On January 26, President Clinton, standing with his wife Hillary, spoke at a White House press conference, and issued a forceful denial, which contained what would later become one of the best-known sound bites of all time:
Now, I have to go back to work on my State of the Union speech. And I worked on it until pretty late last night. But I want to say one thing to the American people. I want you to listen to me. I’m going to say this again: I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky. I never told anybody to lie, not a single time; never. These allegations are false. And I need to go back to work for the American people. Thank you!
However, President Clinton admitted in taped grand jury testimony on August 17, 1998, that he had had an “improper physical relationship” with Lewinsky. That evening he gave a nationally televised statement admitting his relationship with Lewinsky which was “not appropriate”.
Historian Taylor Branch implied that Bill Clinton had requested changes to Branch’s 2009 Clinton biography, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History with the President, regarding Clinton’s revelation that the Lewinsky affair began because “I cracked; I just cracked.” Branch wrote that President Clinton had felt “beleaguered, unappreciated, and open to a liaison with Lewinsky” following “the Democrats’ loss of Congress in the November 1994 elections, the death of his mother the previous January, and the ongoing Whitewater investigation”.
Publicly, Clinton had previously blamed the affair on “a terrible moral error” and on anger at Republicans, stating, “if people have unresolved anger, it makes them do non-rational, destructive things.”
Now WE know em