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Tuesday, August 18, 1998 Published at 07:58 GMT 08:58 UK


World: Americas

Clinton's explanation - have your say



President Bill Clinton has opened his heart to the American public and admitted an inappropriate relationship with former White House worker Monica Lewinsky.

After a marathon testimony to a grand jury, the president was forced to tell the nation he had misled them - not to mention his wife and daughter.

His previous declaration to the world - "I did not have sexual relations with that woman" - rang hollow as he admitted in a TV address: "I did have a relationship with Miss Lewinsky that was not appropriate - in fact it was wrong."

He knew his public comments had misled people, and he deeply regretted the hurt he had caused. But he was trying to hide his own embarrassment and protect his family.

His admissions were matched by strong words for the nature of the long-running investigation into his business and private life, and a call to the nation to turn its attention back to more important matters.

And in a bold bid to draw a veil around the scandal, he said it was now entirely a family matter, adding: "It is nobody's business but ours. Even presidents have private lives."

So is this enough? Was Mr Clinton suitably apologetic, or will the clear defiance in the face of such adversity anger his opponents?

He has misled his family, the American people and the rest of the world. He has had some sort of relationship, in the White House, with a member of staff.

Is he still fit to lead the world's one remaining super power? Can he be trusted or should he quit?

Or should he be judged on his results on the world stage rather than his exploits behind closed doors?

  • Clinton evidence: Send your verdict to: talkingpoint@bbc.co.uk

    (Please include details of your name and country.)





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