Bill Clinton, America’s most-recent impeached president, on Thursday offered apparently sincere words of advice for President Trump.
In an interview with CNN, Mr. Clinton said Mr. Trump should just ignore the goings-on on Capitol Hill, something he himself largely did in 1998.
“My message would be, look, you got hired to do a job,” Mr. Clinton said. “You don’t get the days back you blow off. Every day is an opportunity to make something good happen.”
Mr. Clinton, whose wife Hillary lost the 2016 presidential election to the political neophyte tycoon, said the current president should leave the impeachment fight in others’ hands.
“I would say, ‘I’ve got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry, and they should just have at it,’ ” Mr. Clinton said. “Meanwhile, I’m going to work for the American people. That’s what I would do.”
Those last sentences almost exactly mirror Mr. Clinton’s closing line during the notorious press conference where he lied about having “sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky.”
After saying emphatically that the allegations against him were false, he walked off to the words “and I need to go back to work for the American people.”
Mr. Trump already appeared to have been taking Mr. Clinton’s advice.
On Wednesday, the first day of public hearings in the impeachment inquiry, he had a public White House meeting with Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan.
“I haven’t watched for one minute,” he said when asked about the hearings at the two leaders’ joint press conference.
“I’ve been with the president [of Turkey], which is much more important … I’d much rather focus on peace in the Middle East,” Mr. Trump said dismissively.
Mr. Clinton was on CNN for a phone interview to discuss Thursday’s California school shooting and gave his answer in response to the CNN anchor changing the subject.
For her part, Mrs. Clinton was asked earlier in the week whether she would “say unequivocally that you’d impeach [Mr. Trump] today?” and she replied “based on what I know, yes.”