Former President Bill Clinton is just starting a press tour promoting his new book, but one of his first interviews did not go well.
In an interview with NBC News, President Clinton and mystery author James Patterson were supposed to discuss their new collaboration, the novel The President Is Missing. Instead, NBC News reporter Craig Melvin turned the discussion to the #MeToo movement, and asked the President if he should have resigned. He asked Clinton to revisit the scandal, given the new focus on sexual harassment the movement started.
Clinton became visibly incensed, pointing at Melvin furiously and accusing him of asking one-sided questions. He said repeatedly that 2/3 of the American people sided with him at the time, and he even claimed to have apologized to Monica Lewinsky over the scandal.
He didn’t directly apologize, however, instead claiming a general apology to America should count as a personal apology to Lewinsky.
He said he had not apologized to her personally, though he apologized to her on national television, and he declined to say whether he believes he owes her an apology today.
In an interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin, Clinton accused Melvin of “giving one side” of the Lewinsky story.
“This March, Monica Lewinsky penned an op-ed in “Vanity Fair,” taking responsibility for her part in the scandal but also admitting that years later, she was diagnosed with PTSD from the unrelenting public scrutiny,” Melvin said, as he read aloud an excerpt from the op-ed. “Looking back, through the lens of #MeToo now, do you think differently or feel more responsibility?”
Clinton said he felt “terrible” and “came to grips with it,” and that he did apologize to Lewinsky and left the White House $16 million in debt.
“You typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this, and I bet you don’t even know them,” he continued.
“This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me,” Clinton said. “They were not insensitive 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 over-represented in the attorney general’s office in the ’70s for their percentage of the bar.”
He continued, “I’ve had nothing but women leaders in my office since I left. You are giving one side and omitting facts.”
Lewinsky herself had a not-so-subtle response to Clinton, tweeting out this link to a recent Vanity Fair article in which she says that Clinton never apologized to her, even when he had the chance to do it to her face.
grateful to the myriad people who have helped me evolve + gain perspective in the past 20 years.
— Monica Lewinsky (@MonicaLewinsky) June 4, 2018
Even Rose McGowan, whose revelation of a sexual assault by Harvey Weinstein kicked off the #MeToo movement, took Bill Clinton to task.
Bill Clinton. Here is the truth of it: a human life was altered & destroyed due to your selfishness. Because. You. Could. You not only wiped your semen on a young girl’s dress, you left a stain on society. You actually owe EVERYONE an apology, especially her. #MeToo pic.twitter.com/HWnsAmXjlR
— rose mcgowan (@rosemcgowan) June 4, 2018
Here is video of the interview, supplied by The Daily Caller.
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