Earlier today Allahpundit wrote about Sen. Gillibrand’s decision to throw Bill Clinton under the sexual harassment bus. Gillibrand’s statement to the NY Times, that Clinton should have resigned after the Monica Lewinsky scandal, was met with an icy response on Twitter from long-time Clinton-world insider Philippe Reines. “Over 20 yrs you took the Clintons’ endorsements, money, and seat. Hypocrite,” Reines wrote. Today, Gillibrand was asked about the reaction from Reines by MSNBC’s Kasie Hunt. From the Hill:
“Ridiculous, and he’s wrong,” Gillibrand said on MSNBC. “Bill Clinton did very important things for this country. But my point is about this conversation we are having today, and that we need to have the highest standards for elected leaders, and we have to change what’s happening throughout society, and we have to allow people to tell their stories.”…
“That is what this is all about, and that is why the ‘me too’ campaign is as powerful as it is,” added Gillibrand, referring to the movement of women speaking out against sexual harassment and assault amid a myriad of recent accusations within Congress and the film industry.
Here’s the clip:
"It's ridiculous and he's wrong" pic.twitter.com/hoIXhRX8jI
— Kasie DC (@KasieDC) November 17, 2017
It’s worth noting that Gillibrand has been trying to walk this back since soon after she made the statement. The NY Times noted in the original story Thursday that a spokesman tried to clarify the Senators remarks: “A spokesman later said that Ms. Gillibrand was trying to underscore that Mr. Clinton’s actions, had they happened in the current era, should have compelled him to resign.” But that’s not the question Gillibrand was asked. She was asked if Clinton should have resigned then and she said yes.
She’s still trying to walk this back but this genie doesn’t seem eager to go back in the bottle. As I noted earlier, some on the left are already giving Gillibrand a big thumbs up for her bold comments. Meanwhile, Philippe Reines gave an interview to Politico expounding on his problem with Sen. Gillibrand attacking Bill Clinton:
“The problem with adding Bill Clinton to these things is you were implying that there was no consequence, that nothing happened — there’s arguably no one in American political history who has gone through a greater scrutiny of their personal life when they were in office,” Reines subsequently told POLITICO on Friday.
“You might not like what [Clinton] did, but the idea that he got away with something in the context of what’s being discussed now is a little absurd, and I don’t think [Gillibrand] was trying to do anything, but for her to allow it to be put in the context of a Roy Moore is not right,” he added.
Poor Bill. Hasn’t he suffered enough? Well, no. Not really. Clinton was accused of rape and sexual assault, not just consensual sex. His White House helped to trash his accusers. He has never faced consequences for the most serious allegations and Democrats, including Gillibrand, have cheered him on.
The bottom line is that Clinton World is not going to just take this reckoning lying down. They are going to fight this now as they always have, i.e. using their flunkies to make statements in the press and apply pressure to anyone they believe is out of line. Sen. Gillibrand is already partially in retreat with her statement about Bill doing “very important things” for the country. Do the Clintons still have enough juice to force her to fully recant? We’ll get our answer when we see which way Gillibrand plays this over the coming week.