Clinton Accused Special Report
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Read what Clinton has previously said about Lewinsky, and see the video of his Jan. 26 statement. (AP photo)
Excerpts from Clinton's Remarks

Wednesday, September 2, 1998

Following are President Clinton's September 2 comments about last month's nationally televised speech and Monica S. Lewinsky during a news conference Wednesday in Moscow with Russian President Boris Yeltsin, as transcribed by the White House:

Q: Sir, you were just speaking of the challenges that we face as a nation. And one is the reaction since your admission of a relationship with Ms. Lewinsky -- given you any cause for concern that you may not be as effective as you should be in leading the country?

CLINTON: No, I've actually been quite heartened by the reaction of the American people and leaders throughout the world about it. I have acknowledged that I made a mistake, said that I regretted it, asked to be forgiven, spent a lot of very valuable time with my family in the last couple of weeks and said I was going back to work. I believe that's what the American people want me to do, and based on my conversations with leaders around the world, I think that's what they want me to do, and that is what I intend to do.

As you can see from what we're discussing here, there are very large issues that will affect the future of the American people in the short run and over the long run. There are large issues that have to be dealt with now in the world and at home. And so I have been quite encouraged by what I think the message from the American people has been and what I know of the message from leaders around the world has been. And I'm going to do my best to continue to go through this personal process in an appropriate way, but to do my job, to do the job I was hired to do. And I think it very much needs to be done right now.

.       .       .       .

Q: ... And, Mr. President, another Lewinsky question. You know, there have been some who have expressed disappointment that you didn't offer a formal apology the other night when you spoke to the American people. Are you -- do you feel you need to offer an apology? And, in retrospect now, with some distance, do you have any feeling that perhaps the tone of your speech was something that didn't quite convey the feelings that you have --particularly your comments in regard to Mr. Starr?

.       .       .       .

CLINTON:Well, to your second question, I think I can almost reiterate what I said in response to the first question. I think the question of the tone of the speech and people's reaction to it is really a function of -- I can't comment on that. I read it the other day again, and I thought it was clear that I was expressing my profound regret to all who were hurt and to all who were involved, and my desire not to see anymore people hurt by this process and caught up in it. And I was commenting that it seemed to be something that most reasonable people would think had consumed a disproportionate amount of America's time, money, and resources, and attention, and now continued to involve more and more people. And that's what I tried to say.

And all I wanted to say was I believe it's time for us to now go back to the work of the country, and give the people their government back, and talk about and think about and work on things that will affect the American people today and in the future. That's all I meant to say, and that's what I believe, and that's what I intend to do.

© Copyright 1998 The Washington Post Company

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