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Long IslandColumnistsDan Janison

Janison: Women, the Clintons and Trump

Could a self-righteous rant from either of the Clintons even slightly harm President Donald Trump — their ex-friend, ex-fan and ex-donor famously turned foe?

Not likely.

In light of the #MeToo movement, former President Bill Clinton faces a revival of static over his treatment of — and relations with — women over the decades. His defense to NBC last week stood to leave even a favorably tilted audience less than nostalgic for his 1990s tenure.

Asked if he thought differently about the Monica Lewinsky case, in light of current attitudes and events, Clinton said he felt terribly about it at the time.

“You, typically, have ignored gaping facts in describing this and I bet you don’t even know them,” he accused his questioner. “This was litigated 20 years ago. Two-thirds of the American people sided with me.”

On he went. In the process — he later expressed regret for getting “hot under the collar” — Clinton relied on an old talking point about how he “had a sexual-harassment policy when I was [Arkansas] governor in the ’80s.”

As The Washington Post noted promptly in a fact-check, Clinton merely adopted federal guidelines at the time — a matter exposed during a sworn deposition of him 20 years ago.

Trump — who posed with female Clinton accusers to offset abuse allegations against himself — continues to attack the Democratic “power couple” of yesteryear.

“What is taking so long with the Inspector General’s Report on Crooked Hillary [Clinton] and Slippery James Comey. Numerous delays,” the president tweeted Tuesday.

For the current president, that’s just part of a day’s diversion of attention from probes of his own campaign.

Funny how the echoes sound.

Whitewater independent counsel Ken Starr once forced a grand jury appearance from Bill Clinton, who was subsequently impeached for lying.

Now the terms of a president’s testimony, and the proper role of the special counsel, mesmerize Washington.

Three years ago, before Trump announced for president, a phone conversation about politics took place between him and the former Democratic president, both sides said.

Accounts of the chat were conflicting and vague — what would you expect? — but the moment can only leave you to wonder at the ironic twists that followed.

Twenty years ago, Trump told CNBC of his own ambition to run: “Can you imagine how controversial I’d be?

“You think about [Clinton] with the women — how about me with the women? Can you imagine?

“I really like this guy, but you really have to say, ‘Where does it stop?’ ”

Where indeed. That’s a good question once again.


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