Former President Bill Clinton was condemned by critics of all political stripes Monday after he refused to acknowledge he owed Monica Lewinsky an apology for the biggest scandal of the 90s. To paraphrase, Clinton told NBC's Craig Melvin that no, he didn't ever personally apologize to his former intern for the affair and how he handled it because he had already public apologized to "everybody in the world."
He also claimed to be the real victim because the scandal left him with a financial burden.
“Nobody believes that I got out of that for free,” he said. “I left the White House $16 million in debt.”
His comments were more unfortunate because he made them in the peak of the "Me Too" era. It wasn't a good look.
It seems word got back to him how poorly the interview reflected him, because just hours after it aired Clinton offered another public apology to Lewinsky. During an event with author James Patterson at an event at the Schomburg Center for Research in Black Culture in New York City Monday night, Clinton tried to clarify his most recent comments.
“The truth is, the hubbub was I got hot under the collar because of the way the questions were asked,” Clinton said. “And I think what was lost were the two points that I made that are important to me. The suggestion was that I never apologized for what caused all the trouble for me 20 years ago.
“So first point is, I did. I meant it then, and I meant it now. I apologized to my family, to Monica Lewinsky and her family, and to the American people before a panel of ministers in the White House, which was widely reported. So I was… I did that. I meant it then, and I mean it today. I live with it all the time."
He added that he supports the "Me Too" movement, and thinks that "it’s long overdue."
Lewinsky has not responded directly to Clinton's latest interview, just tweeting her gratitude to her supporters. She also shared her recent article in Vanity Fair in which she reflected on the Clinton affair and remarked on the empowering "Me Too" movement.