It’s probably time for Bill Clinton to stop doing interviews.
The former president has come under fire once again for comments he made during a recent sit-down — this time noting how “norms have changed in terms of what you can do to somebody against their will.”
Clinton made the controversial statement while speaking to PBS Newshour about the resignation of former Senator Al Franken last year following his sexual misconduct scandal.
This guy doesn’t handle getting his ass kicked in an interview.
Hey, he’s a pathological liar just like his wife.
“I assume you think that what happened with you was more serious than what happened with [Franken],” host Judy Woodruff asked Clinton.
“He was driven from office, from the US Senate. So, norms have changed. Do you think that’s a good thing?”
“Well, in general, I think it’s a good thing, yes,” replied the former president.
“I think it’s a good thing that we should all have higher standards,” he said. “I think the norms have really changed in terms of, what you can do to somebody against their will, how much you can crowd their space, make them miserable at work.”
Clinton added, “You don’t have to physically assault somebody to make them, you know, uncomfortable at work or at home or in their other — just walking around. That, I think, is good.”
While PBS aired the interview last week, Clinton’s remarks didn’t go viral until Monday after they were posted by RealClearPolitics. His words weren’t sitting well with social media users or members of the #MeToo movement, for that matter.
“‘Norms have changed about what you can do to someone against their will’ is a hell of a sentiment,” tweeted New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman.
“Am I to take from that sentence that there WAS a time when it was OK to do something to someone against their will?” asked one Twitter user.
Many pointed out how Clinton, 71, even went so far as to defend Franken during the PBS interview — saying, “Maybe I’m just an old-fashioned person, but it seemed to me that there were 29 women on ‘Saturday Night Live’ that put out a statement for him, and that the first and most fantastic story was called, I believe, into question.”
“Bill, my dude, how about you stop talking” tweeted Refinery29 reporter Andrea González-Ramírez.
In response to the backlash, Clinton spokesman Angel Urena sent out a statement to multiple media outlets, claiming the former president “was asked about a particular case, period.”
“He was not suggesting that there was ever a time that it was acceptable to do something against someone’s will,” said Urena. “He’s saying that norms have changed in a variety of ways in how we interact with one another, and that’s all for the good.”
Clinton has been doing interviews with various television networks while promoting his new book. He came under fire last week for comments he made while speaking to NBC about the Monica Lewinsky scandal.
In that interview, Clinton claimed that he “did the right thing” by staying in office and didn’t owe Lewinsky an apology — since he already apologized in public.
“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,” Clinton said. “So I did that. I meant it then and I mean it today.”