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Hillary's version

National | As a wife, I wanted to wring Bill's neck," Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) recalls in her memoirs.

Issue: "Troops hunt for weapons," June 14, 2003

As a wife, I wanted to wring Bill's neck," Sen. Hillary Clinton (D-N.Y.) recalls in her memoirs. She writes that the Monica Lewinsky affair made things so bad that only Buddy the dog would keep the president company during a family vacation.

Mrs. Clinton claims in Living History that Mr. Clinton denied his misdeeds in January 1998, when the Lewinsky scandal first broke. She believed him at first: that the intern only wanted help finding a job and that the press misconstrued the relationship.

Then that summer he 'fessed up-just before he was to testify before a grand jury. Mrs. Clinton says she was shocked: "I could hardly breathe," she recalls. "Gulping for air, I started crying and yelling at him, 'What do you mean? What are you saying? Why did you lie to me?' I was furious and getting more so by the second. He just stood there saying over and over again, 'I'm sorry. I'm so sorry. I was trying to protect you and Chelsea.'"

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All this is just part of this summer's most-hyped nonfiction book. Simon & Schuster signed an $8 million deal for Living History and ordered a massive first printing: 1 million copies. The 562-page tome, which is scheduled to hit store shelves this week, sells for $28 retail and will compete with the new Harry Potter entry for prime store space this summer.

The former first lady says she supported her husband's presidency-and decided she loved him and wanted to save their marriage. Mrs. Clinton says her run for Daniel Moynihan's old Senate seat helped heal their relationship. Yet she also claims that she isn't looking for the keys to the White House -at least not in 2004.

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