Good evening. This afternoon in this room, from this chair, I lied my ass off before
the Office of Independent Counsel and the grand jury. I answered their questions
truthfully but NOT completely, like I promised I would, including questions about my
private life, questions no American citizen who has done what I have would ever want to
answer. Still, I must take complete responsibility for all my actions, both public and
private that I cannot pawn off on the Independent Counsel. And that is why I am speaking
to you tonight in this controlled, no interviews, environment.
As you know, in a deposition in January, I was asked questions about my relationship
with Monica Lewinsky. While my answers were legally accurate if you believe that oral sex
being performed on you does not constitute "sexual relations", I did not
volunteer information and even though I said, more than once, that I wanted to be as
truthful as I can be, I wasn't. Indeed, I did have a great relationship with Miss Lewinsky
that was not appropriate. In fact, it was wrong if you think that getting late night oral
sex is wrong. Men, are you with me here? Having my wife find out constituted a critical
lapse in judgment and a personal failure on my part for which I am solely and completely
But I told the grand jury today and I say to you now that at no time did I literally
ask anyone to lie, to hide or destroy evidence or to take any other unlawful action. It
was all done in a round about way. C'mon, I used to teach law school at the University of
Arkansas...give me some credit. I know that my stern, finger wagging public comments and
my silence about this matter gave a false impression and they were intended too. I misled
all you people, including even my annoying wife. I deeply regret that Monica felt the need
to break our code of silence and spoke up. She never could keep anything in her
I can only tell you I was motivated by many factors. First, by a desire to protect
myself from the embarrassment of my own conduct of continuous lies dating back twenty
years. I was also very concerned about protecting my so-called family. The fact that these
questions were being asked in what I consider a politically inspired lawsuit, which has
since been groundlessly dismissed, was a consideration, too. For these reasons, I should
be allowed to lie, even under the sworn auspices of "so help me God."
In addition, I had real and serious concerns about an independent counsel investigation
that I appointed that began with private, shady business dealings 20 years ago, dealings,
I might add, about which an independent federal agency in my back pocket found no evidence
of any wrongdoing by me or my wife over two years ago. Since I was able to shield the
truth and "extinguish" my enemies involved in all the cover-ups and lies, the
independent counsel investigation felt it necessary to move on to my staff and friends,
then into my private life. And now the investigation I appointed itself is under
investigation for getting too close to the truth.
I know it's my fault but this has gone on too long, cost too much and hurt too many
innocent people. But you have to remember, MY job was at stake! Since my unending legion
of blind followers will hit the streets right after this speech and mold public opinion in
my favor, this matter is now between me, the two people I love most -- my wife and our
daughter -- and our God. I must put it right, and I am prepared to do whatever it takes to
do so as long as my family will understand that I might do it again. Nothing is more
important to me personally than staying in this office. But it is private, and I intend to
reclaim my family life for my family, Monica's family, Gennifer's family Kathleen Willey's
family, etc. It's nobody's business but ours. Even presidents have private lives and that
includes being able to cheat on and lie to their own wives. It is time for me and my
henchmen to stop the pursuit of personal destruction and the prying into private lives and
get on with our national life.
Because of my overt obfuscation, our country has been distracted by this matter
for too long, and I take my responsibility for my part in all of this. That and paying
back the $40 million spent by Kenneth Starr is all I can do. Now it is time -- in fact, it
is past time -- to move on. We have important work to do -- real opportunities to seize,
real problems to solve, real security matters to face.
And so tonight, I ask you to turn away from the spectacle of the past seven months that
I alone have caased, to repair the fabric of our national discourse, and to return our
attention to all the challenges and all the promise of the next American century.
Remember,I am working on my legacy here!
I want you to listen to me, I am going to say this again.
I DID HAVE SEXUAL RELATIONS WITH THAT WOMAN, MISS LEWINSKY, and I enjoyed it.
Thank you forwatching and don't ever ask me anymore questions about this.