Deposition in the Jones sexual harassment lawsuit

January 17, 1998

Q. At any time were you and Monica Lewinsky alone together in the Oval Office?

A. I don't recall, but as I said, when she worked at the legislative affairs office, they always had somebody there on the weekends. I typically worked some on the weekends. Sometimes they'd bring me things on the weekends. She – it seems to me she brought things to me once or twice on the weekends. In that case, whatever time she would be in there, drop it off, exchange a few words and go, she was there. I don't have any specific recollections of what the issues were, what was going on, but when the Congress is there, we're working all the time, and typically I would do some work on one of the days of the weekends in the afternoon.

Q. So I understand, your testimony is that it was possible, then, that you were alone with her, but you have no specific recollection of that ever happening?

A. Yes, that's correct. It's possible that she, in, while she was working there, brought something to me and that at the time she brought it to me, she was the only person there. That's possible.

. . .

Q. Have you ever met with Monica Lewinsky in the White House between the hours of midnight and six a.m.?

A. I certainly don't think so.

Q. Have you ever met –

A. Now, let me just say, when she was working there, during, there may have been a time when we were all – we were up working late. There are lots of, on any given night, when the Congress is in session, there are always several people around until late in the night, but I don't have any memory of that. I just can't say that there could have been a time when that occurred, I just – but I don't remember it.

Q. Certainly if it happened, nothing remarkable would have occurred?

A. No, nothing remarkable. I don't remember it.

. . .

Q. Did you have an extramarital sexual affair with Monica Lewinsky?

A. No.

Q. If she told someone that she had a sexual affair with you beginning in November of 1995, would that be a lie?

A. It's certainly not the truth. It would not be the truth.

Q. I think I used the term "sexual affair." And so the record is completely clear, have you ever had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky, as that term is defined in Deposition Exhibit 1, as modified by the Court.

. . .

A. I have never had sexual relations with Monica Lewinsky. I've never had an affair with her.


Interview by Jim Lehrer of ‘NewsHour With Jim Lehrer’

January 21, 1998

Q: The news of this day is that Kenneth Starr, independent counsel, is investigating allegations that you suborn perjury by encouraging a 24-year-old woman, former White House intern, to lie under oath in a civil deposition about her having had an affair with you. Mr. President, is that true?

A: That is not true. That is not true. I did not ask anyone to tell anything other than the truth. There is no improper relationship. And I intend to cooperate with this inquiry. But that is not true.

Q: "No improper relationship" – define what you mean by that.

A: Well, I think you know what it means. It means that there is not a sexual relationship, an improper sexual relationship, or any other kind of improper relationship.

Q: You had no sexual relationship with this young woman?

A: There is not a sexual relationship – that is accurate.

We are doing our best to cooperate here, but we don't know much yet. And that's all I can say now. What I'm trying to do is to contain my natural impulses and get back to work. I think it's important that we cooperate; I will cooperate. But I want to focus on the work at hand.

Q: Just for the record, to make sure I understand what your answer means, so there's no ambiguity about it –

A: There is no –

Telephone Interview with Roll Call

January 21, 1998

Q: You said in a statement today that you had no improper relationship with this intern. What exactly was the nature of your relationship with her?

A: Well, let me say, the relationship was not improper, and I think that's important enough to say. But because the investigation is going on and because I don't know what is out – what's going to be asked of me, I think I need to cooperate, answer the questions, but I think it's important for me to make it clear what is not. And then, at the appropriate time, I'll try to answer what is. But let me answer – it is not an improper relationship and I know what the word means. So let's just –

Q: Was it in any way sexual?

A: The relationship was not sexual. And I know what you mean, and the answer is no.

Interview on NPR’s ‘All Things Considered’

January 21, 1998

Q: Many Americans woke up to the news today that the Whitewater independent counsel is investigating an allegation that you, or you and Vernon Jordan, encouraged a young woman to lie to lawyers in the Paula Jones civil suit. Is there any truth to that allegation?

A: No, sir, there's not. It's just not true.

Q: Is there any truth to the allegation of an affair between you and the young woman?

A: No, that's not true, either. And I have told people that I would cooperate in the investigation and I expect to cooperate with it. I don't know any more about it than I've told you, and any more about it really than you do, but I will cooperate. The charges are not true, and I haven't asked anybody to lie.

Q: Mr. President, where do you think this comes from? Did you have any kind of relationship with her that could have been misconstrued?

A: Mara, I'm going to do my best to cooperate with the investigation. I want to know what they want to know from me. I think it's more important for me to tell the American people that there wasn't improper relations, I didn't ask anybody to lie, and I intend to cooperate. And I think that's all I should say right now, so I can get back to the work of the country.

At White House photo opportunity with Yaser Arafat

January 22, 1998

Q: Forgive us for raising this while you're dealing with important issues in the Middle East, but could you clarify for us, sir, exactly what your relationship was with Ms. Lewinsky, and whether the two of you talked by phone, including any messages you may have left?

A: Let me say, first of all, I want to reiterate what I said yesterday. The allegations are false and I would never ask anybody to do anything other than tell the truth. Let's get to the big issues there, about the nature of the relationship and whether I suggested anybody not tell the truth. That is false.

Now, there are a lot of other questions that are, I think, very legitimate. You have a right to ask them; you and the American people have a right to get answers. We are working very hard to comply and get all the requests for information up here, and we will give you as many answers as we can, as soon as we can, at the appropriate time, consistent with our obligation to also cooperate with the investigations.

And that's not a dodge, that's really why I've – I've talked with our people. I want to do that. I'd like for you to have more rather than less, sooner rather than later. So we'll work through it as quickly as we can and get all those questions out there to you.

At White House news conference on education

January 26, 1998

Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I'm going to say this again. I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time – never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people.


Nationally televised speech

August 17, 1998

As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate, I did not volunteer information. Indeed, I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong. It constituted a critical lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely responsible.

But I told the grand jury today and I say to you now that at no time did I ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action.

I know that my public comments and my silence about this matter gave a false impression. I misled people, including even my wife. I deeply regret that.

. . .

Now, this matter is between me, the two people I love most – my wife and our daughter – and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to do so.

Nothing is more important to me personally. But it is private, and I intend to reclaim my family life for my family. It’s nobody’s business but ours.


News conference with Russian President Yeltsin in Moscow

September 2, 1998

I have acknowledged that I made a mistake, said that I regretted it, asked to be forgiven, spent a lot of very valuable time with my family in the last couple of weeks and said I was going back to work. I believe that's what the American people want me to do, and based on my conversations with leaders around the world, I think that's what they want me to do, and that is what I intend to do.

. . .

And I'm going to do my best to continue to go through this personal process in an appropriate way, but to do my job, to do the job I was hired to do. And I think it very much needs to be done right now.

. . .

I think the question of the tone of the speech and people's reaction to it is really a function of -- I can't comment on that. I read it the other day again, and I thought it was clear that I was expressing my profound regret to all who were hurt and to all who were involved, and my desire not to see anymore people hurt by this process and caught up in it. And I was commenting that it seemed to be something that most reasonable people would think had consumed a disproportionate amount of America's time, money, and resources, and attention, and now continued to involve more and more people. And that's what I tried to say.

Sources: The White House, the Associated Press

( Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company)