Former President Clinton came under criticism from members of his own party Monday after the airing of an interview in which he forcefully defended the fact that he has never personally apologized to Monica Lewinsky over his role in the 1998 scandal.

Longtime aides, allies and friends said they were surprised Clinton doubled down in the NBC interview, conducted by Craig Melvin, and defended his actions instead of apologizing in a nod to the “Me Too” movement.

Asked directly by Melvin if he owed Lewinsky an apology, Clinton pointed to the public apology he offered at the time, and replied, “No, I do not.”

“I have never talked to her,” Clinton said. “But I did say publicly on more than one occasion that I was sorry. That’s very different. The apology was public.”

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