Linda Tripp spoke publicly at the National Whistleblower Day event on Capitol Hill on Monday. It was her first public appearance in nearly two decades.
Tripp told a small crowd that she had only one regret about her role in exposing information about the sex scandal involving then-President Bill Clinton and White House intern Monica Lewinsky.
"Not having the guts to do it sooner," she said.
The former White House aide, famous for secretly recording conversations with Lewinsky about her affair with Clinton, was the keynote speaker at Monday's event attended by dozens of whistleblowers. The scandal led to Clinton's impeachment.
What did she say?
Tripp explained that her role was always about "right or wrong" and never about the "left or right."
It was about "exposing purgery and obstruction of justice. It just simply was never about politics," she said.
The 68-year-old said she had witnessed a “culture of corruption that was infecting the office of the presidency.” Tripp, who had been a career civil servant, added that "justice comes at a price."
She said she was "compelled to act" and would do it again despite the hardship it placed on her and her family.
Tripp told attendees that she knows what “a real high-tech lynching feels like.”
"Enhanced protections" for whistleblowers are long overdue, she said, adding that they would never truly be safe until individuals —not institutions — are prosecuted for retaliating against those who expose corruption.
It's because of the whistleblowers that "we have greater accountability, justice and a more safe and honest world," she said.
Tripp retreated from the public eye because it was “virtually impossible to get your good name back.”
Since 2000, the grandmother of seven has lived quietly with her husband in Middleburg, Virginia.