Former President Bill Clinton just did a high profile interview with Craig Melvin and NBC News. He declared, even in the wake of the #MeToo movement, that he would not have dealt with the Monica Lewinsky affair any differently. And Clinton also acknowledged that, 20 years after the encounter, he has never personally apologized the the former Washington intern.
“I don’t think it would be an issue,” the ex-president told Melvin in an interview that aired Monday on the “Today” show. He had just been asked if he would have “approached the accusations differently” if he were president in 2018 “with everything that’s going on with the #MeToo movement.”
The former president added: ”Because people would be using the facts instead of the imagined facts. If the facts were the same today, I wouldn’t,” said Clinton. The former president was doing the “Today” interview along with author James Patterson. They are promoting a new book they’ve written together titled “The President Is Missing.”
Former President Clinton at first denied the affair with Lewinsky in 1998. She was a White House intern at the time. There was a lengthy investigation that ended with Clinton becoming the second-ever president to be impeached.
Clinton Stuck By His Decision to Fight Impeachment
Clinton told NBC News that he stuck by his decision to fight his impeachment rather than resign. He told Melvin, “I think I did the right thing. I defended the Constitution.”
This interview became contentious after Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.) said that Clinton should have resigned after his relationship with Lewinsky became public.
“I’ve Never Talked to Her (Lewinsky)”
When Melvin asked Clinton if he had ever apologized privately to Lewinsky over the relationship, he said:
“I’ve never talked to her,” he said, adding that he had publicly apologized to Lewinsky and “everybody in the world.”
“I did say, publicly, on more than one occasion, that I was sorry … The apology was public,” he said.
He responded, “no, I do not,” when he was asked whether he owed Lewinsky an apology.
Lewinsky has emerged as an anti-bullying advocate in recent months. She wrote a series of essays about her ordeal and how the #MeToo movement has emboldened a new generation of women to come forward with their own stories about experiencing sexual misconduct.
Clinton maintains that President Donald Trump, who has faced allegations of sexual misconduct, has not received the kind of media coverage he himself had faced during the Lewinsky scandal.
Trump “hasn’t gotten anything like the coverage that you would expect,” Clinton said.
The former president added that while he likes the #MeToo movement, he doesn’t “agree with everything.”
“I still have some questions about some of the decisions which have been made,” he said.