Former president Bill Clinton has clarified his “tone-deaf” response to the “Today” show about Monica Lewinsky in a separate interview on “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” on Tuesday.
During the appearance on the NBC morning show on Monday, Clinton appeared to say that he hadn’t apologized to Lewinsky for the affair that tainted his time in the White House. But when asked by Colbert the next day if he understood why people saw that as a “tone-deaf” response in light of the #MeToo movement, Clinton clarified that he had misspoke.
“It looked like I was saying I didn’t apologize and had no intention to,” Clinton said Tuesday night. “I was mad at me.”
“Here’s what I want to say,” he continued. “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, and to the American family. I meant it then, I mean it now.”
Clinton, joined by author James Patterson, has been making the rounds promoting their novel “The President is Missing,” which was released Tuesday.
When asked previously about the Lewinsky scandal in the NBC News interview, the former president said he believed he did “the right thing” in refusing to step down from the presidency amid the scandal. He went on to accuse MSNBC’s Craig Melvin of only presenting one side of the story and attempting to re-litigate an issue that was settled two decades ago.
“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,” he said. “And I’ve tried to do a good job since them with my life and with my work. That’s all I have to say to you.”
Clinton softened his response on the CBS late-night show, however, affirming to Colbert his support for the “Me Too” movement overall.
“I still believe this ‘Me Too’ movement is long overdue, necessary and should be supported,” he said.
— The Late Show (@colbertlateshow) June 5, 2018