In a new interview with NBC’s “Today” show, former President Bill Clinton went on the defensive when asked about the Monica Lewinsky scandal now that the culture has shifted in wake of the #MeToo movement.
Clinton got especially heated when asked if he had apologized to Lewinsky for the way she was treated during the scandal.
“Looking back on what happened then, through the lens of #MeToo now, do you think differently or feel more responsibility?” NBC News’ Craig Melvin asked Clinton.
“No. I felt terrible then, and I came to grips with it,” he responded.
Clinton then pushed back hard, pointing to how he treated women when he was governor and attorney general of Arkansas:
“And nobody believes that I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt. But you typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this, and I bet you don’t even know them. This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me. They were not insensitive of 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 overrepresented in the attorney general’s office in the ’70s for their percentage in the bar. I’ve had nothing but women leaders in my office since I left. You are giving one side and omitting facts.”
Clinton then admitted he has not apologized to Lewinsky publicly and said he wants to move from an event that happened over 20 years ago.
“I have never talked to her. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public,” he said.