Bill Clinton got a do-over to discuss the Me Too movement & Monica Lewinsky

Bill Clinton at the New Birth Baptist Cathedral of Faith International

On Monday, the Today Show aired a pretaped interview with Bill Clinton and James Patterson. They were there to promote the fiction book they co-wrote. But the Today interviewer asked former President Clinton a few questions about Monica Lewinsky and the #MeToo movement. I still believe that Clinton was caught off-guard, and he wasn’t expecting those questions and he hadn’t prepared himself for it at all. He did not come across well – he came across as combative and angry, and he made the conversation all about what he had done for women professionally. So… the book tour continues. Clinton and Patterson were on Colbert’s Late Show last night and Colbert gave Bubba a do-over.

Former President Bill Clinton wasn’t happy with his controversial appearance on NBC’s Today, either. The 71-year-old politician visited The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday for the latest stop on his book promo tour with The President Is Missing co-author James Patterson, and admitted that he was mad at himself over comments he made on Today regarding Monica Lewinsky and the #MeToo era.

Clinton claimed that the aired portion of the interview had been edited. “When I saw the interview…they had to distill it and it looked like it said I didn’t apologize and had no intention to,” Clinton told Colbert. “And I was mad at me!”

“Here is what I want to say: it wasn’t my finest hour,” he continued. “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, to the American people. I meant it then, I meant it now. I’ve had to live with the consequences every day since.” He added: “I still believe this #MeToo movement is long overdue, necessary, and should be supported.”

[From People]

I’m including the video below. Bill obviously worked it out with Colbert ahead of time so that Colbert would softball him and give him a do-over to say what he should have said in the first place. I still have all the thoughts that I had earlier this week about this mess – you can believe that Monica Lewinsky is NOT a #MeToo story and you can believe that Clinton should have more reflection in this current era. You can also believe that we shouldn’t still be relitigating all of this bulls–t when there’s a sexual predator sitting in the White House right now.

Bill Clinton and James Patterson  during an appearance on CBS' 'The Late Show with Stephen Colbert.'

Photos courtesy of CBS, WENN.

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34 Responses to “Bill Clinton got a do-over to discuss the Me Too movement & Monica Lewinsky”

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  1. Jan90067(aka imqrious2) says:

    I think that this “I was taken by surprise” BS is just his “real” self coming through. He was always an entitled a$$wipe when it came to how he treated women. And I hate that he, like Dump, gets mulligan after mulligan. You KNOW Bill had his crisis management and PR teams working like mad for this “new” statement. Nope… We see you, Bill. You’re still a lousy person.

    • Janet says:

      Very lousy person who feels too entitled. Enough already: he should be locked away with the orange one

      • Milla says:

        We know they are never gonna see the courtroom, but darn it, what’s with the need to talk? Woody talks, he married his daughter, yes she was adopted by his wife, but please don’t correct me, he was her father figure.

        They are all rich and powerful and older, no one will dare to stand up to them…

    • Gabrielle says:

      PS Monica Lewinsky was not a one-off. Gennifer Flowers, etc. He was accused of exposing himself to employees.

      • Jan90067(aka imqrious2) says:

        Exactly my point: there were multitudes of women, with claims ranging from sexual harassment to sexual assault claims. Bill is a horrible human being.

      • Chaine says:

        ITA and I voted for him the first time he ran. And I don’t care that his relationship with Monica was consensual. When the boss is having sex with a co-worker, it really changes the workplace dynamic, and not in a good way.

      • gate666 says:

        absolutely right.atleast 13 women accused him of rape or sexual assault.

    • Veronica S. says:

      Yeah, I said that in the other thread. Taking them by surprise is how you get the more candid, genuine reaction. Trust the first response, not the prepared one.

    • NoShame says:

      The fact that he needed another do-over after all these years is totally insane.

  2. Mumbles says:

    Yes, we have a terrible person who doesn’t respect women in the Oval Office and that’s terrible but it’s a false choice to say “the current president is worse so we shouldn’t be relitigating the Clinton mess.” The Clinton awfulness should still be examined under our (thankfully) evolving views after Weinstein and #metoo. We can litigate both.

    In response to his hissy fit on the Today show the army of blindly loyal Clinton worshippers took to social media to demand that Lewinsky apologize to Hillary Clinton (which she did, in her Barbara Walters interview almost 20 years ago). So this has gotten nuts.

    Also in the interview he throws Obama under the bus and suggests that Obama didn’t encourage voter turnout in 2016. So yeah, Clinton is a pretty awful person.

    • Bluthfan says:

      The Clintons make me nuts so I didn’t watch his interview but he complained about Obama not working hard enough to turnout voters in 2016? He can fuck right off. Both Obamas worked hard in 2016 than Hillary did. Hillary ran a lazy campaign with very few public appearances. She spent her time talking to donors in closed door events or doing “prep”.

      • LV487 says:

        Ask Al Gore how much help Bill was in campaigning for him in 2000. He’d show up, but then encourage the crowds to donate to Hillary’s senate campaign. Bill is in no position to criticize anyone.

    • Nancito says:

      What about James Patterson though – in the original NBC interview he chimed in with “this took place over 20 years ago”. He should be getting some flak too.

  3. JeanGray says:

    The Monica situation was not a #metoo situation. What they did was consensual. She admittedly pursued him, knowing he was married. The only people Bill needed to apologize to in that situation were Hilary and Chelsea. While I do put the majority of blame on the partner in a marriage who chooses to cheat on their significant other, I really have no respect for other women who know a man is married and decide to try to get in between that anyway. Even if he’s telling you their relationship isn’t working, that’s not my call to get in the middle of it. And even with the power dynamic I still side-eye Monica. I was 19 working with grown men who were my superiors who I know would have easily cheated on their wives with me, yet I never would have even considered doing something like that. It’s gross.

    In regards to the other women that came out against Bill, well those are different. Those would definitely fall under the #metoo category.

    • censored says:

      There was a clear imbalance of power, Clinton was the president and married should have known better. That said it is ridiculous that Monica is trying to hijack the #metto when she pursued and engaged with his man of her own free will. Every bad decision or regrettable act is not #metoo and we are infantilizing women and robbing them of their agency when we do that.
      On the other hand , it is very likely that there are a lot of #metoo moments in Clinton’s career, so I am loathe to defend him in anyway its just that IMO Monica is NOT one of them .

      • Umyeah says:

        @censored i couldn’t agree more

      • JeanGray says:


      • Mumbles says:

        I don’t think Monica is trying to hijack #metoo. She wrote one essay about her experience and right off the bat in that essay said that she was not comparing herself to victims of sexual harassment and assault.

        And I say this as someone who has been very very suspect of her attempts to reinvent herself (for example, I don’t quite buy her current protestations that she was scarred by the attention when at the time she was doing Vanity Fair photo shoots in cheesy getups, and hosting a reality dating show.)

        She has also been very quiet during this latest brouhahah.

      • otaku fairy says:

        “Every bad decision or regrettable act is not #metoo and we are infantilizing women and robbing them of their agency when we do that.” Exactly. They were both wrong- Bill more so than Monica- and the way both Monica AND Hillary have been treated over this affair is messed up. Some of that is a bit #MeToo adjacent. But this is an adult (who as far as we know was not blackmailed, manipulated with mind-altering substances, or mentally incapable of caring for herself) who acted on a fantasy to be bedded by the most powerful married person on the world. That’s not being victimized, it’s a bad decision.

        It also feels kind of weak when the fact that she was 24 (or even 22) at the time is used to say she didn’t know better, couldn’t have consented, or couldn’t have just not pursued that situationship. Come on now. In this current era where adults 24 and younger are expected to say no to working with abusers….in some cases, even before a victim has gone public and it’s a messy gossip situation… that seems a little silly.

    • Veronica S. says:

      He definitely abused his power and dishonored the office, so I’m not impressed by his attempts to reframe it now. His behavior is worth questioning under #MeToo because it does touch upon the ways in which men abuse positions of power, even in consensual situations, because that creates a hostile and problematic environment for everyone.

      This being said, I’m not one of those people who infantilizes Monica, either. She was horrifically abused by the media and people like Tripp and Starr, but she is an adult who is responsible for her decisions. She was definitely manipulated politically, but she entangled herself in that mess by pursuing him in the first place. I don’t know how she ever thought that would end well.

    • MousieBrown says:

      I’m sure that both W and Obama had young women around who would have been open to fooling around. But guess what? They didn’t do it.

      Clinton did. He was the married one; he was the president. He humiliated his wife and daughter. Just because it was consensual doesn’t mean he had to participate.

  4. Johannam says:

    I’m very uncomfortable with the level of whataboutism that surrounds this topic.

    I feel like because Bill Clinton is likable he gets a pass. To point out Bill Clinton is the kind of person I wouldn’t let near my daughter doesn’t take away from the awful current WH resident.

    Bill Clinton has a decade long career of harassing women. Weinstein’s wife is looked down upon while HRC is kind of revered for sticking it out. I don’t get it.

    How can anyone be admired for staying with such a horrible human being?

    • NoShame says:

      If only she had pulled a Uhaul Moving Van up to the White House during that scandal. That would have been sooooo friggin epic. Did she really think she couldn’t have survived without him? Or that he was worth sticking with? Women need to work on re-conditioning themselves away from views like that.

      She could have flourished after that and she could have taken on Trump’s sexual issues head on. Instead she had to slink away from all that because of her own baggage on this issue.

      • Carrie1 says:

        Nobody is going to like this but HRC was raised in a different time. She was also working professionally in a current time which was rapidly changing. And she had a daughter to raise. I think, for HRC it came down to pragmatics – her career and aspirations meant A LOT to her, as did her daughter. I think she stayed with Bill because he was access to opportunities she’d not have if she left him. And I think lots of people, women and men, live by this same thing today – access is the bottom line.

        It’s terrible. But it’s true.

        I don’t live that way but somehow have survived. Legit baffles me as I’ve had some devastating close calls. But without anyone protecting me per se on a personal level, everything could change in an instant. I’m very aware of that everyday. But it’s definitely not something I could do if I had a child or any dependents. We choose our battles. I think HRC did the same.

    • otaku fairy says:

      I haven’t seen anyone admiring Hillary for staying with Bill. Many people just decided not to factor in who the woman stayed married to in making such a serious political decision (keeping Trump out of the White House). The abuse and harassment allegations against Bill Clinton and how Hillary has handled them are worth considering, but the affair with Monica Lewinsky? If a modern female politician chooses not to prioritize fidelity, that’s her business and really isn’t a legitimate reason not to vote for someone.

  5. Lila says:

    It seems to me that Bill Clinton certainly had enough time to get out in front of the #me too movement and better explain his abuse of power. I don’t understand how he would be unprepared for a me too question given the climate. The Monica Lewinsky affair wasn’t a small part of his administration. It was huge. He just has a missed opportunity.

  6. KNy says:

    I think that Bill Clinton holds a complicated place in our history as a nation. He was capable as a president and smart in many ways. His history with women is quite terrible – maybe not Cosby-level terrible, but bad. His affair with Monica was consensual (thankfully) but my main beef with him is that he became a poster boy for the supposed moral decline of the Democratic party. And we’ve been paying for it ever since. Thank God Obama and Michelle have a squeaky clean adorable marriage – though that was not enough to undo the damage because racism persists and a happy black marriage doesn’t overshadow a White House BJ.

    I guess my point is, I wish Bill Clinton would recede into the background. He can’t be the face of the success of the Democratic party, because he (and HRC) are viewed as pariahs on the right. Barack Obama, though divisive due to the color of his skin, needs to take over as the elder statesman of the Dems because he isn’t followed by a toxic cloud.

    ETA: W/ regard to BO being divisive due to his skin color, I mean racists will target him because of his skin color (as they have done) but that argument holds no water. He is beyond morally capable and Bill Clinton isn’t.

    • Bluthfan says:

      I wish both Clintons would go away. They have been an anchor on the Dem Party for over a decade and are holding us back from moving on.

      • KNy says:

        Yes, and while I think that Bill has 100% done way more damage, he has tainted Hillary. She is more than capable, but her marriage to him is so politically complicated that she’s damned if she does, damned if she doesn’t. It just goes to show how hard women have it. While she is important in our history – the first female presidential nominee and the WINNER of the popular vote by a large margin – I think that she needs to reflect on the fact that she is a target and used by the right to drum up support. It is NOT fair, and when I look at trump and how genuinely awful he is, it makes my blood boil, but it’s reality. I hate that Dems have to be close to perfect while republicans can literally do just about anything and their supporters won’t blink.

  7. Fed Up says:

    Ugh! I can’t with this guy anymore.

  8. TurkeyLurkey says:

    Kind of ironic this interview was done for the Today show and NBC considering how long Matt Lauer abused his situation there…Now you are so concerned about sexual harassment and abuse of power?

  9. Cate says:

    If Bill Clinton gave a sh*t about the state of the country or women’s rights/lives right now, he would go away and stop giving interviews or promoting his new book. As long as he is in the public eye, he is going to be a target for the right and he is going to be used to justify Trump’s atrocious behavior with women. Nothing he can say/do at this point will stop that.

    I absolutely believe that Bill Clinton has a problematic history with women and while he may not be “as bad” as Trump, where there’s smoke…there’s fire. He has multiple women alleging harassment and assault, no way is he squeaky clean on that front, and I can’t imagine there are many (any?) Democrats who really believe at this point that he’s just a charismatic guy with poor impulse control who couldn’t say no to all the star-struck women who were putting themselves in his path. He needs to shut up and go away because there’s just no way trying to defend his actions within the context of #metoo is going to go well.

  10. InPurgatory says:

    Bills situation with Monica Lewinsky certainly wasn’t a metoo moment but be clear……..had this happened in corporate America, there would have been severe repercussions. She could have sued for sexually harassment. Courts have repeatedly ruled there isn’t a consensual relationship when a reporting relationship exists — the imbalance of power negates it, The most powerful man in the world and a Early 20s intern? puhLeez. Just say no Bill.

    Or….had they been discovered, it’s likely they both would have been fired. Most organizations have very clear no dating the staff or the boss policies to avoid being set up for sexuall harassment suits.

  11. Jayne Birkinb says:

    Bill and Donald both have close connections to Jeffrey Epstein and neither should be in positions of power or influence. It’s pretty clear Epstein has been blackmailing powerful men for a very long time for screwing underage, groomed sex workers.

    Just go away, Bill, you’re hurting the Dems and you’re selfishly sucking all the oxygen in the room.