A number of anchors and journalists at NBC and MSNBC took issue with former President Bill Clinton’s assertions that the network edited its interview with him to make it sound like he had no remorse for his sexual relationship with Monica Lewinsky.
While talking with Stephen Colbert on the Tonight Show Tuesday night, Clinton accused the “Today” show of selectively editing his remarks after he was asked whether he should apologize to the former White House intern.
“They had to distill it and it looked like it said I didn’t apologize and had no intention to, and I was mad at me,” Clinton told Colbert. “Here is what I want to say, ‘It wasn’t my finest hour.'”
At a separate New York Times event, Clinton belittled Today anchor Craig Melvin for his age and implied he was inexperienced.
“What surprised me was the flat-out assertion that I never apologized,” Clinton said. “I should have remembered that that man is young enough to be my son.”
“I messed up, and I own that, and no mistake by anybody else — including that young man aggressively saying I didn’t apologize — can justify the fact that I got mad,” he added.
Both Melvin and Today co-host Savannah Guthrie defended the interview Thursday and flatly denied that the tape had been altered to misrepresent the former president’s remarks.
“[Clinton’s] still making false allegations about that interview with Craig,” Guthrie said.
“I think the tape speaks for itself,” she added. ‘[Melvin] of course did not assert that he had never apologized, [he] asked whether he had apologized.”(RELATED: Bill Clinton Gets Heated Under Questioning About Monica Lewinsky)
Later on MSNBC during Live with Hallie Jackson, a panel revisited the controversy.
“Here’s the facts. That interview did not start with an assertion, it started with a question,” said Jackson before opening the topic up to a panel.
Alexi McCammond of Axios criticized Clinton for his response.
“I mean, look. It is 2018. It is the year of the woman. It is — we are in the Me Too era. It is not about whether or not he apologized, he had such an easy time and opportunity to stand up for women and to say ‘Look, this is the moment we’re in. I have done things that I am not proud of,'” McCammond said.
“Instead he looks like he’s still not sorry,” she added.
The Associated Press’ Zeke Miller agreed with McCammond, and said Clinton’s excuse making is a typical strategy for the former president.
“He’s the victim. We’ve seen this for years. This came up in the 2016 campaign. The notion of money of debt and victimhood regarding the feeling that they are somehow aggrieved and under attack, assault by the media. We’ve seen those themes throughout the course of the political career of the Clintons,” Miller said.
A request for comment from NBC was not returned.
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