Former President Bill Clinton defended himself on Monday night, saying he got “hot under the collar” when he claimed he didn’t owe Monica Lewinsky any apology in an earlier TV interview.
During an appearance at The Schomburg Center in Harlem to hype his upcoming book, Clinton acknowledged that he lost his cool on NBC’s “Today” show in a chat that aired on Monday morning.
“The truth is, the hubbub was I got hot under the collar because of the way the questions were asked. And I think what was lost were the two points that I made that are important to me,” Clinton said in Harlem, according to CNN.
“The suggestion was that I never apologized for what caused all the trouble for me 20 years ago,” Clinton added. “First point is, I did. I meant it then, 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 did that. I meant it then and I mean it today. I live with it all the time.”
Clinton was referencing a 1998 mea culpa he made before a meeting of ministers at the National Prayer Breakfast in which he mentioned Lewinsky and her family along with “my family, my friends, my staff, my cabinet.”
In his “Today,” interview Monday, the 71-year-old said “I apologized to everybody in the world . . . The apology was public.”
But then when Clinton was asked by NBC whether he owed Lewinsky a direct apology, he said: “No, I do not.”