Bill Clinton Defends Al Franken: "Maybe I'm Just An Old-Fashioned Person"


In an interview with PBS NewsHour, Former President Bill Clinton defended former Senator Al Franken (D-Minn.) who retired earlier this year after numerous sexual harassment claims.

JUDY WOODRUFF, PBS NEWSHOUR: I assume you think that what happened with you was more serious than what happened with Senator — former Senator Al Franken.

He was driven from office, from the U.S. Senate. So, norms have changed. Do you think that’s a good thing?

FORMER PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON: Well, in general, I think it’s a good thing, yes.

I think it’s a good thing that we should all have higher standards. I think the norms have really changed in terms of, what you can do to somebody against their will, how much you can crowd their space, make them miserable at work.

You don’t have to physically assault somebody to make them, you know, uncomfortable at work or at home or in their other — just walking around. That, I think, is good.

I think that — I will be honest — the Franken case, for me, was a difficult case, a hard case. There may be things I don’t know. But I — maybe I’m just an old-fashioned person, but it seemed to me that there were 29 women on “Saturday Night Live” that put out a statement for him, and that the first and most fantastic story was called, I believe, into question.

Too late to wade into it now. I mean, I think it’s a grievous thing to take away from the people a decision they have made, especially when there is an election coming up again. But it’s done now.

And I think that all of us should just be focusing on how to do better and how to go forward.

Watch the portion of Clinton's interview with PBS NewsHour's Judy Woodruff where he talks about Monica Lewinsky, MeToo, and sexual harassment:

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