Trump’s press secretary has a surprise new defender— and it’s none other than the 42nd President of the United States.
Bill Clinton stopped by The Daily Show With Trevor Noah to promote his new book, The President Is Missing. Things took a turn for the unexpected when Clinton offered his take on the headline-making “86”-ing of Sarah Huckabee Sanders from the Red Hen in Virginia last Friday.
Red Hen co-owner Stephanie Wilkinson told The Washington Post that she booted Sanders because she disapproves of the “inhumane and unethical” policies of the Trump Administration. Clinton says he thinks Wilkinson went too far in asking Sanders to leave.
"That's a decision for the restaurant owner to make," Clinton admitted. "But what I'd like to point out is, would it be better if that didn't happen? I think it would.”
Clinton ultimately said he had respect for Wilkinson’s actions, and that he had “a lot of respect” for how Sanders handled the situation—by politely leaving and offering to pay. He blames the lack of polite discourse in general on the 2016 election cycle.
"A lot of poison has been poured down America’s throat since that 2016 campaign," he said. "It started off [with] calling Mexicans rapists and murderers. So it's hard to pour poison down other people's throat and not have some of it come back up and bubble up.”
Later he added:
“Maybe what I’d like to see is that this be the beginning of something where it would be better if we started talking to each other again. Sooner or later, people have to stop tearing each other down and go to work. But I think you can’t foment as much hatred as has been fomented by the administration without having a blowback. So if they want to have civility, they have to stop the name-calling and take the lead.”
In the sort-of-recent and very recent past, Sanders has been all too quick to trash Hillary Clinton in press conferences at the White House, frequently to distract from lines of questioning about Trump.
Near the end of the extended 23-minute Daily Show interview, Trevor Noah brought up the #MeToo movement, and asked Clinton, “Has it been hard to reprogram your brain?”
After a few awkward moments discussing the Monica Lewinsky scandal, something he says he “regrets very much” Clinton was quick to pivot to Starbucks’ recent racial bias training, aaand then that was the end of the interview.
The President Is Missing co-author James Patterson looked uncomfortable sitting next to Clinton throughout all this. He didn’t say much.
This Clinton-Patterson book tour has been a hot disaster, with some squirmy entertainment value as the lone draw. An interview with Craig Melvin on The Today Show turned downright hostile when Clinton raised his voice and said he “did the right” thing by Lewinsky, despite admitted he’s never personally apologized to her.
Clinton and Patterson then appeared on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert to halfheartedly clean up the mess. Clinton said the Today interview wasn’t his “finest hour”—and he also blamed the way it was edited for making him look bad.