Following multiple sexual misconduct allegations made against high-profile politicians like Roy Moore and Al Franken, former top advisers to President Obama and the Clintons have voiced their support for Monica Lewinsky.
During an interview with MSNBC, Jennifer Palmieri — the communications director for Hillary Clinton who also worked for Bill Clinton‘s administration — said that she was sorry for everything Lewinsky had gone through.
“Monica Lewinsky was my intern and the relationship the president had with her was very inappropriate,” she said. “It was a consensual relationship, but he was the President of the United States and she was a 24-year-old intern — that is taking advantage of a power dynamic on a historic scale.”
She also revealed that in April she ran into Lewinsky for the first time in 20 years and “I told her that I was really sorry for everything that she had been through.”
“Her whole life was defined by this one mistake and her life was — I don’t want to say it was ruined because I hope it’s not,” she added.
Palmieri was also asked to respond to a comment that Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand (D-NY) made during an interview with The New York Times, in which she said she thought Bill should have stepped down from the presidency during the scandal. Gillibrand had previously endorsed Hillary during the 2016 election and entered the Senate in 2009 after she was elected into Hillary’s former seat after she became Secretary of State under Obama.
“The Clintons have done a[n] enormous amount of good in this country and despite that, they’ve got friends who are not always going to be there for them, and it’s something I’ve seen happen to them quite a bit, but they’ll survive,” Palmieri said of Gillibrand’s comments.
Earlier in the interview with MSNBC, Palmieri explicitly said that she didn’t think Bill should have resigned or been impeached.
Rev. Al Sharpton, who was also present for the interview with MSNBC, went on to voice his support for Lewinsky. He also added that he saw a difference in the sexual misconduct allegations being made today and what happened between Lewinsky and the former President.
“Monica Lewinsky was not charging Bill Clinton with something,” he said. “Whereas [now] you’re talking about women here who said that ‘I against my will — against any consent — was treated in a certain way.’ So we’ve got to decide, yes, what Bill Clinton did was wrong, yes it was inappropriate…but we’ve got to decide where we draw the line here.”
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Former Obama staffer Alyssa Mastromonaco also offered up her support for Lewinsky on Twitter, using the hashtag “#IStandWithMonica.”
The former deputy chief of staff for operations wrote that: “This is one of those days I think the public discourse is embarrassing and I just want to say @MonicaLewinsky is brilliant and kind and an anti-bullyinng [sic] activist. Let’s not rewrite history and diminish her experience as ‘just a consensual blow job’ #IStandWithMonica.”