Hillary Clinton said Sunday that her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was right not to resign over his affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky and the subsequent scandal that rocked his administration in the late 1990s.
“Absolutely not,” Hillary Clinton, a champion of the Me Too movement, told CBS’ “Sunday Morning” when asked whether Bill Clinton should have stepped down.
The former secretary of state and 2016 Democratic nominee for president denied that her husband’s sexual relationship with Lewinksy, who was 22 when it began, should be considered an abuse of power.
When CBS’ Tony Dokoupil noted that critics say it’s impossible for a president to have a consensual relationship with an intern, Hillary Clinton responded that Lewinsky was “an adult,” then steered the conversation toward the numerous sexual misconduct allegations against President Donald Trump.
“Let me ask you this, where’s the investigation of the current incumbent against whom numerous allegations have been made and which he dismisses, denies and ridicules?” Clinton asked. “So there was an investigation and it, as I believe, came out in the right place.”
Clinton stood by her husband after he was impeached in late 1998 for lying about his affair with Lewinsky. After a monthlong trial, the Senate in February 1999 ultimately fell well short of the two-thirds majority needed to convict and remove him from office.
Lewinsky has said in the past that her affair with Bill Clinton was consensual, but has reconsidered that view recently. Several other women have accused him of sexual misconduct going as far back as the 1970s, which he has vehemently denied.
Several women have accused Bill Clinton of sexual assault, including Juanita Broadderick, who has alleged he raped her in a hotel room in 1978 when he was Arkansas attorney general.
“He forces me down on the bed,” Broadderick told NBC News in 1999. “This was very frightening, and I tried to get away from him, and I told him, ‘No.’ ... He wouldn’t listen to me.”
Much as Trump has done, Bill Clinton has had a history of dismissing the allegations as lies. Hillary Clinton has referred to the accusations against her husband as a “vast right-wing conspiracy” and reportedly told a close friend that Lewinsky was “a narcissistic Looney Toon.”
But Hillary Clinton, in her interview with CBS, denied playing any role in criticizing the character of her husband’s accusers.
“I take responsibility for my life and my actions,” she said.