Linda Tripp, a former White House employee whose secretly-recorded conversations with Monica Lewinsky were used as evidence in the impeachment of former President Bill Clinton, has died after reportedly battling cancer. She was 70.
What are the details?
The Washington Post reported that Tripp’s son, Ryan Tripp, confirmed that his mother passed away on Wednesday but did not provide further details. According to the Daily Mail, Tripp was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer less than a week ago, and a friend told NBC News that Tripp’s death was not COVID-19 related.
Tripp worked at the White House during the George H.W. Bush administration and into the Clinton years, before she took a position at the Pentagon in 1994. After befriending White House intern Monica Lewinsky, Tripp secretly recorded conversations with Lewinsky regarding the intern’s affair with President Clinton.
Tripp turned the tapes over to independent counsel Kenneth Starr after being granted immunity, and they were used as evidence against the president in his impeachment in 1998. Clinton was eventually acquitted by the U.S. Senate.
Lewinsky testified in 1999 that she felt betrayed by Tripp, and that she hated her. As news broke earlier in the day on Wednesday that Tripp’s health was failing, Lewinsky, now 46, tweeted, “No matter the past, upon hearing that Linda Tripp is very seriously ill, I hope for her recovery. I can’t imagine how difficult this is for her family.”
Tripp is survived by her husband, Dieter Rausch; son, Ryan; daughter, Allison Tripp Foley; and seven grandchildren.
In 2018, Tripp spoke at the National Whistleblower Day event on Capital Hill, after staying largely out of the public eye for nearly two decades.
In her address, Tripp said her only regret in exposing the Clinton-Lewinsky scandal was “not having the guts to do it sooner.”