Hillary Clinton is scooping up millions in speaking fees while positioning herself for a White House run. Her husband Bill, the 42nd president of the United States, is a revered elder statesman and international do-gooder (while also scooping up millions in speaking fees).
And Monica Lewinsky, now 41, is once again the object of prurient curiosity. She’s the star of the so-called “Monica Files,” a collection of previously unpublished documents that include a fulsomely flattering letter from ABC News doyenne Barbara Walters, eager to grill the former White House intern on her television network, and some crassly humorous scripts for TV commercials advertising a coffee creamer.
“She could have done some serious damage to Bill Clinton, and yet she showed self-restraint and self-dignity,” says Washington journalist Daniel Halper, author of Clinton, Inc.: The Audacious Rebuilding of a Political Machine. “She was so in love with him, in a way, but she was also a naïve young person. It was an unfair matchup. On the one hand you have the Clintons and their political machine; on the other hand, you have Monica, this lowly White House intern.”
Halper, online editor of the right-leaning Weekly Standard, exclusively provided portions of his “Monica Files” to The Daily Beast, and also shared his revealing interview with Andy Bleiler, Lewinsky’s high school drama teacher who was later exposed in the midst of the scandal—by Clinton operatives, Halper contends—as having engaged in an ill-fated extramarital affair with his former student.
It was allegedly Bleiler and his wronged wife who were the source of the infamous quote attributed to Monica in every media outlet on the planet: ““I’m going to the White House to get my presidential kneepads.” Apparently the quote—portraying Monica as a delusional sexual predator who preyed on married men—was completely made up, Bleiler suggested to Halper.
The “presidential kneepads” phrase was first uttered on the Today show by a mysterious attorney named Terry Giles, who showed up unbidden on Bleiler’s doorstep in Portland, Ore, offered to speak to the media on behalf of the teacher and his then-wife, and never asked for payment. “I don’t even know where that term came from,” Bleiler told Halper in their previously unpublished interview. “I don’t know how it got where it got. That was not me.”
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