of our relationship that I was apprehensive about it. And I think that in a way she felt a little freer to be affectionate, because she knew that nothing else was going to happen. I can't explain entirely what was in her mind. But most of these messages were not what you would call over the top. They weren't things that if you read them, you would say, oh my goodness, these people are having some sort of sexual affair.
QUESTION: Mr. President, my question...
CLINTON: But some of them were quite affectionate.
QUESTION: ... my question was, did she or did she not profess her love to you in these cards and letters that she sent to you after the relationship ended?
CLINTON: Most of them were signed "Love," you know, "Love, Monica." I don't know that I would consider -- I don't believe that in most of these cards and letters she professed her love, but she might well have. I -- but you know, love can mean different things, too, Mr. Bittman. I have -- there are lot of women with whom I have never had any inappropriate conduct, who were friends of mine, who will say from time to time, "I love you." And I know that they don't mean anything wrong by that.
QUESTION: Specifically, Mr. President, do you remember a card she sent you after she saw the movie "Titanic" in which she said that she reminisced or dreamed about that the romantic feelings that occurred in the movie and how that reminded her of you two. Do you remember that?
CLINTON: No, sir. But she could have said it. Just because I don't remember doesn't mean it wasn't there.
QUESTION: So you're not denying that? That...
CLINTON: Oh no. I wouldn't deny that. I just don't remember it. You asked me if I remember it. I don't. She might have done it.
QUESTION: Do you ever remember telling her, Mr. President, that she should not write some of the things that she does in these cards and letters that she sends to you because it reveals -- it disclosed this relationship that you've had and that she shouldn't do it?
CLINTON: I remember telling her she should be careful what she wrote, because a lot of it was clearly inappropriate and would be embarrassing if somebody else read it. I don't remember when I said that. I don't remember whether it was in 1996 or when it was. I don't remember.
QUESTION: Embarrassing in that it was revealing of the intimate relationship that you and she had. Is that right?
CLINTON: I do not know when I said this. So I don't know whether we did have any sort of inappropriate relationship at the time I said that to her. I don't remember. But it's obvious that if she wrote things that she should not have written down and someone else read it, that it would be embarrassing.
QUESTION: She certainly sent you something like that after the relationship began, didn't she? And so therefore there was, at the time she said it, something inappropriate going on?
CLINTON: Well, my recollection is that she -- that maybe because of changed circumstances in her own life, in 1997, after there was no more inappropriate contact, that she sent me more things in the mail and that there was sort of a disconnect sometimes between what she was saying and the plain facts of our relationship. And I don't what caused that, but it may have been dissatisfaction with the rest of her life. I don't know. You know, she had from the time I first met her talked to me about the rest of her personal life. And it may be that there is some reason for that. It may be that when I did the right thing and made it stick that, in a way she felt a need to cling more closely or try to get closer to me, even though she knew nothing improper was happening or was going to happen. I don't know the answer to that.
QUESTION: After you gave her the gifts on december 28th, did you speak with your secretary, Ms. Currie, and ask her to pick up a box of gifts that were some compilation of gifts that Ms. Lewinsky would have (OFF-MIKE)?
CLINTON: No, sir. I didn't do that. I did not do that.
QUESTION: When you testified in the Paula Jones case -- this was only 2 1/2 weeks after you had given her these six gifts -- you were
asked at page 75 of the deposition, lines 2 through 5: "Well, have you ever given any gifts to Monica Lewinsky?"
And you answered: "I don't recall." And you are correct when you point out that you actually asked them to (OFF-MIKE) -- do (ph) you know that they were?
CLINTON: Yes, I think what I meant there is I don't recall what they were, not that I don't recall whether I had given them. And then, if you see, they did give me the specifics, and I gave them quite a good explanation here. I remember very clearly what the facts were about the black dog. And I said that I could have given her a hat pin and a Walt Whitman book, but I did not remember giving her a gold broach, which was true. I didn't remember it. I may have given it to her, but I didn't remember giving her one. They didn't ask me about the Christmas gifts.
CLINTON: And I don't know why I didn't think to say anything about them, but I have to tell you again, I even invited them to have a list. It was obvious to me by this point in the definition -- in this deposition that they had -- these people had access to a lot of information from somewhere. And I presume it came from Linda Tripp. And I had no interest in not answering the questions about these gifts. I do not believe that gifts -- gifts are incriminating, nor do I think they are wrong. I think it was a good thing to do. I'm not -- I'm still not sorry I gave Monica Lewinsky gifts.
QUESTION: Why did you assume that that information came from Linda Tripp?
CLINTON: I didn't then.
QUESTION: I thought you just testified that you...
CLINTON: No, no, no. I said I now assume that because of all the subsequent events. I didn't know -- I just knew that -- that some...
QUESTION: Let me ask you about...
CLINTON: ... somebody had access to some information and they may have known more about this than I did.
QUESTION: Let me ask you about the meeting you had with Betty Currie at the White House on Sunday, January 18, this year, the day after your deposition. First of all, you didn't -- Mrs. Currie, your secretary of six or seven years, you never allowed her, did you, to watch whatever -- whatever intimate activity you did with Ms. Lewinsky, did you?
CLINTON: No, sir, not to my knowledge.
QUESTION: And as far as you know, she couldn't hear anything either? Is that right?
CLINTON: There were a couple of times when Monica was there when I asked Betty to be places where she could hear because Monica was upset, and I -- this was after there was -- all the inappropriate contact had been terminated. But...
QUESTION: I'm talking about the times that you actually had the intimate contact.
CLINTON: She was -- I believe that -- well, first of all, on that one occasion in 1997, I do not know whether Betty was in the White House after the radio address in the Oval Office complex. I believe she probably was, but I'm not sure. But I'm certain that someone was there. I -- always, someone was there. In 1996, I think most of the times that Ms. Lewinsky was there, there may not have been anybody around except maybe coming in and out, but not permanently so. I did -- that's correct, I never -- I didn't try to involve Betty in that in any way.
QUESTION: Well, not only did you not try to involve her, you were specifically trying to exclude her and everyone else. Isn't that right?
CLINTON: Well, yes. I -- I've never -- I mean, it's almost humorous, sir. I'd have to be an exhibitionist not to have tried to exclude everyone else.
QUESTION: So if Ms. Currie testified that you approached her on the 18th when you spoke with her and you said, "You were always there when she was there." She wasn't, was she? That is, Mrs. Currie.
CLINTON: She was always there in the White House. And I was concerned -- let me back up a sec ...
QUESTION: What about the radio address, Mr. President?
CLINTON: Let me back up a second, Mr. Bittman. I knew about the radio address. I was sick after it was over. And I -- I was pleased that, at that time, it had been nearly a year since any inappropriate contact had occurred with Ms. Lewinsky. I promised myself it wasn't going to happen again. The facts are complicated about what did happen, and how it happened. But nonetheless, I'm responsible for it. On that night, she didn't. I was more concerned about the times after that when Ms. Lewinsky was upset, and I wanted to establish at least that I had not -- because these questions were -- some of them were off the wall. Some of them were way out of line I thought. And when I wanted to establish was that Betty was there at all other times in the -- in the complex, and I wanted to know what Betty's memory was about what she heard, what she could hear. And what I did not know but I did not know that. And I was trying to figure it out. And I was trying to figure it out in a hurry because I knew something was up -- after that definition (ph).
QUESTION: So you wanted to check her memory for what she remembered, and that is...
CLINTON: That's correct.
QUESTION: ... whether she remember nothing, or whether she remembered an inappropriate, intimate relationship?
CLINTON: Oh, no, no, no, no. No, I didn't ask her about it that way. I asked her about what the -- what I was trying to determine was whether my recollection was right because she was always in the office complex when Monica was there, and whether she thought she could hear any conversations we had or did she hear any. And then I asked her specifically about a couple of times when once when I asked her to remain in the dining room -- Betty -- while I met with Monica in my study, and once when I took Monica into the small office Nancy Hernreich occupies right next to Betty's and talked to her there for a few minutes. That's my recollection of that. I was trying to I knew, Mr. Bittman, to a reasonable certainty that I was going to asked more questions about this. I didn't really expect you to be in the Jones case at the time. I thought what would happen is that it would break in the press and I was trying to get the facts down. I was trying to understand what the facts were.
QUESTION: Ms. Currie testified that these were not really questions to her, that they were more like statements. Is that not the truth?
CLINTON: Well, I can't testify as to what her perception was. I can tell you this. I was trying to get information in a hurry. I was downloading what I remembered. I think Ms. Currie would also testify that I explicitly told her, once I realized that you were involved in the Jones case, you were with the office of independent counsel and that she might have to be called as witness, that she should go in there and tell the truth, tell what she knew and be perfectly truthful. So I was not trying to get Betty Currie to say something that was untruthful. I was trying to get as much information as quickly as I could.
QUESTION: What information were you trying to get from her when you said, "I was never alone with her, right?"
CLINTON: I don't remember exactly what I did say with her. That's what you say I said.
QUESTION: If Ms. Currie testified to that -- that she says you told her, "I was never alone with her, right?"
CLINTON: Well, I was never alone with her...
QUESTION: Did you not say that, Mr. President?
CLINTON: Mr. Bittman, just a minute. "I was never alone with her, right?" might be a question. And what I might have meant by that is, "In the Oval Office complex."
QUESTION: But you knew the answer...
CLINTON: Could -- we've been going for more than an hour, would you mind if we take a break? I need to go to the restroom.
QUESTION: 2:38. (BREAK)
QUESTION: Mr. President, I want to go into a new subject area, briefly go over something you were talking about with Mr. Bittman. The statement of your attorney, Mr. Bennett, at the Paula Jones deposition -- counsel is fully aware -- it's page 54, line 5. Counsel is fully aware that Ms. Lewinsky is filing, has an affidavit, which they were in possession of, saying that there was absolutely no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form with President Clinton. That statement was made by your attorney in front of Judge Susan Webber Wright.
CLINTON: That's correct.
QUESTION: Your -- that statement is a completely false statement. Whether or not Mr. Bennett knew of your relationship with Ms. Lewinsky, the statement that there was no sex of any kind in any manner, shape or form with President Clinton was an utterly false statement. Is that correct?
CLINTON: It depends upon what the meaning of the word is means. If is means is, and never has been, that's one thing. If it means, there is none, that was a completely true statement. But as I have testified -- I'd like to testify again -- this is -- it somewhat unusual for a client to be asked about his lawyer's statements instead of the other way around. I was not paying a great deal of attention to this exchange. I was focusing on my own testimony. And that if you go back and look at the sequence of events, you will see that the Jones' lawyers decided that this was going to be the Lewinsky deposition, not the Jones deposition. And given the facts of their case, I can understand why they made that decision. But that is not how I prepared for it. That is not how I was thinking about it. And I am not sure, Mr. Wisenberg, as I sit here today that I sat there and followed all these interchanges between the lawyers. I'm quite sure that I didn't follow all the interchanges between the lawyers all that carefully. And I don't really believe, therefore, that I can say Mr. Bennett's testimony or statement is testimony that is impugnable to me. I didn't -- I don't know that I was really paying that much attention to him.
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21 september 1998