Hillary Clinton on Her Famous Spouse
By John Solomon
Hillary Clinton is certain already of the work her husband Bill, the ex-president, will do if their roles are switched and she wins the White House this time around.
"He will not have a formal official role. But just as presidents rely on wives, husbands, fathers, friends of long years, he will be my close confidant and adviser, as I was with him," she said in an interview with ABC's This Week aired on Sunday.
Sen. Clinton said the lack of a formal role means the ex-president could have a West Wing office "if he wants one" but would not be allowed to attend National Security Council meetings. "That wouldn't be appropriate," she said.
"I happen to think using former presidents makes a lot of sense. So, I expect to ask him to do many things for our country," said Clinton, who in the past has described her husband's potential role as a sort of roving global ambassador.
"I doubt that there will be an important issue that I won't talk to him about. I don't think there was an important issue that he didn't talk to me about. I don't talk about everything we talked about, because obviously I don't think that's appropriate," she said.
Sen. Clinton, whose experiences as first lady and a senator are key to her closing arguments before voters attend Iowa's caucuses later this week, also went into detail about some of the things her husband asked her to do when she was the first spouse.
Though she never had a security clearance, Clinton said, "I had direct access to all of the decision-makers. I was briefed on a range of issues, often provided classified information. And often when I traveled on behalf of our country. I traveled with representatives from the DOD, the CIA, the State Department."
She also confirmed a story her husband told about the time he spurned her advice as first lady to more forcefully intervene in the genocide in Rwanda in the mid-1990s. "I believe that our government failed. We obviously didn't have a lot of good options. It moved very quickly. It was a difficult, terrible genocide to try to get our arms around and to do something to try to stem or prevent," she said. "It didn't happen, and that is something that the president has apologized for."
Clinton also took credit for playing a behind-the-scenes role in the Clinton administration's successful effort to bring piece to Norther Ireland. "I helped in that process, not just standing by and witnessing, but actually getting my hands into it, creating opportunities for people on both sides of the sectarian divide to come together," she said.
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