A spokesman for former President Bill Clinton said that Clinton “knows nothing” about Jeffrey Epstein’s alleged crimes after the billionaire financier pleaded not guilty to sex-trafficking charges in Manhattan federal court, USA Today reports.
Ron Brownstein: “It’s become conventional wisdom—not only among Democrats but also among many political analysts—that House Republicans paid a severe electoral price for moving against Bill Clinton in 1998, at a time when polls showed most of the public opposed that action.”
“But that straightforward conclusion oversimplifies impeachment’s effects, according to my analysis of the election results and interviews with key strategists who were working in national politics at the time. While Republicans did lose House seats in both 1998 and 2000, Democrats did not gain enough to capture control of the chamber either time. And in 2000, lingering unease about Clinton’s behavior provided a crucial backdrop for George W. Bush’s winning presidential campaign—particularly his defining promise ‘to restore honor and dignity’ to the Oval Office.”
Walter Shapiro: 1998 was a Seinfeld election—not an impeachment referendum.
“Hillary Clinton and her daughter Chelsea are forming a production company to pursue film and television projects, making a foray into Hollywood after decades in the public eye,” Bloomberg reports.
“The family hopes to use film and television to influence culture and society now that Hillary Clinton is out of politics. They plan to focus on stories by and about women. The production company is one of many potential business opportunities that Hillary Clinton, 71, is considering.”
In a pair of tweets, President Trump said he will hike tariffs on $200 billion worth of imports to 25 percent from 10 percent, the Washington Post reports.
“Trump had twice before postponed the scheduled increase to allow negotiators to seek a comprehensive deal. His threat increases pressure on a deal that Trump said has been going ‘too slowly.'”
Jonathan Swan: “A source familiar with the situation told me that the Chinese had been backing off of agreements the U.S. negotiating team believed they had already made. Trump’s view, the source said, is that he’s negotiating from a position of clear economic strength, especially with the latest strong U.S. jobs numbers.”
Walter Shapiro: “What is lacking throughout the Clinton Library is context. No one should be surprised that the impeachment saga is as airbrushed as an old-time Hugh Hefner-approved Playboy centerfold. Monica Lewinsky is mentioned in a single sentence—and Clinton is portrayed as morally, as well as legally, blameless. As the signage puts it, ‘After the Republicans won Congress in 1994, the fight for power culminated in two government shutdowns and an impeachment battle, bringing partisan opposition to a new high and attempting to deny the very legitimacy of the President’s election.'”
“To give Clinton a break, honesty about sex has never been his strong suit. But the true missing figure in Little Rock, whose shadow dominated the Clinton years, is Ronald Reagan.”
Associated Press: “Nearly 20 years after he left the White House, Bill Clinton is still sought after for advice by some Democrats running for president. But the names on his dance card in recent months underscore how much his standing in the party has changed.”
“So far, none of the party’s early front-runners has had a formal meeting with Clinton. Nor have the women who are running in the historically diverse primary field.”
“Former President Bill Clinton is writing a new book about his post-presidential life,” the New York Times reports.
“It is unclear how much of the book, if any, will deal with Mrs. Clinton’s two campaigns for president, or if Mr. Clinton will address the criticisms of his policy record or his personal behavior. He has mostly avoided those topics in his public appearances.”
Maureen Dowd: “I’m looking around Scotiabank Arena, the home of the Toronto Maple Leafs, and it’s a depressing sight. It’s two-for-the-price-of-one in half the arena. The hockey rink is half curtained off, but even with that, organizers are scrambling at the last minute to cordon off more sections behind thick black curtains, they say due to a lack of sales. I paid $177 weeks in advance. (I passed on the pricey meet-and-greet option.) On the day of the event, some unsold tickets are slashed to single digits.”
“I get reassigned to another section as the Clintons’ audience space shrinks. But even with all the herding, I’m still looking at large swaths of empty seats — and I cringe at the thought that the Clintons will look out and see that, too.”
Monica Lewinsky writes in Vanity Fair that she would apologize to Hillary Clinton again if the pair were to meet in person.
Said Lewinsky: “My first public words after the scandal — uttered in an interview with Barbara Walters on March 3, 1999 —were an apology directly to Chelsea and Mrs. Clinton. And if I were to see Hillary Clinton in person today, I know that I would summon up whatever force I needed to again acknowledge to her — sincerely — how very sorry I am.”
Lewinsky wrote the article to explain her participation in a new documentary series, The Clinton Affair.
New York Times: “As Democrats search for their identity in the Trump era, one aspect has become strikingly clear: Mr. Clinton is not part of it. Just days before the midterm elections, Mr. Clinton finds himself in a kind of political purgatory, unable to overcome past personal and policy choices now considered anathema within the rising liberal wing of his party.”
“The former president, once such a popular political draw that he was nicknamed his party’s ‘explainer-in-chief,’ has only appeared at a handful of private fund-raisers to benefit midterm candidates, according to people close to him.”
“An explosive device was found on Wednesday morning by a technician who screens mail for Bill and Hillary Clinton, who live in a suburb of New York City,” the New York Times reports.
“The official said the device was similar to one found at the home of billionaire philanthropist George Soros on Monday.”
“A similar device was also sent to the office of Barack Obama.”
Bill and Hillary Clinton announced that they will tour North America for series of conversations “with two individuals who have helped shape our world and had a front seat to some of the most important moments in modern history.”
CNN: “Ticket prices run the gamut based on each location, but top tickets at the couple’s events in Texas cost $699. The least expensive tickets at some of the events were around $70.”
Monica Lewinsky cut a live interview short during a conference in Jerusalem after being asked an “off limits” question about former President Bill Clinton, saying later that the interviewer disregarded “clear parameters” for their discussion, CNN reports.
A memo just released by the National Archives reveals that Brett Kavanaugh laid out in explicit language the questions President Clinton should have been asked about his relationship with White House intern Monica Lewinsky, the Washington Post reports.
Among the questions: “If Monica Lewinsky says that you inserted a cigar into her vagina while you were in the Oval Office area, would she be lying?”
The memo to independent counsel Kenneth Starr also included this: “After reflecting this evening, I am strongly opposed to giving the President any ‘break’ in the questioning regarding the details of the Lewinsky relationship unless he resigns or confesses perjury. He has required the urgent attention of the courts and the Supreme Court for frivolous privilege claims — all to cover up his oral sex from an intern. He has lied to his aides. He has lied to the American people. He has tried to disgrace you and the Office with a sustained propaganda campaign that would make Nixon blush.”
Chelsea Clinton has said she has not ruled out running for office one day, describing a move into politics as a “definite no now” but a “definite maybe” in the future, The Guardian reports.
Said Clinton: “While I disagree with the president … I think my family … is being really well represented. But if that were to change, if my city Councillor were to retire, if my congresswoman were to retire, my senators, and I thought that I could make a positive impact, then I think I would really have to ask my answer to that question of whether to run for office.”
“On Christmas Eve 1998, five days after the House impeached President Bill Clinton, Brett Kavanaugh urged his boss — Kenneth W. Starr, the independent counsel — not to pursue a criminal indictment of Mr. Clinton until after he left office,” the New York Times reports.
“Judge Kavanaugh, now President Trump’s nominee to fill the Supreme Court seat left vacant by the retirement of Justice Anthony M. Kennedy, delivered the advice in a private memorandum made public on Friday by the National Archives in response to a Freedom of Information Act request.”
In an interview with Popula — Anthony Bourdain’s last before he committed suicide — the celebrity chef slammed former president Bill Clinton.
Said Bourdain: “Bill Clinton, look, the bimbo eruptions—it was fucking monstrous. That would not have flown today. A piece of shit. Entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting, and the way that he—and she—destroyed these women and the way that everyone went along, and, and are blind to this! Screamingly apparent hypocrisy and venality.”
He added: “He is a very charming man, I met him, he’s fucking magnetic… As is she. When you’re in the room, you think wow, she’s really warm and nice and funny. But the way they efficiently dismantled, destroyed, and shamelessly discredited these women for speaking their truth.… is unforgivable.”
Dana Millbank: “We didn’t know it at the time, of course. But in Bill Clinton were the seeds of Donald Trump.”
“With 20 years of hindsight, it is clear. To see the former president — now promoting a mystery he co-wrote with novelist James Patterson — sit down with NBC’s Craig Melvin was to see how Clinton’s handling of the Monica Lewinsky affair was a precursor of the monstrosity we now have in the White House: dismissing unpleasant facts as ‘fake news,’ self-righteously claiming victimhood, attacking the press and cloaking personal misbehavior in claims to be upholding the Constitution.”
“The former president’s offenses were far less serious than President Trump’s. Trump’s many misdeeds — against women, law, facts, democracy and decency — are in a category of their own. But Clinton set us on the path, or at least accelerated us down the path, that led to today.”