Bill Clinton disputes Dem senator’s claim that he should have resigned after Lewinsky scandal
Former President Clinton waved off Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand’s (D-N.Y.) assertion that he should have stepped down after his inappropriate relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky went public.
In an interview on “CBS Sunday Morning” set to air next week, Clinton said Gillibrand’s comment, which appeared in an interview with The New York Times last year, did not take into account the “context” of his decision to stay in office.
“You have to really ignore what the context was,” Clinton told CBS’s Mo Rocca. “But, you know, she’s living in a different context. And she did it for different reasons. But I just disagree with her.”
Gillibrand’s comment appeared in the Times in November as dozens of women began speaking publicly about allegations of sexual misconduct by dozens of prominent men in politics, entertainment, media and other industries.
Asked by the Times whether Clinton, who carried on a reported affair with Lewinsky between 1995 and 1997, should have stepped down when the relationship came to light, Gillibrand said: “Yes, I think that is the appropriate response.”
She argued, however, that the affair may have been perceived differently in the 1990s than it would have been today.
“Things have changed today, and I think under those circumstances there should be a very different reaction,” she said.
Clinton was impeached for perjury after he lied about his relationship with Lewinsky, though he was acquitted by the Senate and never removed from office. In his interview with CBS, Clinton says he knew the impeachment would not succeed.
“It wasn’t a pleasant experience,” he said. “But it was a fight that I was glad to undertake after the elections, when the people had solidly told, by two-thirds or more, the Republicans to stop it. They knew there was nothing impeachable. And so, we fought it to the end. And I’m glad.”
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