June 05, 2018
Following a contentious interview earlier this week, the former president told Stephen Colbert that he supports the #MeToo movement and that the scandal from 20 years ago was a "very painful thing."
Bill Clinton Responds to Monica Lewinsky Comment Controversy: I Was Mad at Me
Former President Bill Clinton on Tuesday night joined Stephen Colbert on CBS' The Late Show, one day after a contentious interview on NBC's Today show.
While promoting his new novel with author James Patterson, Clinton was asked by NBC News' Craig Melvin in an interview that aired on Monday's Today about his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky that came to light in 1998. "I dealt with it 20 years ago, plus," said Clinton. "And the American people, two-thirds of them stayed with me. And 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."
When asked by Melvin if he would handle the situation differently today, Clinton replied, "If the facts were the same today, I wouldn't." Clinton also said that he had never privately apologized to Lewinsky and when asked if he thought he owed her an apology, responded, "No, I do not."
On Tuesday, when asked by Colbert if he would like a "do-over" on his answer and whether he thought it was a "tone-deaf" response, Clinton answered, "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."
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, to the American people. I meant it then, I mean it now. I’ve had to live with the consequences every day since. I still believe this #MeToo movement is long over due, necessary and should be supported."
Colbert pressed Clinton on the issue, saying, “You seem surprised that the question would come up.” The CBS host went on to say that one reason it may have been seen as “tone-deaf” was because the Me Too movement doesn’t discriminate based on the time passed in such allegations and Clinton’s scandal with Lewinsky was, to Colbert, “the most famous example in my lifetime.”
“The question had been asked by other people in this context and I didn’t mind at all,” Clinton responded. “I didn’t like this one because it started with an assertion that I had never apologized.”
Clinton went on to call for Americans to vote in primaries, and noted "Vladimir" interfered in the 2016 election, referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin.
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