Hillary Clinton insisted Sunday that any relationship between her husband and his former intern could have been consensual, since they were both adults.
Asked whether former President Bill Clinton should have resigned following the scandal, she said, "absolutely not." Regarding whether it was an abuse of power, "no, no," she answered.
The comments came during the former secretary of state and presidential candidate’s interview with CBS correspondent Tony Dokoupil.
"There are people who look at the incidents of the 90’s and they say, ‘a president of the U.S. cannot have a consensual relationship with an intern. The power imbalance is too great'–," Dokoupil started to ask Clinton.
"Who was an adult," Clinton cut in.
Monica Lewinsky was 22 years old at the time, 25 years the president’s junior. Lewinsky has called Bill Clinton’s behavior a "gross abuse of power."
Dokoupil noted Hillary Clinton’s past behavior "complicates her place in women’s history."
Clinton denied any responsibility for Lewinsky's treatment in the White House or during Ken Starr's investigation, the public firestorm that followed, or the enduring trauma it caused. Lewinsky noted in her recent article in Vanity Fair that "there has been at least one significant reference in the press to that unfortunate spell in our history every day for the past 20 years. Every. Single. Day."
Rather than admit responsibility for any mistreatment of Lewinsky, Clinton said, "I take responsibility for my life and my actions," and she changed the subject to the allegations against President Donald Trump. "Where's the investigation of the current incumbent, against whom numerous allegations have been made?"
Bill Clinton was accused of far more than his infidelity with Lewinsky. Katherine Timpf summarized in National Review last week:
Bill Clinton has been accused of sexual abuse by more than 10 women throughout the years. Juanita Broaddrick accused him of rape in 1978. Eileen Wellstone claims he sexually assaulted her in 1969. Carolyn Moffet accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1979. Elizabeth Ward Gracen reportedly privately told friends that he had sexually assaulted her in 1982 (although she has claimed publicly that their tryst was consensual). Christy Zercher, who was a flight attendant on Clinton’s plane in 1992, claimed that he had grabbed her breasts and exposed himself to her. Sandra Allen James claims that he sexually assaulted her during a campaign trip in 1991. A former Democratic activist, Kathleen Willey, accused him of sexually assaulting her in 1993. Paula Jones claimed that he exposed himself to her and asked her to "kiss it." An unnamed 22-year-old woman accused him of sexual assault in 1972. A University of Arkansas professor claimed that he had "allegedly sexually attacked a female student, groped her and tried to physically trap her in his office." A piece written by Teresa Hampton and Daniel J. Harris alleges that "former Arkansas students confirmed that Clinton had tried to force himself on them when he was a professor." In Partners in Power, Roger Morris wrote that a "young woman lawyer in Little Rock claimed that she was accosted by Clinton while he was attorney general and that when she recoiled he forced himself on her, biting and bruising her." In Uncovering Clinton, another unnamed woman — "the wife of a prominent Democrat" — accused him of sexual assault in 1996, saying he "started getting physical, trying to kiss her, touching her breasts." Finally, Lieutenant Colonel Robert "Buzz" Patterson wrote in his book, Dereliction of Duty, that a female stewardess on Air Force One had claimed that he had "sexually molested" and "cornered her."
Lewinsky, meanwhile, is promoting the #DefyTheName anti-bullying campaign. "The names you are called do not define who you become," she says. As part of that, she changed her Twitter username to include some of those names, including "that woman." Bill Clinton called Lewinsky "that woman, Ms. Lewinsky" in his public denial of sexual wrongdoing or a subsequent coverup. He later admitted, "Indeed I did have a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky that was not appropriate."
Clinton and her husband are set to begin a seven month speaking tour through 13 cities, advertised as "An Evening with President Bill Clinton and former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton." Tickets, some that cost over $500, are on sale now.