Bill Clinton

Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

Former President Clinton Says #MeToo Is Overdue, Stands By Actions In Lewinsky Scandal

June 04, 2018 - 8:45 pm
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NEW YORK (WCBS 880/CBS News/AP) -- Former President Bill Clinton said Monday that the "#MeToo" movement is overdue.

But he bristled at questions about Monica Lewinsky.

In an interview with NBC's "Today Show" released Monday, Clinton was asked whether he should have resigned 20 years ago for his sexual relationship with the White House intern and whether the "#MeToo" movement has changed his perspective.

"I think I did the right thing, I defended the constitution," he told NBC. 

U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-New York) has said Clinton’s resignation would have been the right move at the time.

Clinton says his critics are "omitting facts" to lump him in with other men accused of sexual assault and harassment. "I like the "#MeToo" movement, I think it's way overdue. I think it doesn't mean I agree with everything, I still have questions about decisions that have been made," he said. 

Clinton added that those in the "#MeToo" movement are partly "frustrated" by allegations against President Donald Trump not being acted upon or taken seriously.  "They're frustrated that they got all these serious allegations against the current occupant in the Oval Office and his voters don't seem to care," he said. 

Meanwhile, Clinton told NBC that he felt "terrible" about the Lewinsky scandal at the time, but said he's come to grips with it. "I dealt with it 20 years ago, and I've tried to do a good job since then, and with my life and with my work. That's all I have to say."

He added, "Nobody believes that I got out of that for free. I left the White house $16 million in debt."

Lewinsky has said her relationship with president "was not sexual assault" but "constituted a gross abuse of power." Asked if Clinton had privately apologized to Lewinsky since the controversy, he said he's apologized publicly and to "everybody in the world" following his impeachment trial.

"I have never talked to her, but I said publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry," he said.

(© 2018 WCBS 880. CBS News contributed to this report.)