Nov 14, 2019 - Politics & Policy

Bill Clinton calls out Trump for refusing to work with Congress during impeachment

Former President Bill Clinton called into CNN on Thursday to discuss the school shooting in California, and ended up criticizing President Trump for refusing to work with Congress on things like gun control due to the ongoing House impeachment inquiry.

The exchange:

JAKE TAPPER: What would your message to President Trump be about when he says, "I can't work with these people. They're impeaching me?"
CLINTON: My message was, would be, look, you got hired to do a job. You don't get to — every day's an opportunity to make something good happen. And I would say I've got lawyers and staff people handling this impeachment inquiry and they should just have at it. Meanwhile, I'm going to work for the American people. That's what I would do. He did indicate a couple times he would go along with this and then obviously the gun lobby got ahold of him and pulled him back, but at some point denial is no longer an option.

Why it matters: Clinton — one of two U.S. presidents to be impeached — was responding to a clip of Attorney General Bill Barr, who said Wednesday that legislative efforts on gun control have been "sidetracked" by the impeachment process.

  • Clinton is the last president to have signed major gun control legislation. He called Barr's comments "just an excuse," telling Tapper, "Look how much we got done in 1998 and 1999. And even 1997. We had very productive actions in all three years."

Go deeper: Trump impeachment starts more partisan than Bill Clinton's

Go deeper