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Former White House Counsel Bernard Nussbaum's executive assistant
Linda Tripp has given an interview to NEWSWEEK [8/11/97] that promises
to rock the Lincoln Bedroom. In 1993, recounts Tripp, Kathleen Willey
told her that President Clinton made sexual advances toward her in the
White House.

According to the magazine, Tripp said Willey described how she stepped
from the Oval Office and into a private office with Clinton, where he
kissed and fondled her. Tripp says Willey was "disheveled... her face
was red and her lipstick was off. She was flustered, happy and

Tripp claims to be coming forward with the story now because
Willey did not seem appalled about the encounter at the time and "to
make it clear that this is not a case of sexual harassment."

The DRUDGE REPORT last week was first to reveal that NEWSWEEK's
Michael Isikoff was hot on the trail of a woman who claims to have
been sexually propositioned by the President on federal property.
"...Then he fondled me," she is known to have told Isikoff. Isikoff
was not able to convince Willey to go on the record with her story.

Willey, a former White House aide, has been subpoenaed in the Paula
Jones sexual harassment case -- a subpoena her lawyer says she will
fight. Jones hopes to show "pattern evidence" of sexual misconduct by

Willey, 50, who lives in Powhatan, Va., left her home for an
undisclosed location shortly after the first DRUDGE REPORT story was
issued. Her lawyer was not available for comment on the Tripp
development as this transmits.

"I really smell a rat here... I'm sure this is a Jones team effort to
humiliate the president. We're not going to be intimidated by it,"
Clinton's private attorney Bob Bennett rushed to several wire
reporters late Sunday.

Bennett tells NEWSWEEK that Tripp "is not to be believed."

Tripp now works at the Pentagon.

Linda Tripp's mid-summer confession is not the first time this former
White House staffer has played rebel.

Several years ago Tripp was caught in an e-mail flame war during
working hours. E-mails that came to light during congressional
hearings on Whitewater. As Tripp watched her boss Nussbaum making a
mess out the Vince Foster suicide case, she sent e-mails to a
co-worker. In one of them, Tripp referred to Nussbaum and two other
White House lawyers working on the case as "the three stooges." In
another, she complained about a three-day delay in looking into an
important piece of evidence. "Christ. And we're the support staff?"
she wrote.

The DRUDGE REPORT has learned that there were several urgent strategy
sessions inside of the White House this weekend on how to publicly
deal with the Linda Tripp development.

Word hit Friday that Isikoff was unloading.

No clear plan was formed by late Sunday.

The continued technique of refusing to answer questions and to shame
news organizations into not reporting anything Clinton sexual seems to
be the most effective way to contain the story.

One way the White House damage control team was prepared to neutralize
Kathleen Willey, it was revealed in this report last week, was to
paint her confused.

Willey lost her husband, Edward E. Willey Jr., to suicide in November
1993, she became unstable and depressed. Her superiors and co-workers
felt badly for her and arranged for a brief meeting with the President
so he could let her know how sorry he was for the sudden death of her
husband. During this meeting, Clinton put his arm around her or
showed some other type of gracious sympathy to comfort her. No sex
suggestion. No complaints were heard from at the time.

The plan was never put into motion because Willey was quick to send
out clear signals, through her attorney, that she was not going to
publicly discuss her relationship with Clinton.

But on Monday, for reasons unknown, hints of the plan will begin to

NEWSWEEK'S Isikoff writes, in his story titled A TWIST IN JONES v.
CLINTON: "Through Bennett, Clinton says he has 'no specific
recollection of meeting [Willey] in the Oval Office.' Bennett says
that Clinton may have consoled her around the time of her husband's
death, but it is "preposterous" to suggest that Clinton might have
made a sexual advance. [According to police reports, Ed Willey's body
was not found until the day after the alleged encounter.] Bennett
says there is no record of Willey's entering the Oval Office, but he
acknowledged that friends sometimes drop by. Willey has told others
that she saw Treasury Secretary Lloyd Bentsen waiting to see Clinton
when she left the president's office mid-afternoon. Bentsen's
calendar shows him meeting Clinton at 3 p.m. that day."

President Clinton appointed Kathleen Willey to be a member of the
United Service Organization, Inc. [USO] Board of Governors on
September 20, 1996.

Filed by Matt Drudge
The REPORT is issued when circumstances warrant.
http://www.drudgereport.com for breaks
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