Screenshot: CBS

Earlier this week, former president Bill Clinton demonstrated a predictable inability to take responsibility and show true remorse over the Monica Lewinsky scandal, and further showed a complete misunderstanding of what the #MeToo movement means. In an interview with NBC’s Craig Melvin, Clinton got extremely defensive and started rambling about how he was a great employer for women in the 1970s and how no one thinks he got off scot-free in this whole thing, which is an insane thing to say as he is a still-revered man who is making these comments as part of a lucrative book tour.

Clinton appeared to dedicate Tuesday to backtracking on the very dumb and tone-deaf things he said. These efforts did not go well.


On Tuesday night, Clinton appeared on Stephen Colbert’s CBS show. Colbert kindly offered him a “do-over” to his response. Clinton took the opportunity to pull a “my words were taken out of context.”

“When I saw the interview, I thought that — because they had to, you know, distill it — it looked like I was saying that I didn’t apologize and I had no intention to. And I was mad at me.”

It wasn’t my finest hour, 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 mean it now. I’ve had to live with the consequences every day since. I still believe this #MeToo movement is long overdue, is necessary, and should be supported.


Oh, it wasn’t his “finest hour”? No shit. Also, a reminder: Bill Clinton has never apologized to Monica Lewinsky privately.

During a New York Times event the same evening, Clinton threw Craig Melvin under the bus. From the Times writeup of the event:

“What surprised me was the flat-out assertion that I’d never apologized,” Mr. Clinton said. “That’s what I got mad about, not being asked about it.”


(Melvin literally asked, ”Did you ever apologize to her?”)

Again, from the Times (emphasis mine):

“I should have remembered that that man is young enough to be my son,” Mr. Clinton, 71, said of Mr. Melvin, 39. He called him “that young man” again a few minutes later.


Infantilizing an adult black man like that is a truly insane attempt to detract from Clinton’s own words and a compulsion to portray himself as the victim. He then said that he wouldn’t privately apologize to Lewinsky if he could!

Asked if he would apologize privately to Ms. Lewinsky today if she were in the room, Mr. Clinton replied, “If she were here now and I would speak to her, it wouldn’t be a private conversation.”


Oh. Yet again, Clinton appears to want the public to think he’s the remorseful feminist he has continued to demonstrate he very much is not.

Isha is a staff reporter who covers pop culture, representation in media, and your new faves.

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