Tripp appeals for cash to help her get a job

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Linda Tripp, the former Pentagon official whose betrayal of Monica Lewinsky blew the lid off former president Bill Clinton's intern sex scandal, is appealing to Republicans to send her money and help her to get a job with President Bush.

"I now find myself with no money for rent, transportation, food, heat and utilities," she says in a mailing to so-called Republican allies.

Ms Tripp, who had revealed secret tapes she made of her conversations with Ms Lewinsky, was fired from her job on President Clinton's last day in office. She has been unemployed since then.

The letter alleges that a possible government post in Germany was sabotaged when her foes publicised it in a military newspaper. "I felt there was literally no place on earth where I could go to escape the long arm of the vicious, vindictive Clinton machine," she said. Ms Tripp, who has a school-age daughter, asks recipients to send between $20 and $1,000 (£15-£700) to a defence fund set up in her name. She also asks them to sign a form letter urging George Bush to give her a "meaningful position" in his administration.

"I never thought I would have to write and ask you for money while Bill Clinton gets $100,000 to make a speech," she writes bitterly. She adds that while friends had urged her cash in on her notoriety after the Lewinsky scandal with a book, she had not done so.

The government, which is being sued by Ms Tripp, says that every political appointee is expected to resign when a president leaves office. Ms Tripp did not do that, officials have said, and for that reason she was fired.