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Bill Clinton says 'Today' interview about #MeToo, Lewinsky wasn't his 'finest hour'

"It wasn't my finest hour," the former president said of the interview. "I was mad at me — not for the first time."
by Associated Press /  / Updated 

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Former President Bill Clinton is acknowledging that his combative response earlier this week to questions about Monica Lewinsky wasn't his "finest hour."

Still, Clinton says, "It was very painful thing that happened 20 years ago," adding that he had to "live with the consequences every day since."

In an interview on "Today" released Monday, Clinton bristled at questions over whether he should have resigned 20 years ago because of his sexual relationship with the White House intern. He never apologized privately to Lewinsky.

Clinton also stuck by his decision to fight his impeachment rather than resign: "I think I did the right thing," he said. "I defended the Constitution."

On Tuesday, Clinton was asked by the host of CBS' "Late Show," Stephen Colbert, if he realized why some people thought his response was "tone-deaf" in light of the #MeToo movement.

The former president responded, "It wasn't my finest hour," adding, "I was mad at me — not for the first time."

Some current Washington lawmakers, such as Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., have suggested that Clinton should have resigned after his relationship with Lewinsky became public.

"I did say, publicly, on more than one occasion, that I was sorry ... The apology was public," Clinton said on "Today," joined by author James Patterson to promote a new book they've written together entitled "The President Is Missing."

Clinton responded, "no, I do not," when he was asked whether he owed Lewinsky an apology.

Almost 20 years after her relationship with Clinton made headlines, Lewinsky has become an anti-bullying advocate.

Last month, she tweeted that she had been "uninvited" from an event on social change after the organization hosting it learned that Clinton had also accepted an invitation to attend.

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