Expressing regret at his action, Pentagon spokesman Kenneth Bacon says he should have sought advice from department lawyers before releasing information on Linda Tripp's personnel records in response to a reporter's inquiry.

"In retrospect, I'm sorry the incident occurred. I'm sorry I didn't check with our lawyers, or check with Linda Tripp's lawyers about this. The details of this will be sorted out" by Pentagon's inspector general, Bacon told reporters Thursday.Tripp, who attracted national headlines by secretly recording conversations with former White House intern Monica Lewinsky, worked for Bacon in the Pentagon's public affairs office, as did Lewinsky.

Lewinsky, in recorded conversations with Tripp, allegedly claimed to have had an affair with President Clinton.

Asked whether he acted at the behest of the White House, Bacon replied, "Absolutely not."

Defense Secretary William Cohen has asked the Pentagon's inspector general to look into the release of information that Tripp had not disclosed on a Pentagon security clearance form that she once had been arrested.