Hillary Clinton is planning for the possibility that Donald Trump will use the presidential debates to hammer the candidate on her husband’s White House affair with 22-year-old intern Monica Lewinsky, according to a Politico feature.
“You can’t put it beyond Trump that Monica Lewinsky will play a role in this debate,” Democratic operative Greg Craig, a veteran of several debate preps, told Politico.
The Lewinsky affair, which led to Bill Clinton’s impeachment drama in 1998, is among the darkest chapters in Hillary Clinton’s personal biography. So the candidate’s advisors want her to be prepared if Republican nominee Donald Trump brings up the scandal during the first general election debate in late September.
The mogul has already mentioned the Lewinsky scandal several times on the campaign trail, tying the affair to what he calls a culture of corruption in the Clinton family.
The Clinton campaign has not yet announced who will play the role of Trump during debate prep.
Lewinsky herself, for her part, has laid low throughout the current presidential campaign. In a 2014 essay she wrote for Vanity Fair magazine, Lewinsky said that her affair with Bill Clinton was consensual.
“Any ‘abuse’ came in the aftermath, when I was made a scapegoat in order to protect his powerful position,” Lewinsky wrote. “The Clinton administration, the special prosecutor’s minions, the political operatives on both sides of the aisle, and the media were able to brand me. And that brand stuck, in part because it was imbued with power.”
Josh Nathan-Kazis is a staff writer for the Forward. He covers charities and politics, and writes investigations and longform.