Bill Clinton feels his own pain

“I’ve had nothing but women leaders in my office since I left. You are giving one side and omitting facts.”

That was Bill Clinton, on the Today show Monday morning, responding angrily to a question posed by NBC News’s Craig Melvin. The occasion for their interview: the release of The President Is Missing, the novel the former president co-authored with the mystery writer James Patterson. The context for the interview, though: a world that has been steadily shifting under the influences of #MeToo. Bill Clinton has been accused of sexual harassment by several women, and of rape by one of them; he was impeached because he conducted an affair with a 21-year-old intern and then lied about it to the American public. It was predictable—in fact, it was pretty much inevitable—that questions about #MeToo would be asked during the publicity tour. In the case of the Today interview, the question was this: “Looking back on what happened then,” Melvin said, “through the lens of #MeToo now, do you think differently? Or feel more responsibility?”

Clinton’s answer, essentially: No. And no. “I felt terrible then,” he tells Melvin, but “I came to grips with it.” And: “This was litigated 20 years ago.” And: “Two-thirds of the American people sided with me.”