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Excerpts From Betty Currie Testimony

Friday, October 2, 1998

Following are Associated Press excerpts from grand jury testimony by Betty Currie, President Clinton's personal secretary. The transcripts were among the evidence that the House Judiciary Committee released Friday.

Excerpts from Currie's Jan. 28, 1998, testimony:

Q: While Ms. Lewinsky was an intern, do you ever remember her being in the area -- the immediate area -- of the Oval Office?

CURRIE: I don't personally remember, but the likelihood is great. They do carry papers back and forth.

... CURRIE: Ms. Lewinsky came by the office I remember once as an intern, when she brought the President some pizza during the budget crisis.

...CURRIE: To the best that I know, when she was an intern, I didn't think there was -- the President was friendly toward all of the staffers, interns, in particular, because they work for free, the work longer and harder than a lot of the staffers, so that he's extremely gracious and outgoing to them all. I did not determine any relationship at that time, or that there was one.

Q: Any special relationship.

CURRIE: Any special relationship.

Q: Okay.

...Q: Okay. After Ms. Lewinsky left the White House and she was employed at the Pentagon --

CURRIE: Mm-hmm.

Q: Did she maintain contact with the President?

CURRIE: After Ms. Lewinsky left the White House, yes.

...CURRIE: How many times did I personally clear her into the West Wing of the White House? ...I'd say maybe a dozen.... It could be more, it could be less, but that's --

...CURRIE: She would visit to see me. She could come to an official function. She could have other friends. She had maintained, I'm sure, lots of friends as an intern and a staff member.

Q: Did she ever visit the President?

CURRIE: Yes.

Q: On more than one occasion?

CURRIE: Yes.

Q: On several occasions?

CURRIE: I would say several occasions, sir.

...Q: On those occasions when she visited the White House, was Ms. Lewinsky ever in the oval Office with the President, when those two -- Ms. Lewinsky and the President -- were in there and they were the only people in there?

CURRIE: I can't remember exactly, but it's highly possible that that could happen.

...Q: Do you remember on several occasions that the President and Ms. Lewinsky were in the study together with no one else present?

CURRIE: Yes, I think so.

...Q: On the occasions when the President and Ms. Lewinsky were in the Oval Office by themselves, approximately how long were they by themselves in the Oval Office, on average?

CURRIE: If I had to give a guesstimate, sir, I'd say 15 to 20 minutes.

... Q: In our meetings the last several days, you've said you remembered two specific occasions that Ms. Lewinsky and the President were alone together. Do you remember them today , and can you describe them to the grand jurors, please.

CURRIE: As best I remember it, the two times I remember were the pizza time -- and correct me if -- I don't remember the date, month or year. I'm so sorry. And the interns were sort of running the office because a budget -- the offices had been shut down for the budget crunches.

And the President going down the hall and said that hey had pizza in the chief of staff office, they're going to bring me a piece of pizza. And I said ``Fine.'' Nancy or whoever was in the office, said ``Fine.''

And then Ms. Lewinsky delivered the pizza to the President, and my recollection was that he was probably in the dining room or study. She took him his pizza. I went down to get my pizza, and by the time I got there, she was back. So that was a matter of 30 seconds where they -- or however long it takes.

And another time I remember was -- I thought it was after a radio address. I don't remember. Ms. Lewinsky had attended the radio address, and after the radio address the President asked her to come back -- they were in my office, and he says ``Come back: I want to show you the button collection.'' The President collects buttons. ...They were at the doorway by the study.

CURRIE: On December 28th, I arranged a tour for my church members to tour the White House decorations. ... I had cleared Ms. Lewinsky in at that time. She did have the option of going on the tour if she wanted to or not. -- she was late -- and the church members had gone.

Q: And what happened after that?

CURRIE: The president had come down -- he was there at the same time when the church members were there. He -- he and Buddy. And he had greeted my members, and I stood there and had pictures taken with them. It was very nice.

And then he was still there when Ms. Lewinsky arrived.

Q: And then what happened?

CURRIE: The best I can remember, Ms. Lewinsky and I exchanged coordinates in my office, and either she asked to see him or however it happened they were in the Oval area, and I was at my desk. ...Perhaps 30 minutes.

... CURRIE: The president had come in, and he had a guest scheduled to come in, and the guest arrived. And I received a phone call from Ms. Lewinsky asking if she could come by -- or no, excuse me, I think she asked if the president were in, and I told her that he wasn't. And that was that.

And then I got a phone call from her from one of the gates, and she said, ``You had lied to me, that the president is in the office, and he's meeting with someone.'' And I said, ``Yeah, you're right.''

She was not too happy about it, and words were exchanged. And she called back again, and she was a little calmer, and she came by to see me.... On that occasion, the best I remember, on that day she and I were exchanging -- getting ourselves back together. He was still there. The best I remember, they went to the Oval.

Q: ... You also told us that approximately a month ago, Ms. Lewinsky told you that you two should use the code name ``K'' when communicating with each other.

CURRIE: I may be off on the timing, but, yes, we decided to use ``K.'' ...

Q: But it was her suggestion.

CURRIE: The best I remember, yes, sir, it was her suggestion. ...

Q: Let me ask you now about packages and gifts sent by Ms. Lewinsky to the president. You told us that Ms. Lewinsky on several occasions sent packages to the president; is that correct? ...

CURRIE: How many packages -- I'd say several. ...

It would be couriered to -- and the courier would leave the package at one of the gates, and then the gate would call and say that there's a package. And then I would usually send an intern out to pick up the package. ...

If they were for him I did not open them. ...

Q: Do you remember a time when an audiotape was sent from ... Ms. Lewinsky to the president?

CURRIE: I remember Monica calling for -- I don't remember -- I kind of remember Monica calling to say she was sending a package over, and it was a tape. So I said, ``Fine.'' ...

I'm aware that she gave him a tie and a T-shirt.

Q: And how are you aware of that?

CURRIE: It appeared on my August '96 birthday list. I kept a list of the birthday gifts he had gotten, and it appears on there that Monica Lewinsky gave him a tie and a T-shirt. ...

I remember seeing a picture of the president by himself, fully attired, and it says -- excuse me, always be attired. But it said, ``Thanks for the tie.'' ...

Q: ... And that was to Ms. Lewinsky, that is, the inscription.

CURRIE: It may have said, ``To Monica,'' it may have said, ``Ms. Lewinsky'' ...

To the best that I remember, she would call him ``Handsome.''

Q: Has Ms. Lewinsky ever called the president ``Handsome'' in his presence that you heard?

CURRIE: Lots of people do, and, yes, I've heard her say that. ...

Q: You told us when we met with you over these last three days that Ms. Lewinsky gave you a bunch of items. ...

CURRIE: Monica said she was getting concerned, and she wanted to give me the stuff the president had given her -- or give me a box of stuff. It was a box of stuff. ... I put it under my bed. ...

I think she was just getting concerned. I think people were asking questions about stuff she had gotten. ...

I was going to store it until she told me she wanted it back. ...

Q: ... You told us ... that you always like to think the best of people; is that right?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: And that with regard to the relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky, that you purposely wanted to believe there was no intimate relationship between them. ...

CURRIE: Correct

Q: You also told us that you wanted to be able to say that you didn't know anything about any relationship between the president and Ms. Lewinsky, is that right?

CURRIE: True.

Q: Tell us what, if anything, Ms. Lewinsky told you about what would happen if somebody had seen them before do something.

CURRIE: I don't think we've ever talked about -- we had a discussion about that.

Q: Did Ms. Lewinsky ever tell you that, ``As long as no one saw us -- and no one did -- then nothing happened''?

CURRIE: I don't remember that conversation. ...

Q: Do you remember Ms. Lewinsky ever saying anything like that?

CURRIE: Can I step out for a moment?

Q: Yes, you may. ...

CURRIE: My memory is a little better -- but not much -- that if that was said, I would have said, ``Stop, stop. I don't want to hear any more.''

Q: And that's because you didn't want to hear anything about the relationship?

CURRIE: I didn't want to know anything or be able to say I know anything. ...

Q: ... Right now, I'm just asking whether you remember, or whether you believe that Ms. Lewinsky told you that.

CURRIE: I believe Ms. Lewinsky said that. ...

Q: January 17, this year ... the day that President Clinton gave a deposition ... in the Paula Jones case. ... Tell us about the phone call from the president.

CURRIE: The best that I can remember of a call, the president called, just said that he wanted to talk to me. And I said, ``Fine.'' He said, ``Could you come in on Sunday?'' And I said, ``Fine.''

   


And then we sort of set up an agreeable time that would work. My mother got out of the hospital on Sunday, so we made it, I think, 5:00. ... He said that he had had his deposition yesterday, and they had asked several questions about Monica Lewinsky. And I was a little shocked by that or -- (shrugging)

And he said -- I don't know if he said -- I think he may have said, ``There are several things you may want to know,'' or ``There are things -- '' He asked me some questions.

He asked me about a videotape -- had I ever seen the videotape. Ooh-ooh, now I can't remember. He had a list of things that he -- there were, like, three things but now I can only remember the videotape thing he asked me. If you can help me, I will -- ...

The best that I can remember, sir -- and it's getting worse by the minute, seems like -- ``Monica was never -- '' ``You were always there when Monica was there. We were never really alone.'' Those two stick in my mind as two statements he made. ...

Q: Did the president also make the statement: ``Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right''?

CURRIE: Yes, that statement was made, sir.

Q: Did the president also state to you at that time: ``She wanted to have sex with me, and I can't do that, right''?

CURRIE: I don't remember the ``right'' part coming after there but -- probably without the ``right.''

Q: OK. ... And did the president also say to you, ``You could see and hear everything''?

CURRIE: Correct. ...

Not only did he wish me to agree to it, but they were right. ...

Q: What do you mean they were also right?

CURRIE: I was always there. I could always hear. And the last one -- ...

I could not see and hear everything, no. ...

But if she was there, I was there. She was not -- to my knowing, she didn't come to see him or come there, and I wasn't there.

Q: ... Sometime after your meeting with the president, you received a phone call late in the evening? ...

CURRIE: This phone call, he said, ``Have you heard the latest thing that's happened?''

And I was sound asleep at that time, and I said, ``No, sir, I don't.'' And he told me that apparently -- let's see -- whatever story that broke ... I think the tapes maybe ...

He said, ``Have you read the Drudge Report?'' ``Nope.'' He said, ``Do you have a computer? You can pull it out of Internet,'' or somehow. And I said, ``I have a computer. I'll try to pull it up.'' But I can't find it. He said, ``Apparently, the story is breaking with Monica and Linda Tripp.''

I said, ``Oh, I hadn't heard a thing.'' And he said, ``Do you think you can reach Monica, see what's happening?'' And I said, ``I can try. I can page her.'' ...

He said that my name was mentioned. That was, to me, the main reason he called, because it would -- I assume he thinks it would give me concern. And he said it wasn't good. ...

...I think he said, ``Do you think you can reach Monica?''

Q: And did you try to reach Monica?

CURRIE: I did.

Q: How did you try to reach her?

CURRIE: Through her pager.

Q: And what message did you leave, if you remember?

CURRIE: I don't remember. I think I left a flurry of messages. I don't know. I tried -- I probably said, ``Please call me K,'' which is a general --

It was late at night, so I thought maybe -- people go to bed and don't hear their messages, so I tried another time. And I know one message I left her, ``Please call. Family emergency.'' She was very concerned about my family, so maybe she would have thought it was something regarding my family I was calling for. But she didn't. ...

... At some point in the morning -- of course, the days are all running together now -- she called and said, ``I can't talk to you,'' and hung up.

Q: ... Did you inform the president?

CURRIE: If it was before I went to work, I may have gone to work and told him when I got to work. I can't remember when the phone call was.

And I told him that Monica -- I had not been able to talk to her and that the only thing I got was this message from her that she couldn't talk to me. ...

It was Tuesday or Wednesday. ... But the best I remember, when he called me in the Oval Office, it was sort of a recapulation of what we had talked about on Sunday -- you know. ``I was never alone with her'' -- that sort of thing. ...

Q: How much could you hear when the president and Ms. Lewinsky were in the Oval Office by themselves?

CURRIE: If the door to the Oval Office was open, I could hear almost everything. If the door were closed -- and more than likely, it would have been -- I couldn't have heard anything. ...

Q: ... One of the grand jurors asked how you perceived the visits that Ms. Lewinsky was making to the president.

CURRIE: I -- I perceived them as a friend. Ms. Lewinsky had had some problems at the White House, I befriended her, and I think the president befriended her also. ...

To my knowing, no other intern had a relationship like that. ...

A JUROR: By Ms. Lewinsky being a young lady, did you ever feel that she was infatuated with Clinton?

CURRIE: Yes, I did. I thought she had a very serious crush on the president. But a lot of people -- you know.

Q: By the way ... did you ever hear Ms. Lewinsky refer to the president as ``the creep?''

CURRIE: I'm not familiar with her using that term. ...

... Q: ... Is that true, that Ms. Lewinsky was not a person whose appearance in the West Wing would be welcome? ...

... Q: -- that ... Steve Goodin thought that she should not be there.

CURRIE: I had heard him make comments to that effect, yes. ...

... CURRIE: I would use the word ``bad news,'' is I think the word that he used. ...

... CURRIE: Other people had used the word ``stalker.'' That's the word that people used. ...

... CURRIE: The way they described it, she was -- she would figure out where he was going to be and be there. I said ``Well, that's not hard to do. It's a schedule. She has a copy.'' So I didn't consider it stalking. I thought she was doing her job. ...

... CURRIE: I did ask Tim Keating, who was I thought ... Monica's supervisor, why she was being transferred, and he said, ``She got a better job.'' ...

... CURRIE: Because to me if the stalking rumor was not true, which in my estimation it wasn't, then there must have been a reason, an official reason that they had to put on there. And he said, ``She got a better job.'' ...

... Q: The president knew she wanted to stay at the White House.

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: The president knew that she was upset about leaving?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: The president knew that she liked her job at the White House, correct?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q:The president knew that she was transferred out because of these rumors that she was a stalker.

CURRIE: I assume he knew that, too. I don't know. ...

... Q: And the president wanted Monica to come back? Is that fair to say?

CURRIE: He didn't tell me not to pursue, so I couldn't say if he wanted her to, but I told him I would try to get her back. ...

... CURRIE: He was aware that she wanted to come back. ...

... CURRIE: I told him that I would. I don't know if he wanted me to or if I just offered to do it, but he was aware that I was going to be doing this. ...

... Q: And did he indicate to you that he agreed that she should come back after the November '96 elections?

CURRIE: That he agreed that she should come back after that. If it could be worked out, yes. ...

... CURRIE: And somehow or another, I don't think anything happened, and we told her -- or I told her that it probably happened, and we told her -- or I told her that it probably would be better after the election, that we could pursue it with a vengeance after the elections with her getting something. And then November came, and nothing happened. ...

... CURRIE: Well, I wouldn't have said after the election at that time, but I thought at the time she was transferred that something could materialize at the White House. In April I would have assumed -- April, May, that something would open up and she can come back.

And then after a while nothing opened up, so I said, well, maybe we'll have to wait till after the election. Or I was told that maybe wait till after the election.

Q: And what was the president's response to your helping Monica get a job back at the White House.

CURRIE: I think he was OK with it.

... Q: Whom did you tell that you thought Monica had been wronged?

CURRIE: Probably anyone who'd listen, but I'm sure I told Marsha, I probably told the president, I probably told Monica.

Q: What did the president say when you told him that you though Monica had been wronged?

CURRIE: I don't remember exactly, but he probably -- probably agreed with me. ...

... Q: What did he do then to correct the wrong?

CURRIE: I guess he didn't do anything. Because if he had done something, I think a job would have materialized. He didn't. ...

... CURRIE: In this case he had me do it, I guess. He didn't do anything.

Q: He had you do it.

CURRIE: Well, I was doing it. I don't know if he had me do it, but I was doing it. Maybe he was happy with the fact that I was doing it, and so he didn't have to. ...

... Q: Our understanding is that the study is -- I think you testified to this also -- that it's where the president takes his naps.

CURRIE: The rare occasion that he takes a nap. ...

... CURRIE: It's one of the few places that if he wants to be alone, he could be alone. ...

... Q: Do you remember Monica calling you -- or you talking to Monica and Monica being upset about not being able to see the president, at any time?

A: Yes.

Q: How often.

A: Far too often. I don't have a time frame, but it would happen often.

...

Q: Would it be fair to say, though, that there was a time when Monica wasn't complaining, that she was happy with the amount of time that she was seeing the president?

A: I don't know. ... It's hard to remember now that she wasn't.

...

Q: Would it be fair to say, though, that most of the time that the president and Monica met, they met in the study?

A: That would not be fair to say.

...

A: It would always -- usually start in my office ... And if he was there, I would let him know. If he was coming, I would let him know she'd be in my office, then into the Oval.

... A: Most times, to my recollection, sir, that was Saturdays or after hours, and I was the only one there. ... It was just easier for me to get her and just have her sit in my office and wait.

... Q: But the purpose when she waited in your lobby area was not to be seen by Mr. Goodin or Nancy Hernreich ... is that right?

... A: I'm sorry. Yes.

Q: And then when Nancy or Steve were around, you would bring her directly into one of the back rooms so they wouldn't see her.

A: ... I took her to the back room on rare occasions, not very often at all. ... It would be after hours or on Saturday so there would be no need to sneak. It would just be the two of us.

... Q: Monica says that the president gave her hugs. Did you see that? Have you seen the president give Monica hugs on other occasions?

A: I saw it on the TV, with the beret. Probably -- probably, yes. He hugs a lot. I get hugs daily. So it would not have been uncommon.

... Q: ... Tell us what you remember about Monica giving gifts to the president?

A: My first reaction -- only because I've seen it in the logs -- is a tie that she gave him, birthday. I think it was August '96. ... She probably gave him several ties. One tie he wore to the State of the Union. I don't know it was the same one or not, but ... I just get a blank on the gifts.

Q: Is it correct that Monica would tell you -- she would call you on the phone and say, `Betty, I have something for Handsome, or the president, and it's a card, and I'm sending it over to you. Could you make sure he gets it?'

A: I don't remember her being that specific. She may have said just a package, or, ``I'm sending something over.'' I don't know whether she would say card, letter, note. I don't remember that, but she could have.

... Q: ... You would pass it along to the president?

A: I would put it in his box. ... He would pick it up.

... Q: So did the president ever make a call directly himself?

A: Rarely, to my knowing. I know he did once, and we were all surprised that he knew how.

... Q: He knew Monica's number, too, didn't he?

A: I don't know.

... Q: Is it true that the president would ask you to get Monica on the line so that he could talk to her?

A: That's probably true.

... A: Well, she would call so often ... I mean, I wouldn't have to call her because she was always calling in, but probably true.

... A: The best I remember she said that she wanted me to hold these gifts -- hold gifts, box of gifts -- I don't remember -- because people were asking questions. And I said, ``Fine.''

Q: It was your understanding, wasn't it, that these were gifts that the president had given her?

A: ... I don't know whether she said gifts from the president or gifts. I know some of the items in the box were gifts from the president.

... A: The best I remember, she said that Mr. Isikoff was making inquiries about the gifts.

... A: The question is, did I think the questions that were being asked were related to Paula Jones' lawsuit?

Q: Right.

A: I don't remember what Isikoff -- I don't remember if there was --

Q: When did the exchange take place that she actually gave you the box?

A: Now, the best I remember, that I went to her house ... and picked up the box.

... Q: And then what did you do with it?

A: Put it under my bed.

   


Q: ... We asked you about Monica's job search in New York, that she made a list of the places where she wanted to go, where she wanted to work and how much money she wanted to make. And you said that you remember seeing such a document. Is that right?

CURRIE: Sir, I don't remember seeing a New York document. The only thing I remember, and I could be wrong, is I thought she put together a document of jobs she wanted in Washington, White House or Washington, because I remember -- I thought it looked like something from the Plum Book, but I could be wrong.

Q: From the what book?

CURRIE: The Plum Book. The government search book.

... JUROR: How many of the meetings that you arranged between the president and Monica have been business and how many have been personal?

CURRIE: ... The majority of them were more personal in nature as opposed to business.

Q: How many times, Mrs. Currie, did you sneak Monica in?

CURRIE: The best I can recollect, sir, it's just that one. ... And I wouldn't have used the word ``sneak'' except that's the word we use. I just put her in without anyone seeing and I don't want the impression of sneaking, but it's just that I brought her in without anyone seeing her. ...

Q: One of the grand jurors wanted to know if you were concerned about all of the time the president was spending with a 24-year-old young lady.

CURRIE: I had concern.

Q: What were those concerns?

CURRIE: ... I know he has said that young people keep him involved in what's happening in the world, so I knew that was one reason, but there was a concern of mine that she was spending more time than most. ...

JUROR: Do you recall expressing your concerns about the time she was spending with the president to Monica at all?

CURRIE: ... What I remember saying to her ... is I didn't know what was happening, I didn't want to know, don't tell me anything. And that's what I did. ...

JUROR: If you were concerned about her coming to the White House, you know, to see the president, why did you help her get in? ...

CURRIE: Sometimes ... she would call and I would not take her messages, but avoid her calls, and so I did the best I could.

JUROR: I was wondering, you know, if you had this concern, why would you help her in that way because it seemed like it was defeating the purpose.

CURRIE: Sometimes she would be so -- let's see -- upset, I'd renege and then say, OK ...

Q: The president was aware that Monica was looking for a job in New York?

CURRIE: I think so. I'm not positive, not sure. ...

Q: Didn't the president ask you to help Monica?

CURRIE: Get a job?

Q: Yes.

CURRIE: Yes.

Q: In New York?

CURRIE: I don't remember. I don't remember. ...

Q: Didn't the president also suggest Ambassador Richardson, too? That you should contact Ambassador Richardson?

CURRIE: The best I remember is that I went to John (Podesta) and told him I needed help finding a job for a friend. He has connections all over and the best I remember, he made the connection with Ambassador Richardson. ...

Q: ... Did the president tell you to contact Vernon Jordan to help Monica get the job ... in New York?

CURRIE: I don't remember the president telling me to contact Vernon to help get a job, help Monica get a job.

Q: What did the president tell you about getting help for Monica?

CURRIE: I was doing it on my own. I was dealing with John and Ambassador Richardson, which I thought was moving along fine and that was going to work out fine. And then when she said she didn't want that, then I went to Vernon, who has contacts in New York.

Q: Were you keeping the president apprised of what you were doing?

CURRIE: I may have been telling him that I'm doing this or the other, but it was not a daily update. Plus, I wasn't working on it daily. ...

Q: Is it possible ... that the president suggested that Vernon Jordan might be a good person to talk to about helping Monica?

CURRIE: No, I would imagine if he had his druthers, he probably would have said somebody else. Vernon was my friend. He has friends who have more connections than Vernon, I'm sure, especially in New York. Vernon is my friend and Vernon I know has international and national connections.

Q: Did you ever ask Mr. Jordan to help anyone else out before? To get a job?

CURRIE: I don't think I did. ...

Q: The fact that there are three phone calls to and from the president to Vernon Jordan right after a meeting between the president and Monica Lewinsky, does that suggest to you that these calls may have been about Monica Lewinsky?

CURRIE: Not to me. No.

Q: Is it possible?

CURRIE: Anything is possible, but the realm of what they could talk about is just a zillion things and that could be one. ...

Excerpts from Currie's May 7, 1998, testimony:

Q: ... You talk to Marsha Scott about her meeting with Monica and then Marsha tells you, ``I don't think it's a good idea that Monica come back to the White House.''

CURRIE: And at that point, I sort of agreed with Marsha.

Q: Why did you agree with her?

CURRIE: She had been calling me. She had been -- she has not been stalking me, but she had been becoming extremely frustrated and disappointed and all those words. ...

Q: And so why didn't you think it's a good idea? ...

CURRIE: Because she was becoming a little bit -- I'm trying to think of a proper word for it. I don't want too say belligerent or nasty, but a little bit pushy, I guess was the word, and demanding, I guess, is a word I would use. ...

Q: He instructed you and Marsha to continue your efforts to try to get her back in the White House.

CURRIE: Correct. ... At one point, ... Monica was going to work in Marsha's office, a detail from the Pentagon to the White House, but it didn't materialize ... apparently for a detail to work, the giving agency has to agree because they've got to pay her salary and it didn't work out and I think the Pentagon didn't want to pay for her or something to that effect. ...

I don't know if I ever told him that. I don't know if I told him., if Marsha told him or somebody, but he was aware. ...

I think he knew that ... we had redoubled our effort. ...

I don't remember him saying to retriple our effort. ...

Q: ... you did save some of the cards that Monica sent you. ...

CURRIE: Well, part of the reason I saved the cards, they came in with a group of sympathy cards and they got put in there. Had I not gone through the cards, I would not have thought I kept them. ...

I think Marsha was taking -- it was a personnel action, people had to be qualified for certain things, look at your background ... And I think Monica expected her to bypass all that and proceed. ...

I remember when he brought this stuff to me, he had this stuff, I said, ``Oh, goody, because Monica wants some Black Dog stuff.''

Q: He didn't even bring up Monica's name?

CURRIE: I don't remember Monica's name coming up at all.

Q: So as far as you know, none of this stuff was even going to go to Monica.

CURRIE: I was going to give it out to whomever I wanted. ...

I told her the president brought this stuff back ... or that the president had this stuff and he had given it to me to give out. ...

Q: Is it possible that to make her feel better, either to get her off your back for a day or two or to make her feel better, that you intimated in some way that the president might have intended these for her?

CURRIE: That's possible. Yes.

Q: Your name is mentioned in this Drudge Report. ... Did the president raise this when he called you Sunday afternoon at 1:11 p.m.?

A: Mr. Bittman, I don't remember him telling me about the Drudge Report then. ... I'm trying to remember at what phone conversation -- if it was on the phone, sir, or if it was in the office on Sunday, where he told me -- he asked me a lot of questions about Monica. And my best recollection is that he told me that on Sunday. I don't think he told me that on the phone.

Q: ... OK. Do you think the president had he been aware of the Drudge Report and now that your name is bandied about for the world to see --

A: And my age.

Q: And your age ....

A: We talked about the Drudge Report, but I don't think it was on Saturday or Sunday. I can't remember when we were officially aware of the Drudge Report because Newsweek comes out on Monday.

Q: ... So why did you page Monica?

A: I'm going to guess because I don't know if I'm aware of anything like the Drudge or he's told me that her name has come up. I may want to talk to her about it. Now she had computer capacity to pull up the Drudge Report. I tried and couldn't do it, so she may already have it. I may have asked her that, wanted to find out that.

Q: Tell us why you wanted to get in touch with Monica?

A: I thought -- I didn't -- I'm not going to guess. I assume that her name had come up during the deposition. I don't think I knew anything about the Drudge Report at this stage here. I don't think I do. ... I don't think so. I don't know when I found out about the Drudge Report.

... I'm guessing. I don't know. Somehow I tried to get the Drudge Report out of the computer, which I couldn't do, but I don't know which day I tried to do that. I was aware of it.

... I probably called her because stuff was going around. The Drudge Report perhaps. Her name came up at the testimony, the deposition, perhaps. Something regarding that. Otherwise, I don't know.

Q: Monica actually called you back. What was that about?

A: She called me back and the only thing I remember her saying was that ``I can't talk to you.'' And it was (10 o'clock) or later because I was sound asleep. And she called and said something and said, ``I can't talk to you, call me tomorrow.'' So that's all I remember on that one.

Q The president calls you too.

A: Probably. I'm only guessing. He may have called to ask had I talked to Monica. I'm guessing.

Q: ... (A)t 8:51 you have message from K. Please call ... And it appears the last two messages are efforts to really get Monica to call you. Is that right?

CURRIE: Well, she never did call me, so I wondered what's wrong. I mean, I never had to page her to call. I could depend on her to call minute to minute. Not that I thought she had dropped off the face of the earth, but there was some concern. She always calls back. And then she had called me the night before at whatever ... I knew she was alive and well. ...

At the meeting on Sunday, he told me that he had been asked about -- they asked several questions about Monica Lewinsky at the deposition. He was shocked and I was shocked ... I don't know why he wanted me to -- I can't remember why and I'll have to think about it, why he asked me to page her. ... I don't know. ...

Q: Well, what were you supposed to talk to Monica about that the president would be so interested in finding out?

CURRIE: I don't remember. I could only think that if she had been contacted, does she know anything, what's happening just -- is she OK.

Q: The president makes an outgoing call to his secretary, Mrs. Currie at 1:16 a.m. ... also the day that the Washington Post article comes out ... What do you remember about that?

CURRIE: That was early in the morning. I was sound asleep. I remember him saying that a story is going to be in the Post tomorrow, that my name will be in it ... We talked 20 minutes.

Q: So what else did you talk about?

CURRIE: Probably I'd like to go to bed ... But I remember him going on and on. I remember me saying, God, will he please shut up so I can go back to bed because I'm going to see him in a few minutes because it's 1:30 almost. I think he just went on and on about that. I got the impression that I think he just wanted to vent or whatever. He just talked ... (about) mostly the article.

Excerpts from Currie's May 14, 1998, testimony:

Q: You were aware that Monica didn't want to leave the White House?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: And you also testified that the president was aware that Monica did not want to leave the White House.

CURRIE: That is correct.

Q: Now, you testified before that on at least two occasions you talked to the president about getting Monica back into the White House.

CURRIE: ... we did have conversations about getting her back.

Q: Yes. And would it be fair to say that at least in these conversations he communicated to you that he was aware that Monica very much wanted to get back into the White House?

CURRIE: It would be fair to say that.

Q: You also testified ... that the president was aware that a reason Monica was transferred out of the White House was because she had this reputation as being ``The Stalker.''

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: Tell us about your conversation with the president as to how he knew that.

CURRIE: I don't know how he knew it. I don't know ... I told him just in general conversation that that's what they said, if he'd heard it from somebody else. ... I don't remember the initial time that it came up. ... But I don't know how far it had traveled through the West Wing.

Q: ... Did you ever talk to a Secret Service officer about that you were expecting Monica?

CURRIE: I may have done that, sir.

Q: Okay. On many occasions?

CURRIE: I don't think so.

Q: If a Secret Service officer said that you did that, that you called him in on dozens of occasions to say that you were expecting Monica Lewinsky, would that be true or false?

CURRIE: That would be false.

Q: How many times do you think you did that?

CURRIE: I would say maybe three ... I'm guessing on that because I'm not sure.

Q: You mentioned that the people you remember talking about Monica being a stalker were Tim Keating, Evelyn Lieberman, maybe Nancy Hemreich.

CURRIE: I have a vague recollection, yes, sir. ... And maybe the president.

Q: ... You've already testified he definitely talked about it also.

CURRIE: Yeah ...

Q: ... You said you considered this rumor to be untrue about Monica being a stalker?

CURRIE: ... Correct.

Q: And that the president also considered the rumor that Monica was a stalker to be untrue, is that correct?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: Who else considered it to be untrue?

CURRIE: Monica. Other than that I don't know. It wasn't in the course of our everyday conversation.

Q: How many times did Ms. Lewinsky while she was employed at the White House see the president alone?

CURRIE: That I don't know. ...

Q: You testified to approximately 10 times. What were you talking about on 10 times?

CURRIE: I was thinking 10 times the entire time from beginning till now.

Q: Was the president aware that at least some people in the West Wing thought that it was unwise for Monica Lewinsky to be in the area of the Oval Office?

CURRIE: He was aware that they had given her the term ``stalker.'' I don't know -- beyond that I don't know.

Q: OK. Well, to be fair, you were talking to the president about Monica generally, about Monica leaving the White House, he had made some efforts on two occasions to try to get her back in the White House. You even told the president you didn't think it was a good idea that she come back into the White House.

CURRIE: I did do that, yes.

Q: But yet the president still insisted that he was going to try -- that he wanted you to try and get her a job back in the White House despite your feelings that she should probably not come back; is that right?

CURRIE: Correct.

Q: OK. What about Vernon Jordan's role? You talked to Monica, you've heard some of the tapes about that. I'll play you some more tapes about that. You've seen some documents where Monica talks about what Mr. Jordan's role was. What did the president say that he knew about Mr. Jordan's role?

CURRIE: Very little.

JUROR: Did Monica ever send a package addressed to the president to the White House?

CURRIE: I don't know. I think they were always addressed to me, I think. I can't remember exactly. ...

JUROR: He opened his own packages, his own letters?

CURRIE: I feel that if someone sends something personal to the president I let him open it. ...

JUROR: You don't remember -- you received a lot of packages from Monica.

CURRIE: I received a lot of packages from Monica, yes.

JUROR: You put them in the president's ``In'' box, he takes them away.

CURRIE: Mm-hmm.

JUROR: Where do they go?

CURRIE: If they were letters, I have no idea. He took them. You can ask him.

JUROR: What about things that are larger, like this package that Monica described, what happened to it?

CURRIE: He has it.

JUROR: Do you know where he keeps it?

CURRIE: I don't. He has a briefcase. He could put it in his briefcase. ...

Q: Can you tell us other people who send gifts to the president through you?

A: Yes. ... Oh never mind. I'll give you these names and these people get subpoenas, too. Walter Kaye will sometimes -- most of the time -- a lot of times send his gifts to me.

Q: Who else?

A: Judy Collins, Barbra Streisand. I'm thinking of the gifts I've gotten the last couple weeks. Cynthia Yorken, a lot of the Cabinet secretaries will send it to me, senior staff members, staff members. ...

Q: OK. I'm asking you about Monica's mail.

A: And I made the determination not to open it.

Q: Why didn't you open hers?

A: I felt it was probably personal. ...

Q: Did you and Monica have words over the telephone, where voices were raised, for example?

A: I never raise my voice. I try very hard not to. ...

Q: Were there occasions when she was raising her voice to you?

A: There were times. ...

A: The one instance that sticks out in my mind was -- I don't know the date. But the president had another guest, and Ms. Lewinsky became aware of the guest, and got very upset.

Q: Was that the Eleanor Mondale incident?

A: Correct. ...

Q: So I take it it's possible there were times when you told Monica, ``Yes, I've told the president about something,'' or ``passed along the message,'' when you hadn't; is that a fair statement?

A: That is probably a fair statement, though, if you cross your fingers when you -- when you tell a white lie, it doesn't count. No, I tried hard not to, but it was sometimes just easier. ...

Q: Can you remind us of what your responsibilities are and what exactly you do for the president?

A: Well, excuse me. There is no job description. And I learned that it's just sort of by the seat of the pants. You do ... what's to be done. I have complained bitterly about that, but no one listens and no one cares.

What I try to do as part of my basic duties is that I, I answer his phone, try to keep track of the -- make sure he returns calls. I handle his gifts. I review the gift report and select gifts that he wants to see and try to keep an accurate logging of the gifts. ...

Q: When the president actually speaks to someone in person, it usually goes through you; is that fair to say?

A: Correct. It usually goes through me.

Q: And when the president wants to call someone, that call will usually go through you as well?

A: Also go through me. ...

Q: And then you will call the White House operation and then they'll say, ``OK. Could you hold on?'' ... Or, ``We'll call you back.'' ... And then there will be a log of that call.

A: Correct. ...

Q: Now there are no such records of calls to Monica Lewinsky. And you have already testified that there were many occasions where you contacted Ms. Lewinsky on behalf of the president. Is that right?

A: Mm-hmm.

Q: Why didn't you go through the White House operator?

   


CURRIE: I would usually call Ms. Lewinsky on my line.

Q: ... Were there any occasions when the president asked you to contact Ms. Lewinsky so he could talk to her?

CURRIE: I think, yes.

Q: Why didn't you go through White House operator on those occasions?

CURRIE: I would just call her number, myself. ... And I knew her number and I would just call her. And then he would pick up.

Q: ... Did ... the president not want a record of calls to Monica? Is that one of the reasons you didn't go through the switchboard?

CURRIE: I'm going to say no. At least initially no.

Q: What did you mean by ``initially no?'' ...

CURRIE: Well, when she started calling a lot, I said, ``Oh geez, she's a little bit rude or whatever.'' I said, ``Maybe I just won't put this -- just let it go -- I'll call directly.''

Q: You told us that ... you had your suspicions about the relationship between Monica and the president ... You were worried about it ... Would that be one of the reasons that maybe initially you weren't motivated when you made the call directly by a desire not to have it appear on the record but that after a while you might have been?

CURRIE: That perhaps could be the reason, yes. ... What I was trying to do was allow the president to have personal and private phone calls if he wanted to. And the appearance of any impropriety, I didn't want to have it. ...

Q: Mrs. Currie, were you concerned that there might be an appearance of impropriety?

CURRIE: I was concerned about an appearance of impropriety, yes.

Q: In the president's making calls to Monica Lewinsky?

CURRIE: Yes.

Q: ... Mrs. Currie, did you ever share your concern or special concern about the possible appearance of impropriety with the president or with anyone else?

CURRIE: I kept it to myself.

Q: ... I notice that you said that you would not use the word stalker or clutch in identifying her? How would you characterize her, please?

CURRIE: Initially, I would consider as an intern who had been maligned improperly. Later on, I considered her as a pain the neck, more or less.

Q: ... Because Evelyn Lieberman had worked in the past with the first lady and they knew each other very well, is it possible that Evelyn shared her fears of Monica stalking to the first lady who then facilitated her removal from the White House?

CURRIE: I am totally unaware of that.

Q: ... Let me ask you about late January this year. The Washington Post story which uncovered what we now know as the Monica Lewinsky investigation was published on Wednesday morning, Jan. 21. We served you with a subpoena I believe that evening. Do you remember that? We served you with a subpoena to appear before this grand jury.

CURRIE: ... I remember when the men came. I don't remember the exact date.

Q: ... But you went into -- you stayed at a hotel for several days away from the White House, away from your own home, and it was I believe you described it to us at the time, that you knew you had information that might be damaging to the president and you didn't want people at the White House to be around to influence you. Is that --

CURRIE: I do not remember that statement.

Q: Did you think that you had information that might possibly hurt the president?

A: It was hard to tell what I thought at that time. It was like, whew, all this came at me. Everything -- I didn't know who you people were, what you all were doing. If you were friend or foe. .... I was totally, totally confused. ... I didn't know what anybody wanted. ...

Q: Did you talk to the president after you returned to the White House after you appeared before this grand jury ...

A: The only thing I remember ... he asked, ``How are you?'' I said, ``I'm fine, sir.'' I had been instructed by someone, I'm assuming my lawyers or maybe you, that I just couldn't talk about this. And I took that at its word. ...

... Q: I'd like to talk to you about your meeting with the president on Jan. 18th at the White House. ... Do you remember that you testified that the president made a series of statements to you, which he prefaced with, ``There are several things you may want to know?''

A: The best I remember is that he said they asked him a lot of questions about Monica.

Q: And did he appear surprised at that?

A: He did appear surprised.

Q: Did he tell you why he was telling you those statements?

A: I don't remember him saying that, no.

Q: Okay. Specifically, the five statements that you previously testified about were as follows ... The first was, ``I was never alone with Monica Lewinsky, right?'' The second was, ``You were always here when she was here, right?'' The third was, ``Monica Lewinsky came on to me, and I never touched her, right?'' The fourth was, ``You could see everything, right?'' And the fifth was, ``Monica Lewinsky wanted to have sex with me, and I cannot do that.'' Is that an accurate rendition of the statements ...

A: ... I'm going to say yes, but No. 5 ... I don't remember it as part of that litany of questions.

Q: ... You do remember the fifth comment.

A: I remember that comment, yes.

Q: It was just said to you separately?

A: Correct.

Q: Now to each of these statements ... you did respond, ``Right,'' ...

A: I remember saying, ``Right,'' ...

Q: And even though you knew that each of these statements was not, in fact, true?

A: ... Well, I said, ``Right,'' to him because I thought they were correct. ... we were around, so they were never alone.

Q: So you were outside of a closed door, though?

A: I was outside a door. I don't think the door was closed ...

... Q: ... I think you gave some examples of family, close friends, that you wouldn't log in those personal calls. Is that correct?

A: That's correct. ... Sometimes, well, the staff members, I didn't log in their calls ... Sometimes if he'd get calls from people in Hollywood, I wouldn't log those in. ...

Q: Mrs. Currie, I'm going to switch gears ... to get back to the President's statement ... ``Monica came on to me, and I never touched her, right?'' ...

A: I did say ``Right'' to that.

Q: And you were not present all the time, so you really would have no idea whether he touched her or not ...

A: Based on my personal observations, I never saw him touch her.

Q: Why didn't you just tell the President, ``I have no idea?''

A: The way the question was phrased to me at the time, I answered ``Right.'' It seemed to me that was the correct answer for me to give.

Q: Have you ever had a conversation with Monica Lewinsky ... about allegations of her having an affair with the President?

A: I do not recall any conversations with Monica regarding an affair with the President.

Q: What about sexual relations of some sort with the President?

A: I never had a conversation regarding sexual relations.

Q: What ... was the purpose of you paging her ...

A: She was a friend, and her name had come up in a deposition (in the Paula Jones case on Jan. 17, 1998).

Q: But you didn't really know how it came up, did you?

A: Only that her name had come up.

Q: And were you supposed to relay any message to her to call the President directly?

A: No.

Q: Were you supposed to get back to the President and tell him whether or not you contacted Monica?

A: I don't know if it was said, but it was implied if I reached her I would let him know. ...


© Copyright 1998 The Associated Press

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