Thanks to Impeachment: American Crime Story, many people are learning new details about the scandal between Monica Lewinsky and Bill Clinton that dominated the late 1990s. Although the series is an important reminder about how history has treated the women at the story's center, Impeachment has also shed light on forgotten details, like the time Monica went on a date with a young Jake Tapper.
Did Jake Tapper date Monica Lewinsky?
The latest episode of Impeachment features a scene in which Monica goes on a date with Jake, and Jake and Monica also recently reunited on The Lead, Jake's show on CNN. As it turns out, the date depicted on Impeachment actually happened, and Jake addressed it when the two spoke on his show.
"First of all, Monica: Yes, I have to disclose — full disclosure — in tonight's episode, our G-rated date from December 1997 ... is portrayed," he said.
Monica, who serves as a producer on Impeachment, offered a chuckle in response. She further clarified that the two of them only went on one date, and Jake added that the actor portraying him on the show was way better looking than he was then or is now. Monica disagreed, and the two proceeded with their interview.
Jake wrote about his date with Monica after the Clinton scandal broke.
When Jake and Monica went on their date, she was not yet at the center of a scandal that would envelop the entire presidency. After news of her affair with the president broke, Jake wrote about their date for the Washington City Paper, explaining that they had first met while he was attending a going-away party for a friend in downtown Washington, D.C.
The two exchanged numbers, and agreed to meet for a date at a local Tex-Mex restaurant.
"Right off, Monica was different from the standard D.C. date: not a salad-picker, she joined me in appetizers and an actual entree of her own," Jake wrote at the time. "She had a beer or two, while I drank bourbon. She even offered to pay for her share, a fairly rare offer I rejected but appreciated."
"We talked about some of her past relationships, though the president's name did not come up," he continued. "It was a first date, one I wasn't sure would be followed by a second, and how was I to know that the woman on the other side of the table would set the presidency into seismic rumblings?"
Jake explained that what could have been a second date "got lost" on his calendar, and the two never ran into each other again.
"I don't expect to see Monica again," he added. "To be honest, I'm not sure I would have seen her even if she hadn't ended up buried beneath the headlines."
Jake's article wound up propelling him into a career in journalism, while Monica's tumultuous 1998 defined the course of the rest of her life. Their date may not have led to a relationship, but for Jake, at least, it was a pivotal moment.