NBC News, the division that’s been blasted for not hiring outside investigators to probe allegations it swept under the rug years of sexual harassment concerns by female staffers, this morning promoted its interview with Clinton as he makes the media rounds with James Patterson, with whom he has written a novel The President is Missing.
In this morning’s Today interview, correspondent Craig Melvin asked Clinton about his affair with Lewinsky more than two decades ago and if, were back then today, would he have handled it differently.
It’s the same sort of thing critics are asking NBC News about, say, Matt Lauer.
The former President stood by his decision to fight impeachment rather than resign. Melvin, and other members of the media, Clinton asserted, are omitting a lot of “the facts of that situation 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 office and his voters don’t seem to care.”
“Do you think President Kennedy should have resigned?” Clinton asked Melvin. “Do you think President Johnson should have resigned? Someone should ask you these questions, because of the way you formulate the questions.”
In the segment, Today noted Lewinsky, in March, penned an op-ed saying #MeToo changed her view of her affair with Clinton, and that she suffers from PTSD due to the “unrelenting public scrutiny” of that relationship back when she was serving as a White House intern.
Melvin zeroed in on Clinton having never apologized privately to Lewinsky.
“I asked if you ever apologized, and you said you had,” Melvin began.
“I have,” Clinton responded. Then this happened:
Melvin: “You’ve apologized to her?”
Clinton: “I apologized to everybody in the world.”
Melvin: “But you didn’t apologize to her?”
Clinton: “I have not talked to her.”
Melvin: “Do you feel like you owe her an apology—”
Clinton: “No, I do not. I’ve 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.”
NBC News played clips of Clinton’s public remarks two decades ago, including his apology to Lewinsky.