Linda Tripp’s tapes of her conversations with her former friend Monica Lewinsky about Lewinsky’s relationship with President Bill Clinton helped set the stage for the president’s impeachment.
It also propelled the young intern, then 22, into a life of public infamy that has followed her into the present day. ABC will resurrect the Clinton/Lewinsky scandal in a two-documentary called Truth and Lies that airs on January 10, 2019. According to the network, it will feature some of the audio conversations between Tripp and Lewinsky, who didn’t know she was being recorded when she confided in Tripp about her relationship with Bill Clinton.
Daily Mail is now reporting that Linda Tripp died on April 8, 2020 after finding out she had pancreatic cancer.
The documentary “takes an up-close look at hours of surreptitiously recorded conversations between White House intern Monica Lewinsky and her confidante, Linda Tripp; how the saga that ensued took an emotional toll on the desperate, young intern; and the lengths her colleague would go to uncover an American president’s deception,” wrote ABC News.
At the time of the Clinton scandal, Linda Tripp was a civil servant working for the Pentagon. Where is Linda Tripp now? What has she done with her life since her actions almost helped bring down a president? She’s married, runs a German Christmas store, and has periodically spoken out harshly about the Clintons and the treatment she received.
Here’s what you need to know:
Tripp Claims She Was a Victim of a ‘High-Tech Lynching’
Linda Tripp hasn’t been very high-profile over the years. In fact, when she spoke out on the saga in July 2018, it was, according to The Washington Post, “her first public address in nearly two decades.” She was speaking at an event for National Whistleblower Day on Capitol Hill.
She expressed only having a single regret, according to The Post: “Not having the guts to do it sooner.”
“It was always about right and wrong, never left and right,” Tripp said in the talk, The Post reported. “It was about exposing perjury and the obstruction of justice. It was never about politics.” She added that she now knew what “a real high-tech lynching feels like.”
According to The Post, Tripp lamented that it was “virtually impossible to get your good name back” and said “My duty, my oath, was to the office of presidency, not to the sitting incumbent, and I was true to that oath.”
Linda Tripp Has Lashed Out at Hillary Clinton Over the Years
Although she hasn’t given many public speeches, Linda Tripp has given a few selective interviews in which she lashed out at Hillary Clinton.
In 2015, with Hillary Clinton seeking the White House herself, Tripp, then 65, gave an interview to Daily Mail in which she trashed Hillary. In that interview, Tripp described Hillary as the “ruler” of the White House when Bill Clinton was president and called her “ruthless.”
“In her mind she would be part of a coronation instead of an election,” Tripp added, claiming of Hillary’s hoped-for ascent to the presidency: “This has been planned for so many years….So this is a runaway train. Nobody is going to stop it.”
She added, “I think the most compelling thing about Hillary is that she will stop at nothing to achieve her end and that she views the public as plebeians easily seduced into believing her point of view.”
As for Hillary and Monica, Tripp contended, “Hillary was not only aware of Monica Lewinsky she ensured that Monica was removed from the White House and in the end went from being a lack luster First Lady with unimpressive approval numbers to wronged wife. Literally within the blink of an eye she propelled herself to First Victim status. This turned the corner for Hillary.”
She has spoken out positively about Barack Obama in the past, though. According to Time Magazine, she once said, “I believe President-elect Obama possesses an instantly recognizable purity of soul that, coupled with his brilliance, and, of course, his eloquence, brought quite unimaginable and long-awaited magic to the country, transforming red and blue states, quite literally, into ‘The Color Purple.'”
Tripp Is Married, Runs a German Store & Lived on a $3 Million Farm
Tripp is married to a man named Dieter Rausch, and they were trying to sell their $3 million farm when she gave the 2015 Daily Mail interview. According to Daily Mail, Tripp and her husband ran a store called “The Christmas Sleigh, in Middleburg” and she is a grandmother of seven.
According to its website, The Christmas Sleigh sells German Christmas ornaments. The website labels the store “America’s best 100% authentic German shop” and says it’s been open for 17 years. The store also sells handmade Austrian clothing.
“The Christmas Sleigh carries a wide variety of high quality and hand made European items. Many of our products are not as yet on our web site and we add to our inventory virtually every day. Our frequent buying trips to Germany, Austria and Italy during the year help ensure that we can usually locate whatever it is you are looking for as long as it is still being made!” the website reads.
In 2014, Boston.Com reported that Tripp was “in Middleburg, Virginia selling authentic German trinkets out of a Christmas shop she runs with her German husband” but noted that some Yelp reviewers were leaving negative comments. The reviews on Yelp are currently mixed. “I love this store! How could you not?! Everything is beautifully displayed. I wish more stores were as tasteful and magical,” read one.
But another reviewer wrote, “WAY overpriced for stuff available everywhere & online. I found much of it tacky, too.”
An article in Inside Nova described Tripp’s husband Dieter Rausch as “quietly softspoken” and described him as “typically dressed in traditional German attire of lederhosen and a felt cap.” The 2015 article said that Rausch had lived in Virginia for 14 years at that point and married Tripp in 2003 after knowing her for years.
According to Time Magazine, Tripp did receive some money as a result of the scandal. “In 2003, she settled with the Department of Defense for $595,000 in a civil suit in which Tripp charged the Pentagon had violated her privacy by releasing personal information to the media,” the magazine reported. Biography.com reported that Tripp also received “a retroactive promotion, retroactive pay at the highest salary for 1998, 1999, and 2000, and a pension.”
Time magazine reports that Dieter Rausch was “a childhood boyfriend who had been Tripp’s first kiss at age 14” and says she is a breast cancer survivor. According to Biography.com, Tripp’s mother, Inge, was German. She was previously married to a military man named Bruce Tripp, with whom she had children Ryan and Allison.