Foster’s deep connections to the Whitewater scandal, the Travelgate scandal, the Filegate scandal and this spying scandal have never been examined by any of the official probes into his death.
Transcript: Linda Tripp on ‘Larry King Live’ (1999)
February 16, 1999
KING: Tell me about Vince.
TRIPP: He was a great man; he was a decent man. I remember thinking, because I had gotten to know him when I had worked in the immediate office of the president, that he seemed so ill-placed in this administration.
KING: He was unhappy?
TRIPP: No. Not at all. He just — his kindness and he decency and his professionalism made him seem to me at any rate far more suited to what I had come to know in the Bush White House.
KING: Did you know he was troubled?
TRIPP: I don’t know that I knew he was troubled.
KING: Were you shocked when he killed himself?
TRIPP: I was shocked that he was dead, yes.
KING: Are you saying you are not sure he killed himself?
TRIPP: You know, I don’t know. To this day, I don’t know. There are — there are…
KING: Weren’t you the last one to see him?
TRIPP: I may have been the last person known to have spoken to him. I don’t know that I was the last person to see him.
KING: Well, he left after lunch, right?
KING: And said what? I’m be coming back?TRIPP: His words were I’ll be back
KING: Because we were in the White House that night…
KING: … doing Clinton.
KING: When you found out, did you know his wife well enough to go there? Did you call her?
TRIPP: Oh, I knew Lisa. But no, not well, not intimately. This was a time of such sorrow, such tragedy. We were all reeling.
It — it began at that time, though, to feel as though things were changing in the White House.
KING: What did you notice first?
TRIPP: It wasn’t his suicide or whether — I have no idea what happened. I received a call from the president’s secretary the night they found his body, at midnight, telling me what had happened. And immediately, it was called a suicide. And I remember thinking, well, how do you know that, how…
KING: Betty Currie said that?
TRIPP: This was actually a woman by the name of Deb Coil (ph), who is no longer at the White House.
KING: And she told you it was a suicide at midnight. Did you say right away then?
TRIPP: Well, I said: Well, how do you know? I mean, have they investigated? And in any event, I don’t want to sound like a conspiratist; that is not why I’m here tonight. And it was the aftermath of that suicide that started to make me…
TRIPP: Well, just question things.
TRIPP: Oh, way pre-Monica. And this individual in media with whom I had worked in the Bush White House kept saying you have to write a book. And I kept saying, no, no until Gary Aldrich, the FBI agent in the White House did write his book and he was vilified, destroyed, decimated by the White House. And I watched that and said, “He’s telling the truth.” He’s telling the truth. They’re killing him.
CALLER: Considering all the suspicious stuff surrounding the Clinton White House and the threats made personally against you, what are you doing to protect your safety?
TRIPP: You know, I — I — there came a point in time where I felt that the biggest safety net for me was to become visible. I felt my greatest danger was in December, and I feel today that, while I don’t feel completely at ease, I feel I’m less likely to be anyone’s target. I’m going to be afraid to leave right at the moment.
KING: You have a fear of your life.
TRIPP: Oh, absolutely.
KING: Based on what? I mean…
TRIPP: I know these people are — no, I’m not paranoid, I’m not delusional. I’m just normal, believe it or not, and I have reason to believe that I should at least be somewhat concerned.
KING: These people meaning?
TRIPP: This administration, the people who surround themselves or who are in president’s inner circle are not…
KING: Would do you physical harm?
TRIPP: They are not honorable people.
KING: But there, you know, there are — there are — not honorable people and not honorable people. There are people who skim people out of money and there are people who lie, but they don’t necessarily harm people.
TRIPP: You know, I don’t think that the president or one of his henchmen is going to be behind a bush with an Uzi. Do I think it’s possible that I may, down the road, walk in front of a Mack truck and have an unfortunate accident, I think it’s possible.
Transcript: Linda Tripp on ‘Larry King Live’ (2001)
February 9, 2001
KING: Do you realize no dress, no story? Is that true? No dress, this could be denied today.
L. TRIPP: Right. As far as any other thing, though, all of their scandals, you know, that I’ve been accused of (UNINTELLIGIBLE) and in attendance at, if there’s never a proof, they’re allowed to continue to go on until they get to the point where they can say, it’s all the vast right-wing conspiracy or it’s all our enemies who have conspired to undermine our presidency since before it began.
The reality is no, that’s not true. The reality is I believe there has never been in the history of our White House such an unscrupulous pair as what I witnessed in this White House. And it saddens me to say that, because it besmirched the presidency.
KING: They were unable to find anything on the Travel Office indictable. Do you think…
L. TRIPP: No, that’s not exactly true. They — you’re right, they chose not indict. But I believe if you read it, you will see that they essentially say that Mrs. Clinton masterminded the Travelgate massacre, and it was a massacre.
KING: Let me name same people and your thoughts back on them. Vince Foster?
L. TRIPP: Oh, a wonderful man.
KING: Did you know he was depressed?
L. TRIPP: Let me relay a little story to set this up. Vince Foster, when I first met him — and over time I used to say to him that he was far more representative of a Bush White House appointee than a Clinton. He was dignified, decent, caring, smart. When Waco happened, that’s when I first knew that Vince was falling apart.
KING: How so?
L. TRIPP: I was with him — well, we had CNN all the time, not to plug, but it was always on in the White House. And a special bulletin came on showing the atrocity at Waco and the children. And his face, his whole body slumped, and his face turned white, and he was absolutely crushed knowing, knowing the part he had played. And he had played the part at Mrs. Clinton’s direction.
Her reaction, on the other hand, was heartless. And I can only tell you what I saw.
KING: How do you know they were involved in this? I thought this was a Reno action of which Janet played and felt very sorry.
L. TRIPP: This was…
L. TRIPP: Foster, Mrs. Clinton, Webb Hubbell, Janet Reno.
KING: And you liked him more for that? L. TRIPP: I always liked and respected. Look — it’s like anything else. Respect is not ever assigned; it’s earned. He earned my respect from day one. And…
KING: You saw him right before he left, right?
L. TRIPP: I was the last one to see him, so they claim.
KING: What did he say, I’m going to get a…
L. TRIPP: No, I had already given him his lunch. He said, I’ll be back.
KING: We’ll be right back with Linda Tripp. Don’t go away.