During 1995 government shutdown, Monica Lewinsky was allowed to spend some quality time with President Bill Clinton as the non-essential White House staff were sent home and unpaid interns were taking on extra responsibility.
In 1995, the Starr Report describes the events of November 15: “During the shutdown, Ms. Lewinsky worked in Chief of Staff Panetta’s West Wing office, where she answered phones and ran errands. The President came to Mr. Panetta’s office frequently because of the shutdown, and he sometimes talked with Ms. Lewinsky. She characterized these encounters as “continued flirtation.” According to Ms. Lewinsky, a Senior Adviser to the Chief of Staff, Barry Toiv, remarked to her that she was getting a great deal of “face time” with the President.
Ms. Lewinsky testified that Wednesday, November 15, 1995 – the second day of the government shutdown – marked the beginning of her s**ual relationship with the President…”
The newspaper also wrote: “According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President made eye contact when he came to the West Wing to see Mr. Panetta and Deputy Chief of Staff Harold Ickes, then again later at an informal birthday party for Jennifer Palmieri, Special Assistant to the Chief of Staff. At one point, Ms. Lewinsky and the President talked alone in the Chief of Staff’s office. In the course of flirting with him, she raised her jacket in the back and showed him the straps of her thong underwear, which extended above her pants.
“En route to the restroom at about 8 p.m., she passed George Stephanopoulos’s office. The President was inside alone, and he beckoned her to enter. She told him that she had a crush on him. He laughed, then asked if she would like to see his private office. Through a connecting door in Mr. Stephanopoulos’s office, they went through the President’s private dining room toward the study off the Oval Office. Ms. Lewinsky testified: <<We talked briefly and sort of acknowledged that there had been a chemistry that was there before and that we were both attracted to each other and then he asked me if he could kiss me>>. Ms. Lewinsky said yes. In the windowless hallway adjacent to the study, they kissed. Before returning to her desk, Ms. Lewinsky wrote down her name and telephone number for the President.
“At about 10 p.m., in Ms. Lewinsky’s recollection, she was alone in the Chief of Staff’s office and the President approached. He invited her to rendezvous again in Mr. Stephanopoulos’s office in a few minutes, and she agreed. (Asked if she knew why the President wanted to meet with her, Ms. Lewinsky testified: <<I had an idea.>>) They met in Mr. Stephanopoulos’s office and went again to the area of the private study. This time the lights in the study were off.
“According to Ms. Lewinsky, she and the President kissed.”
Back in October 2013, this won’t happen again, as according to The Hill, White House interns will no longer be allowed to work during government shutdowns.