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Clinton Tells CBS He Never Considered Resigning

June 18, 2004|From Associated Press

NEW YORK — Former President Clinton tells CBS' "60 Minutes" that he never considered resigning and is proud he fought efforts to impeach him amid the scandal over his affair with Monica S. Lewinsky.

"I stood up to it and beat it back," Clinton says of the impeachment process, which he describes as "an abuse of power."

"The whole battle was a badge of honor," Clinton said. "I don't see it as a stain, because it was illegitimate."

The interview with Dan Rather, to take up the full hour of Sunday's program, is timed to next week's publication of Clinton's memoir, "My Life."

Clinton sees the Lewinsky affair as "a terrible moral error" whose disclosure to his wife, Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton (D-N.Y.), put him "in the doghouse."

"I did something for the worst possible reason. Just because I could," Clinton says of his infidelity. "I think that's just about the most morally indefensible reason anybody could have for doing anything."

On Wednesday, Clinton told an audience of about 1,000 people at a New York screening of a documentary about his presidency that he became an enemy of right-wing America in an attack led by Whitewater prosecutor Kenneth W. Starr.

Clinton said Starr was "the instrument of a grand design." The documentary, "The Hunting of the President," portrays Clinton as the target of a political smear campaign.

One of the filmmakers, Harry Thomason, is a close friend of Clinton's.

"When the Berlin Wall fell, the perpetual right in America, which always needs an enemy, didn't have an enemy any more, so I had to serve as the next best thing," Clinton said.

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