Clinton on Lewinsky Scandal: "I Did The Right Thing," Nobody Believes I Got Out Of That For Free


In an interview with NBC's Craig Melvin broadcasted on Monday's edition of the Today show, former President Bill Clinton was asked about his affair with Monica Lewinsky in terms of the contemporary MeToo movement. Clinton also said the whole affair left him in debt when he left the White House and tried to move some of the attention to the current president, Donald Trump.

CRAIG MELVIN, NBC NEWS: A few days ago, your response to critics that suggested you should have resigned in the wake of the Lewinsky scandal. You said you should not have.

If you were president now, in 2018, with everything that is going on with the MeToo movement, how would you have approached the accusations differently?

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well I don't think it would have been an issue because people would have been using the facts instead of the imagined facts. If the facts were the same today, I wouldn't.

Clinton said that he "did the right thing" during the Lewinsky scandal by not resigning and fighting impeachment, however, acknowledged that he couldn't get elected today. Yet he also said he wouldn't have changed the way he approached the Lewinsky scandal.

"Do you think President Kennedy should have resigned? Do you believe President Johnson should have resigned?" a combative Clinton asked the interviewer.

The interview got especially heated when Clinton was asked about an apology owed to Lewinsky. He said that he does not owe her one.

"I apologized to everybody in the world," he said.

"I have not talked to her," Clinton said of Lewinsky. "I 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."

Clinton said that he was a victim of the scandal because he left the White House with millions of dollars in debt.

"Nobody believes that I got out of that for free. I left the White House $16 million in debt," he said.

"But you typically have ignored gaping facts in describing this," Clinton said to Melvin.

Clinton used the interview to target "the current occupant of the Oval Office."

"A lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted to make the story work, I think partly because they were frustrated that they got all these serious allegations against the current occupant of the Oval Office. And his voters don’t seem to care. I think I did the right thing. I defended the Constitution," Clinton said.

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