The Slatest

Anthony Bourdain Called Bill Clinton “Gropey, Grabby, Disgusting” in One of His Last Interviews

Anthony Bourdain.
Anthony Bourdain.
Craig Barritt/Getty Images

In one of his last interviews, Anthony Bourdain, no fan of Donald Trump’s, rebuked several prominent liberal figures, including Hillary and Bill Clinton, the latter of whom Bourdain called “entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting.”

The wide-ranging interview, published Monday, more than a month after Bourdain’s death, came from his conversation with the journalist Maria Bustillos in February for the magazine Popula. In the interview, Bourdain reserved most of his frustrations for President Trump and his administration:

I think Trump’s going down for the money. Collusion is tricky to prove, it’s the money. And once they get too close, in my view he will declare victory, congratulate himself on the fantastic job he’s done and resign, saying the job is too small for him. Just what he did in Atlantic City! “I got mine, big success for me,” and leave behind a shambles.

At this point I would sacrifice, I would compromise many of my principles just for basic fucking competency, in somebody who reads a daily security brief you know? Who’s willing to do their fucking homework, who has some, some, some understanding of how government works!

But his ire toward Bill Clinton, whom Bourdain originally supported, seemed more personal because of Bourdain’s identity as a liberal. He argued that Clinton should not have been impeached, but said that he would not “under any circumstances” vote for Clinton today:

Bill Clinton, look, the bimbo eruptions—it was fucking monstrous. That would not have flown today. A piece of shit. Entitled, rapey, gropey, grabby, disgusting, and the way that he—and [Hillary Clinton]—destroyed these women and the way that everyone went along, and, and are blind to this! Screamingly apparent hypocrisy and venality. How you can on the one hand howl at the moon about all these other predators. And not at least look back.

OK, let’s say, well, it was all consensual: powerful men, starstruck women, okay fine, let’s accept it at its most charitable interpretation. Fine. He is a very charming man, I met him, he’s fucking magnetic. … As is [Hillary]. When you’re in the room, you think wow, she’s really warm and nice and funny. But the way they efficiently dismantled, destroyed, and shamelessly discredited these women for speaking their truth … is unforgivable.

This is not the first time Bourdain has spoken out about the Clintons. In 2017, after women came forward to accuse Harvey Weinstein of sexual assault, Hillary Clinton declared in an interview that she was “appalled” by the allegations against a man who had hosted fundraisers for her and other Democratic politicians. In response, Bourdain took to Twitter to accuse her of “disingenuousness,” arguing she was too slow to speak out about Weinstein.

His comments about former President Bill Clinton appeared to have been informed by his experiences in the wake of the Weinstein revelations as well. Bourdain, who had been in a relationship with Asia Argento, one of the women who accused Harvey Weinstein of sexual misconduct, grappled openly with his past during the #MeToo movement, earning him praise from many who consider him a feminist ally. “I’ve had to ask myself, and I have been for some time, ‘To what extent in [my] book did I provide validation to meatheads?’” he said to Slate’s Isaac Chotiner in an interview last year. “I had to ask myself, particularly given some things that I’m hearing, and the people I’m hearing them about: Why was I not the sort of person, or why was I not seen as the sort of person, that these women could feel comfortable confiding in? I see this as a personal failing.”

Later in the interview, Bourdain made it clear that of the recent presidents, Barack Obama, whom Bourdain had known personally, stood out as the single good man to have held the office.

See, I found Obama very unconvincing in public, much of the time. I was always wanting a little more passion, stop halting—the halting, careful speech. In person, absolutely the most gracious, graceful, real, funny, uh, no sense of calculation, honest, I mean, you know. Him I’d vote for fuckin’ again, any time.

I believe he may not have been the greatest president in history, but he’s one of the fucking nicest, good, one of the best people we ever had. … You’re never gonna see a better human being in the White House, I believe.