Published June 17, 2004
NEW YORK – Former President Clinton (search) called his marital infidelity a "terrible moral error" whose disclosure to his wife put him "in the doghouse," during an interview scheduled for this Sunday's "60 Minutes."
Why did he commit adultery with White House intern Monica Lewinsky (search)?
"For the worst possible reason," Clinton said. "Just because I could. I think that's just about the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing anything."
Questioned by CBS News anchor Dan Rather, Clinton said he, his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton (search), and their daughter, Chelsea Clinton, dealt with their family crisis through counseling.
"We did it together. We did it individually. We did family work," he said.
Clinton said he never considered resigning as president and described his battle against the "abuse of power" of the impeachment process "a badge of honor."
"I stood up to it and beat it back," he said. "I don't see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate."
Excerpts from the interview, taped Tuesday at Clinton's home in Chappaqua, N.Y., and last weekend in Arkansas, were released by CBS Wednesday. The interview will occupy the full hour of the newsmagazine.
It is timed to next week's publication of Clinton's memoir, "My Life," which covers his Arkansas childhood, his tenure as that state's governor and his presidency. The book, published by Alfred A. Knopf, has a first printing of 1.5 million copies.