Former President Bill Clinton said his wife was doing “economic diplomacy” work while secretary of State, but told CNN in an interview aired Sunday that “never saw her study a list of my contributors” to pair State Department favors with Clinton Foundation donors.
“And I had no idea who was doing business before the State Department. But what — I will say this. The — she believed — and I did too — I did the same thing when I was president, so I’m not — she believed that part of the job as secretary of state was to advance America’s economic interests around the world,” Clinton said. “…But I never thought about whether there was any overlap.”
He also answered polls that find his wife to not be trustworthy among American voters, insisting “I trust her with my life, and have on more than one occasion.”
“I think that anybody — the more people find out about her — anybody who is still really close to their best friend in grade school is by definition trustworthy, unless they were robbing stores together at 6 or 7,” Clinton quipped.
“I remember when Hillary was completely exonerated, when I was in the White House, in all that Whitewater business, when an official federal inquiry said that her billing records, they wished for her sake could have been found earlier, because they completely corroborated everything she’d said. And the next day, there was nothing in the media about it. There was stunning nondisclosure. So, now we have got social media, and we can have disclosure. And we can all live under the same rules. And it’s going to be fine. And I literally — A, I know her. B, I know the truth. And, C, I trust the American people. And it’s not happening 15 hours before the election. So, I feel good about it. I think that, you know, free speech in politics. And I think when people go to personal attacks this far before the election, it means that they’re scared of you. And they should be.”
The president clarified that Hillary never literally saved his life, but “whenever I had trouble, she was the rock in our family.”
“I mean, we will be fine, whatever happens here. You know, we’re going to come out of life ahead. And I think she — you know, she wants to serve,” he said. “And I want her to have a chance to serve, if the majority of the American people agree.”
Clinton predicted that Republican primary voters will select the candidate “they think has the best chance to win, in spite of the — because they figure the Tea Party’s taken over the House.”
“They have got all their ideological dreams fulfilled. And the reason I’m saying this is, it may be harder this year than before to figure out who is the most electable candidate. But I predict that, at some point during this process, whatever they’re debating and whatever the stories are, they will be a move by people who think they can influence the process to settle on the one that’s most electable, because they figure they already got what they need,” he said.
“…Do they need somebody who is new? Do they need somebody who is seasoned? Do they need somebody who has got a forward-leaning position on immigration, or will it disillusion their people and they will stay home? Do they need all this kind of — you know, they got all these decisions to make. But, in the end, it’s going to come down to who is the most electable candidate, because they want to win.”