Speed Reads

last night on late night

Stephen Colbert grills Bill Clinton on his 'tone-deaf' #MeToo interview

Former President Bill Clinton and bestselling author James Patterson were on Tuesday's Late Show to promote their thriller, The President is Missing, but Stephen Colbert jumped straight into Clinton's widely panned response to a question about Monica Lewinsky on Today. "Do you want a do-over on that answer?" Colbert asked. "Do you understand why some people thought that was a tone-deaf response to his questions about the #MeToo movement and how you might reflect on your behavior 20 years ago?"

"When I saw the interview," Clinton said, "it looked like I was saying I didn't apologize and I had no intention to, and I was mad at me. ... It wasn't my finest hour." He did apologize to Lewinsky, their families, and America, Clinton said. "And I still believe this #MeToo movement is long overdue, necessary, and should be supported."

"It seemed tone-deaf to me because you seemed offended to be asked about this thing when, in all due respect, sir, your behavior was the most famous example of a powerful man sexually misbehaving in the workplace of my lifetime," Colbert said. Clinton said he wasn't surprised or offended, and he'd been asked the same question before. "But I didn't like this one because it started with an assertion that basically I had never apologized, as if I had never tried to come to grips with it, and as if there had been no attempt to hold me accountable — which anybody who lived through that and knew the facts knew wasn't so. Nonetheless, I realized later a lot of people don't have any memory of that, and all they saw was me mad, and I seemed to be tone-deaf, to put it mildly."

The donkey in the room dispatched, they discussed the book, the special knowledge Clinton brought to it, and, inevitably, President Trump. Colbert dropped in some jokes; Clinton explained how we should evaluate Trump's North Korea negotiations. Peter Weber