Earlier this year Monica Lewinsky wrote an essay in Vanity Fair detailing the power negotiations of her relationship with former President Bill Clinton. Lewinsky said a leader of the #MeToo movement contacted her and apologized that she endured the 90s political sex-scandal alone.
“I had been alone,” Lewinsky wrote, “So. Very. Alone.”
Author James Patterson and Clinton visited the TODAY show Monday morning (June 4) to discuss their new novel The President is Missing, when Craig Melvin asked Clinton his opinion on his impeachment scandal and whether he directly apologized to Lewinsky.
“This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me,” the 71-year-old said.
In 1998, Clinton confessed at the National Prayer Breakfast and delivered a joint apology to wife Hillary, the American people, and to Lewinsky and her family. He hadn’t apologized to her directly.
Melvin questioned whether Clinton thought he owed the former White House intern an apology, and was met with a resounding no.
“No, I do not––I have never talked to her. But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public.”
At the time of the scandal, Clinton attributed his affair with Lewinsky to sin and repentance after lying under oath. “I think I did the right thing. I defended the Constitution,” he said of his decision to fight impeachment.
“A lot of the facts have been conveniently omitted to make the story work, I think partly because they’re frustrated that they got all these serious allegations against the current occupant of the Oval Office and his voters don’t seem to care,” he said of Donald Trump’s and the Stormy Daniels case. Clinton said he wouldn’t have changed his approach, even if #MeToo was at work.
“I apologized to everybody in the world,” Clinton said. He doesn’t believe that other presidents are or were held to the same standards that were required of him.