Clinton: I Haven't Apologized Personally to Lewinsky

Former president also defends his decision not to resign amid scandal
By John Johnson,  Newser Staff
Posted Jun 4, 2018 8:41 AM CDT
Clinton: I Haven't Apologized Personally to Lewinsky
Former President Clinton speaks during a funeral service for former and former Georgia Gov. Zell Miller Tuesday, March 27, 2018, in Atlanta.   (AP Photo/John Bazemore)

Bill Clinton did an interview with NBC News to plug the new novel he's written with James Patterson, but the former president spent a good deal of time instead talking about his old behavior in light of the MeToo movement. In the sometimes testy back-and-forth with Craig Melvin, Clinton defended his decision not to resign amid the Monica Lewinsky scandal and acknowledged that he has not personally apologized to her. Clinton said he has publicly apologized to Lewinsky (NBC played a 1998 clip of him doing so), but not privately. "I've never talked to her," he said when pressed on the point by Melvin. Clinton also said he was correct not to resign. "I think I did the right thing. I defended the Constitution." Later, Clinton asked Melvin if he thought John F. Kennedy should have resigned and accused the reporter of presenting a biased picture of him.

The AP describes Clinton as "both vague and combative" during the interview. This might be an example of vague: Asked how he "would have approached the accusations differently" today if he were president, Clinton responded, "Well, I don't think it would be an issue because people would be using the facts instead of the imagined facts. If the facts were the same today, I wouldn't." And he seemed to bristle at comparisons to President Trump. "A lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted to make the story work, I think partly because they're frustrated that they got all these serious allegations against the current occupant of the Oval Office and his voters don't seem to care." He added that he doesn't think Trump has gotten a "pass" on the allegations against him, but Trump "hasn't gotten anything like the coverage that you would expect." (More Bill Clinton stories.)

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