Clinton: 'I Was In The Doghouse'

Former President Bill Clinton's memoir "My Life" is not due out until next week, but The Associated Press got a copy of it today and reported some of what's in it without directly quoting from the book.

One of the more important sections of the book— dealing with al Qaeda, is the focus of the Associated Press report.

In one of the more compelling passages of Clinton's book, he recounts a meeting with then President-elect George W. Bush, reports CBS News Anchor Dan Rather.

The former president claims he warned Mr. Bush that the biggest threat to the nation's security was Osama Bin-Laden and al Qaeda.

According to Mr. Clinton, Mr. Bush said little in response, and then switched subjects.

The 957-page memoir, which Mr. Clinton wrote himself in longhand, details the highs and lows of his presidency. He considers the day the Kosovar war ended as one of his best. He said, "I knew Milosevic's days were numbered."

Last week he sat down with Rather for an interview set to air on 60 Minutes, Sunday, June 20, 2004, at 7 p.m. ET/PT.

It was the most expansive and open interview ever done by a former president. In it Mr. Clinton told Rather of what were perhaps the darkest days of his presidency -- the affair with intern Monica Lewinsky.

"I think I did something for the worst possible reason, just because I could," he said. "I think that's the most — just about the most morally indefensible reason that anybody could have for doing anything. When you do something just because you could."

In his book, Mr. Clinton talks of the torment his wife Sen. Hillary Clinton, D-NY, and daughter Chelsea went through in the following days and months.

The Associated Press reports when he finally confessed, Hillary Clinton looked as if he had just punched her in the gut.

The President was quote, "in the doghouse." He slept on the couch for months while he says Hillary Clinton considered whether to stay married to him. Of the impeachment itself, Mr. Clinton told Rather his fight against it was a "badge of honor," and that he was proud it failed in driving him from office.

"I didn't quit," he said. "I never thought of resigning and I stood up to it and beat it back." He went on to call it "an abuse of power."
  • David Hancock

    David Hancock is a home page editor for CBSNews.com.

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