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Story highlights

Donald Trump said Tuesday that his dismissal of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair in 2008 was a business "obligation"

Trump has attacked Bill Clinton for his infidelity recently and accused Hillary Clinton of playing "the woman card" against him after he said she was "schlonged" by President Barack Obama in 2008

Washington CNN —  

Donald Trump explained Tuesday that his description of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair as “unimportant” during a 2008 CNN interview was simply a business “obligation.”

“I’m dubbed as a world-class businessman, which frankly that’s what I am, and I got along with everybody. I got along with the Clintons, the Republicans, the Democrats, the liberals, the conservatives. That was my obligation, as a businessman,” Trump told NBC’s “The Today Show.” “But I get along with … the Clintons and I get along with everybody virtually, because that was – when I needed approvals, when I needed something from Washington, I always got what I wanted.”

Trump has been hammering away at Bill Clinton for his marital infidelity, just as Hillary Clinton is preparing to bring her husband out on the trail. But in 2008, while he was arguing that former President George W. Bush should be impeached for leading the country into the Iraq War, Trump dismissed the Lewinsky affair entirely.

“Look at the trouble Bill Clinton got into with something that was totally unimportant. And they tried to impeach him, which was nonsense. And yet Bush got us into this horrible war with lies, by lying, by saying they had weapons of mass destruction, by saying all sorts of things that turned out not to be true,” Trump told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer in 2008.

Trump refused to say exactly whether he believed Bill Clinton’s affair was a non-issue or “fair game” in 2008. But over this past weekend he tweeted, “Hillary Clinton has announced that she is letting her husband out to campaign but HE’S DEMONSTRATED A PENCHANT FOR SEXISM, so inappropriate!”

RELATED: Trump slams Bill Clinton’s ‘sexism’ in attack on Hillary Clinton

Trump’s long history with the Clintons has moved to center stage in both the Republican and Democratic primaries as the two front-runners have increasingly moved their sights from their primary opponents to each other. The Clintons attended his 2005 wedding with his third wife, Melania and their two daughters – Ivanka Trump and Chelsea Clinton are friends.

Trump has also said that Bill Clinton himself urged him to run in a phone call shortly before Trump dove into the Republican primary. Clinton told Stephen Colbert in October that he got a message Trump wanted to talk with him and he returned his call and did not talk about “running for office.”