Clinton aides feared Lewinsky was part of a setup, documentary claims

 

Bill Clinton's political allies were so stunned by the revelation of his affair with the White House intern Monica Lewinsky that they believed the president must have been set up, according to a new documentary about the infamous sex scandal.

If Americans now hanker for the Clinton years, after the War on Terror under George W Bush and the unemployment crisis under Barack Obama, they are about to get a stark reminder of the personal peccadillos that led to only the second presidential impeachment in US history.

And for Hillary Clinton, now Secretary of State, the documentary promises to recount years of heartache as her husband's indiscretions threatened to engulf his career.

Paul Fray, Mr Clinton's campaign manager during his unsuccessful run for Congress in 1974, said: "You've got to understand, at one time, there was at least 25 women per day coming through there trying to find him."

The two-part documentary, Clinton, has been made by Public Service Broadcasting in the US and will air simultaneously in the UK next Monday. Neither the Clintons nor Ms Lewinsky took part.

President Clinton initially denied an affair with the 23-year-old intern in 1996, and his obfuscations under oath led to his impeachment.

Robert Reich, who served as Mr Clinton's Labour secretary, says in the documentary: "I've asked myself a number of times why he put himself and his presidency in jeopardy in such a careless way. I was convinced that Bill Clinton had been set up. He's got all these enemies who were out to get him."

As much as 40 minutes of the programme is dedicated to his infidelities, from the earliest dalliances that prompted him to delay a run for Arkansas governor while he dealt with a "list" of women who could derail his career.

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