Baylor President Ken Starr (right) looks on as the Baylor Bears host the Texas A&M Aggies on December 9, 2014 at the Ferrell Center in Waco, Texas.
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May 24, 2016 10:45 AM EDT

The man whose investigation of former President Bill Clinton led to his impeachment is now praising him instead, calling him “the most gifted politician of the baby boomer generation.”

In comments first reported Tuesday by the New York Times, former Whitewater independent counsel Kenneth Starr praised Clinton as “genuine” last week, just as presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump has begun to draw more attention to Clinton’s impeachment and sexual transgressions of the 1990s as part of an attack on likely Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton.

“His genuine empathy for human beings is absolutely clear,” Starr said of Bill Clinton at a May 16 panel discussion on the presidency at the National Constitution Center in Philadelphia. “It is powerful, it is palpable and the folks of Arkansas really understood that about him—that he genuinely cared. The ‘I feel your pain’ is absolutely genuine.”

Read more: Leave Bill Clinton’s Sex Life Alone, Says Arkansas Gov Who Helped Impeach Him

Starr said, “there are certain tragic dimensions which we all lament,” expressing some regret for what he called “the unpleasantness” brought up by his investigation, which looked into the Whitewater scandal, the death of White House deputy counsel Vince Foster, the lawsuit filed against Bill Clinton by Paula Jones and his affair with Monica Lewinsky.

Starr did not mention Trump by name, but he also warned about “the transnational emergence of almost radical populism, deep anger, a sense of dislocation” and said he is concerned by party division, the Times reported.

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