Bill Clinton says 'norms have changed' in society for what 'you can do to somebody against their will'
© Getty Images

Former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonThe Hill's Campaign Report: Trump, Biden face off for last time on the debate stage Trump expected to bring Hunter Biden's former business partner to debate Davis: On eve of tonight's debate — we've seen this moment in history before MORE said last week that the “norms have changed” for what people can do someone “against their will.” 

"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," Clinton told PBS Newshour in an interview that aired last Thursday. "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."

A spokesperson for Clinton further clarified to CNN on Tuesday that the former president made the recent comment only because he "was asked about a particular case, period."

"It's clear from the context," Clinton spokesman Angel Urena told the publication. "He was not suggesting that there was ever a time that it was acceptable to do something against someone's will. He's saying that norms have changed in a variety of ways in how we interact with one another, and that's all for the good."

The ex-commander in chief’s remarks were in response to a question about former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenTina Smith and Jason Lewis tied in Minnesota Ted Cruz mocks Al Franken over 'I Hate Ted Cruz Pint Glass' GOP Senate candidate says Trump, Republicans will surprise in Minnesota MORE's (D-Minn.) resignation over allegations of sexual misconduct and pressure from top Democrats.

Clinton had appeared on the program to promote a novel he co-authored with best-selling author James Patterson, “The President is Missing.” 


Clinton's book tour has courted controversy. The former president received criticism last week after defending his decision not to apologize to Monica Lewinsky over their decades-old affair. He said he apologized publicly, through the media, rather than privately to Lewinsky and her family.

“I have never talked to her,” Clinton said during an NBC interview earlier this month. “But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public.” 

Clinton's remarks come at a time when the #MeToo movement is impacting politicians accused of sexual harassment and misconduct. Last year, allegations against former Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein sparked a string of energized movements combating sexual harassment across a number of industries.