Sunday 16 December 2018

'I was mad at me - not for the first time' - Bill Clinton on that Today Show interview

Bill Clinton on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert
Bill Clinton on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

Just two days after he declared, during an interview with NBC's Today Show, that he did not owe Monica Lewinsky an apology, Bill Clinton has rolled back on his comments.

The 42nd President of the United States had been asked if he should have resigned over his sexual relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

He was also asked if the #MeToo movement has changed his perspective. 

“I dealt with it 20 years ago, plus,” said Mr Clinton.  “And the American people, two-thirds of them stayed with me.

"I've tried to do a good job since then, and with my life and with my work. That's all I have to say."

He said he was right not to resign at the time and he said that the NBC interviewer Craig Melvin was 'omitting facts' by including him with other men who have been accused of abusing their position of power in sexual relationships.

Clinton was widely criticised for his response and on Tuesday night CBS' Late Show host Stephen Colbert asked him if he realised why some people thought his response was "tone deaf".

He offered Clinton a "do-over" on his answer.

“It wasn’t my finest hour,” said Clinton, adding, “I was mad at me — not for the first time.”

The former president was appearing on the show alongside James Patterson, the co-author of their new novel The President is Missing.

He suggested the way the interview was edited was an issue.

“They had to distill it, and it looked like I was saying I didn’t apologize and had no intention to,” he said. “And I was mad at me, not for the first time."

He continued, “Here’s what I want to say.  It wasn’t my finest hour, but the important thing is, that was a very painful thing that happened 20 years ago and I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family, and to the American people. I meant it then and I mean it now. I’ve had to live with the consequences every day since.”

Of the #MeToo movement, he said it is "long overdue and necessary" and revealed that he has not spoken to Monica Lewinsky directly in more than two decades.

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