Clinton admits Lewinsky relationship

THE White House has admitted for the first time that President Clinton did have a relationship with Monica Lewinsky.

Mike McCurry, the President's chief spokesman, said that while the relationship may have been "simple" and "innocent" it had probably been "very complicated".

Mr McCurry added that sooner or later Bill Clinton would have to provide a full account of what exactly had transpired between himself and the former White House intern, who allegedly told a friend on tape that she had an affair with the President when she was 21.

The President has denied having had an "improper" or "sexual" relationship with Ms Lewinsky but, in an interview published in yesterday's Chicago Tribune, Mr McCurry acknowledged that something had gone on.

"Maybe there'll be a simple, innocent explanation," he said. "I don't think so, because I think we would have offered that up already."

Mr McCurry, who had previously insisted that he was in the dark as to the details of the Lewinsky affair, said the President had been hesitant to reveal more for fear of providing his enemies with the opportunity to twist the truth.

"We are not in a position to provide a full and complete account, so the art is to make sure everything we say is truthful and credible," said Mr McCurry, offering a glimpse of the calculated manipulation of public perceptions of which he has been a part.

As for his own, personal, apparently less varnished view of what the truth might be, Mr McCurry said: "I think it's going to end up being a very complicated story, as most human relationships are. And I don't think it's going to be entirely easy to explain, maybe."

But he did say that allegations that Mr Clinton had sex in the Oval Office where "pretty implausible" because there was "so much traffic" in and out of the President's office.

On the face of it, Mr McCurry's statements smack of treachery. His boss, backed up forcibly by Hillary Clinton, has flatly denied having had an affair with Ms Lewinsky.

But now Mr McCurry, the President's hitherto loyal lieutenant, is openly venturing the view that the relationship may not have been "innocent".

He is also suggesting it may not be "entirely easy to explain" and, perhaps most damning of all instead of squarely endorsing the President's denial of a sexual relationship, Mr McCurry is prepared to go no further than to say that the notion of illicit sex in the Oval Office is "pretty implausible" - a remark open to the interpretation that sex in some other White House chamber may have been less implausible.

It could be that Mr McCurry, who wanted to leave the President's employment a year ago but succumbed to pressure to stay on, is heartily fed up of enduring the daily indignity of responding to reporters' questions with evasions and half-truths.

He may have seen the interview with the Chicago Tribune as an opportunity pre-emptively to distance himself from any unseemliness that might emerge once the truth about the Lewinsky affair is finally known. An alternative explanation might be that Mr McCurry's remarks were artfully constructed in consultation with the President and his advisers, in which case the suggestion would seem to be that Mr Clinton is seeking to prepare the public for revelations that in some way deviate from the forceful denials he has issued so far.

Whatever Mr McCurry's agenda may be, it does appear to anticipate the likelihood that Ms Lewinsky will be obliged to give her version of events before the Grand Jury soon, possibly this week.

According to all the indications so far, Ms Lewinsky will sooner or later reveal that the relationship with the President was far from innocent, and very complicated indeed.

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Sport
Wembley Stadium
footballNews follows deal with Germany
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Voices
voicesApple continually kill off smaller app developers, and that's no good for anyone
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

Life and Style
life

News
ScienceGallery: Otherwise known as 'the best damn photos of space you'll see till 2015'
Life and Style
fashion

Bomber jacket worn by Mary Berry sells out within an hour

Sport
Andros Townsend is challenged by Vladimir Volkov
football
Arts and Entertainment
Rapper Jay Z performs on the Pyramid Stage at Glastonbury in 2008
musicSinger sued over use of the single-syllable sample in 'Run This Town'
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

English Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: English Teachers with QTS nee...

Maths Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: QTS Maths Teachers needed for...

Science Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Science Teachers needed for s...

Geography Teacher

£110 - £130 per day: Randstad Education Reading: Geography Teachers needed tha...

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week