Feb. 21, 2001 -- Linda Tripp is still mad over losing her job at the Pentagon, and today she told ABCNEWS' Good Morning America unfair perceptions of her are preventing her from finding new work.
Tripp, 51, is currently unemployed and she's trying to figure out what she'll do next. Tripp was fired by the Pentagon Jan. 19 after she refused to resign with the other political appointees.
Now the woman who exposed the Monica Lewinsky scandal by recording her conversations with the former White House intern says her reputation is forever tainted and she can't get a job because of it.
In January, Tripp was one of three candidates up for a position as deputy director of the prestigious U.S.-sponsored George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies in Germany. The educational center was established in 1994 to teach democracy to military officers from former Warsaw Pact nations.
However, Tripp withdrew from consideration after she arrived at the job interview only to have the interviewer show her the headline of the Stars and Stripes military newspaper. The front page featured a story about her job search. "When I arrived, they asked me to autograph the newspaper," said Tripp on Good Morning America. "I knew then that my government career was over."
Tripp says the public should not see her as someone who betrayed a friend's trust. Instead, she prefers to be seen as someone who has told the truth.
"I should be the poster child for a whistle-blower," said Tripp. "And I think more and more people are going to see exactly what I was talking about. The eight years of corruption. The country hasn't met the Clintons yet, and when they do, I believe they'll understand whistle blowing as opposed to this ridiculous side story of friendship and betrayal."
Two Suits Pending
Tripp says that even after all she's been through, she still intends on speaking out when it comes to the Clintons, and she says suggestions they may have removed items that were meant to stay in the White House don't surprise her at all. Tripp says the Clintons began taking gifts that were intended for the White House for themselves as soon as they arrived in Washington. She said the standard procedure for filling out gift forms was not followed most of the time.
While the Clintons have said they believe all items removed from the White House were their personal property, the former president and Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton have sent $28,000 worth of household goods back to Washington after questions arose over whether the items were intended as personal gifts or donations to the White House.
Tripp currently has two lawsuits pending over the release of her "personal information" both during and after the Lewinsky investigation. The more recent of the two was filed Jan. 25. In it she accuses the Pentagon of scuttling a new job prospect by leaking her personal information to Stars and Stripes.
In the other suit, filed in 1999, Tripp accuses the White House, the Pentagon and two Pentagon officials of violating the Privacy Act by releasing personal information about her during the Lewinsky investigation.