Bill Clinton’s book tour with James Patterson made headlines for reasons other their novel The President is Missing. As should be expected in the era of #MeToo, Clinton’s past and the Lewinsky scandal came up during an interview with NBC Today’s Craig Melvin and led to a very testy response by the former president:
“Yes [I have apologized to Monica Lewinsky], and nobody believes I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt, but you typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this, and I bet you don’t even know them. This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me. They were not insensitive to that. I had a sexual harassment policy when I was governor in the ’80s. I had two women chiefs of staff when I was governor. Women were overrepresented in the attorney general’s office in the ’70s, for their percentage in the bar. I have had nothing but women leaders in my office since I left. You are giving one side and omitting facts.”
The topic of Lewinsky stems from her recent re-examination of the scandal published earlier in the year and the change in perception in the #MeToo movement’s growth out of Hollywood. Clinton received plenty of criticism for his comments, particularly the idea that he didn’t need to apologize to Lewinsky.
On Tuesday’s Late Show, Stephen Colbert gave Clinton a second chance to address Lewinsky, his comments on NBC, and where he stands on an apology:
“When I saw the interview, I thought that, because they had to distill it, it looked like I was saying I didn’t apologize, and I had no intention to. And I was mad at me – not for the first time.”
“Here is what I want to say: It wasn’t my finest hour…
“I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family and the American people. I mean it then, I mean it now. I have had to live with the consequences every day since. I still believe this #MeToo movement is long overdue, necessary and should be supported.”
You can watch the testy interview from earlier in the week below and judge for yourself. Monica Lewinsky has not commented on the recent comments by Clinton aside from reposting her Vanity Fair article.
(Via Washington Post / Late Show)