THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
O'REILLY: ... segment tonight, a big story. Did the Russians compromise White House security and know about Monica Lewinsky long before the American public did? That's the assertion in an article written by UPI Terrorism Correspondent Richard Sale, who joins us now.
You know, this, when I read your story here, Richard, this is a hell of a story. This is a big story.
RICHARD SALE, UPI TERRORISM CORRESPONDENT: An interesting story.
O'REILLY: If the Russians knew that Mr. Clinton was fooling around the Monica Lewinsky, they could have done all kinds of things to blackmail him. Let's take it step by step. How did they get the information?
SALE: That isn't really clear. Everybody -- the intelligence officials that I talked to, the question they're asking themselves over and over is how did the Russians come to know this? Did they intercept it through the embassy? Did they make interceptions between Air Force One and Lewinsky's phone? Nobody's quite sure how it happened.
O'REILLY: So if you had to do some deductive reasoning, you would say maybe they tapped the phone conversations or picked up a phone conversation between Lewinsky...
SALE: They have the -- they would have the capability of doing that. Probably withheld, possibly withheld from Hanssen.
O'REILLY: The FBI?
SALE: Very possibly they may have placed a bug in Lewinsky's apartment.
SALE: Oh absolutely. That's a likelihood.
O'REILLY: Because I mean from the reports that we got, Clinton did his phone sex deal with Lewinsky on a secure Washington line.
SALE: Seventy hours, yeah.
O'REILLY: Seventy hours?
O'REILLY: Oh my -- 70 hours?
SALE: Yeah. I can't even imagine wanting to think about sex for 70 hours. But that's 70 hours, yes.
O'REILLY: Of phone sex or phone conversation with...
SALE: Yes. Yes.
O'REILLY: My God. If what you're saying is true, the FBI then knew about this, if Hanssen, the spy who was arrested, knew about it and passed it along to the Russians, the FBI knew what was going on here.
SALE: It's very probable that the reason I would suspect that Hanson played a role is that most major intelligence failures are due to breaches in communications' security. So that is one of the things that his Russian handlers would be tasking him (unintelligible)...
O'REILLY: All right, but in order for Hanssen to know a lot of people in the FBI would have to know. So the FBI knew this was going on if this scenario is accurate?
SALE: I do not know that -- how much the FBI knew about this.
O'REILLY: Yeah, but it strains credibility to think that just one agent, Hanssen, would know and pass it along.
SALE: Well, it strains credibility to think that when Monica in her testimony March 29th, 1997 said the President told her be careful, you know, in our little phone sex because I believe my phones are tapped -- are being tapped...
O'REILLY: And he did it anyway.
SALE: ... by a foreign embassy. But I mean nobody seems to have really sort of, you know, been taken aback by the fact that the president would say his phones are being tapped by a foreign embassy.
O'REILLY: Right. And still have, still go on with all of this stuff.
SALE: Yes. Yes.
O'REILLY: And if they intercepted this, God knows what else they intercepted on the phone.
O'REILLY: Now you got your information from the Russian side, right?
SALE: No. No. I got my information from U.S. intelligence officials who were tracking the Russian capabilities.
O'REILLY: Oh. So the Russians had to...
O'REILLY: ... tell them that we had this. Yeltsin, I guess, admits that he had it, right?
SALE: He admits that he had it. He got an encrypted telegram, which is just a fancy word for an intelligence report. The fact that he would be given an intelligence report of that nature shows -- gives you a sense of its importance.
O'REILLY: Do you know what the telegram said?
O'REILLY: What did it say?
SALE: It said that Republican activists were planning to plant an attractive woman in the White House to embroil Clinton.
O'REILLY: But what is that, a code? I mean no Republican activists did that.
O'REILLY: She just showed up and they fooled around.
SALE: No. All right, this is entirely the way the Russians would interpret our politics because I mean every...
O'REILLY: Well, they wouldn't just think that...
O'REILLY: ... Clinton just picked her out of a gallery to...
SALE: Exactly. They're looking at this through the prism of their own...
O'REILLY: So they made it a lot bigger deal than it was?
SALE: Because they have a tremendous history of, you know, double and triple agents and provocateurs and whatnot.
SALE: So they would automatically think that.
O'REILLY: You know, this is a frightening story, though, if the Russians can get private information that the American people did not have for two years.
SALE: Well, what's kind of scary is that we didn't start to put it together. I mean even experienced, I would say, Moscow watchers, this sort of went past everybody.
O'REILLY: Well, keep us posted on this. If we get any more hard information on it, I'd really like to know about the Washington -- the White House security breach.
SALE: Oh, yeah.
O'REILLY: Thank you very much, Mr. Sale.
SALE: It's been a great pleasure.
O'REILLY: OK, thank you.
Plenty more ahead as THE FACTOR moves along this evening. Next, attack journalism. We'll explain it to you.