Washington, D.C. —
On Tuesday, as Congress failed to repeal "Don't Ask, Don't Tell," former President Bill Clinton told CBS News anchor Katie Couric that Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Colin Powell misrepresented how the ban would work.
Clinton told Couric "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" wasn't his choice.
"I accepted it because it was better than an absolute ban," Clinton said. "I was promised it would be better than it was."
Clinton said his back was against the wall, because it was clear Congress would pass an absolute ban on gays and lesbians in the military if he didn't do something first.
"When Colin Powell sold me on don't pass, don't tell, here's what he said it would be: Gay service members would never get in trouble for going to gay bars, marching in gay rights parades as long as they weren't in uniform," Clinton said. "That was what they were promised. That's a very different don't ask, don't tell than we got."