Clinton, on Colbert, says Lewinsky comments were 'not my finest hour'

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"Do you understand why some people thought that was a tone-deaf response to his questions about the #MeToo movement and how you might reflect on your behavior 20 years ago?" I meant it then, and I meant it now.

Clinton said his feelings about his affair with Lewinsky haven't been shaped by the #MeToo movement because he had "felt bad then", when it had originally come to light.

"I could not believe the words that were coming out of his mouth", she said.

"You didn't apologize to her?"

Former US president Bill Clinton has been promoting the book he co-wrote with noveilst James Patterson.

"Do you feel like you owe her an apology", Melvin asked. The former president responded saying, "I have". "I've never talked to her". I did say, publicly, on more than one occasion, that I was sorry. "Thats very different. The apology was public".

"The truth is, the hubbub was I got hot under the collar because of the way the questions were asked", Clinton explained during the opening of his book tour in NY.

"I left the White House US$16 million (NZ$23 million) in debt".

"I did and they showed a film clip finally", Clinton said.

Take a look at Clinton's response in the video above.

Clinton said he "did the right thing" by refusing to resign because of the Lewinsky scandal.

"I did not talk to her", Clinton said.

Clinton also asked Melvin if he would have called for former presidents John F Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson to resign, presumably because of alleged extra-marital affairs while in office.

In the run-up to this years midterm elections, Clinton has been virtually invisible on the campaign trail because of new scrutiny of his past treatment of women, including Lewinsky. "And I think what was lost were the two points that I made that are important to me". So I did that, I meant it then and I mean it today. "That's all I have to say to you".

Lewinsky, following years in relative hiding after she became a national fascination for her affair with Clinton, re-emerged into the national conversation in 2014 as a contributing writer for Vanity Fair. She said she had always considered the relationship consensual, but the #MeToo movement shifted her thinking on the subject.

Bill Clinton's comments have sparked controversy.

"He was my boss", she wrote. "It's way overdue." But "that doesn't mean I agree with everything", he added.

Meanwhile, Patterson's eyes glazed over, having sat through this twice already, with umpteen more book-tour interviews to go. Clinton and Patterson are now on a book tour to promote the novel.