Bill Clinton (Photo by Leigh Vogel/Getty Images for RFK Human Rights )

A BBC Newsnight presenter has revealed that she once spotted a former US president reading the Kama Sutra in a hotel gift shop.

Emily Maitlis said she first thought Bill Clinton, who was the 42nd president of the US, was reading a “cultured” history book when she saw him at a book store in a hotel in India.

She said on The Jonathan Ross Show: “He goes straight to the books and I’m like, ‘Of course, the cultured man, he’s gone to read about the empire’.

“I was looking and he picked up this book and I thought, ‘That doesn’t look like a history book’ and I looked a bit closer. I was like, ‘It doesn’t look like it’s got any text, it does look familiar’ – and I realised he’d picked up a copy of the Kama Sutra.

“He was looking at it in the gift shop. I was like, ‘OK, I think it might be time for a very swift exit’.”

Maitlis also spoke about her interaction with president Donald Trump. The president spoke to her about his “germaphobia” and handshaking habits.

“He came towards me and gave me this macho manly handshake. I was quite surprised because we’d always heard about the germaphobia and how he doesn’t like shaking hands.

“I said, ‘Oh I thought you had germaphobia?’ and he said, ‘no, not with you. I shake hands with you. It’s them that I don’t shake hands with.’

“And I said, ‘oh, the people in your lobby?’ and he’s like ‘yes.”

Maitlis, 48, has given an insight into her career as a journalist in her new book Airhead: The Imperfect Art of Making News. The book also features accounts of interview with prime minister Theresa May, Tony Blair, Emma Thompson and former FBI chief James Comey among others.