Interview With Linda Tripp Offends Former Clinton Staffer
Susan Jones
Morning Editor

( - Linda Tripp is back in the news, and one former member of the Clinton administration is not happy about it.

Larry King's hour-long interview of Tripp on CNN Monday night so offended the former Clinton staffer that he issued a press release stating his objections.

King's interview was a "puff piece" that "ignored the unnecessary torture she inflicted on America," said Bob Weiner, who was among the Clinton White House staffers subpoenaed by Ken Starr to appear before the Monica Lewinsky grand jury.

Weiner, who was director of public affairs for the White House Office of National Drug Policy from 1995-2001, said he wishes King had asked Tripp why it was so important to challenge Clinton's private sexual actions with a totally consenting person; and Weiner also wondered how Tripp justified "the legal torture you put so many innocent people through," including Weiner and his wife, who were questioned under oath.

"Many millions of Americans -- whether rightly or not -- have done the same thing since time immemorial," Weiner noted.

Weiner also complained that Larry King "spent 50 minutes promoting Tripp's foundation, her admirable strength against breast cancer, her 'lovely' daughter...(and that daughter's unchallenged statement that Monica was 'a little flaky')..."

During the interview on CNN's Larry King Live, Tripp said several times that she was not part of a right-wing conspiracy, and she claimed former First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton knew about her husband's affair with Monica Lewinsky.

"Tripp violated the meaning of privacy and friendship," Weiner said in his press release. "The American people detested what she did. The more she and Starr victimized Clinton, the higher his popularity grew..."

Weiner said there's no way that history will view Tripp in a positive light, as Tripp predicted.

" No one wants our civil servants -- like Linda Tripp and Ken Starr -- to be society's Peeping Toms watching our sex lives and deflecting our national agenda from the truly great work that needs to be done."

Tripp, who now lives in Middleburg, Va., announced that she plans to marry her childhood sweetheart in the spring. She recently settled a lawsuit with the Pentagon that will net her almost $600,000, but she called it a "moral victory," not a financial windfall.

"It was essentially a restitution," Tripp told King, given her high legal bills.

Tripp sued the Pentagon after an official released confidential personal information about her to a magazine, in violation of the Privacy Act.