December 30th, 2007
01:00 PM ET
10 years ago

Clinton stands by White House experience claims

WASHINGTON (CNN) - Hillary Clinton responded to Democratic rivals who continue to question her claims of White House experience during her husband’s administration, repeating Sunday that she “was intimately involved in so much that went on in the White House, here at home and around the world.”

The New York senator said on ABC’s “This Week” that she had played a role in the Northern Ireland peace process, which had prompted the new leaders of the government there to call on her recently.

“I was entrusted with a lot of missions in both paving the way and dealing with very specific challenges our country faced,” said Clinton.

She added that “I believe that our government failed” in Rwanda when husband, then-President Bill Clinton, did not take her advice that the United States should intervene to try to stop genocide in that country in 1994.

“We obviously didn't have a lot of good options,” she said. “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. It didn't happen, and that is something that the president has apologized for.”

Clinton’s comments, similar to ones she has made on the campaign trail recently, follow newspaper reports that the former first lady had not attended National Security Council meetings, did not receive the president's daily briefing, and did not have a security clearance during her husband’s administration. Several of her fellow Democratic presidential contenders also raised the issue on the trail this week.

“You know, I can imagine what the stories would have been had I attended a National Security Council meeting,” said Clinton. But she added that she 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 said. “I think that my experience is unique, having been eight years in the White House, having, yes, been part of making history, and also been part of learning how to best present our country's case.”

- CNN Associate Political Editor Rebecca Sinderbrand

Filed under: Hillary Clinton
soundoff (77 Responses)
  1. Duncan, Richmond, VA

    William, Having experience counts for nothing if their policies go against the very core of our Constitution. Clinton voted for the Patriot Act, for the war in Iraq, for more action against Iran etc. She wants bigger government, more taxes, more welfare programs.. How any American who values the foundation of our nation can vote for her or most of the other candidates is beyond me.

    I find it so sad that so many Americans care so little for our Constitution accept when they can use it as a weapon and grab 15 minutes of fame.

    January 1, 2008 09:43 am at 9:43 am |
  2. Shirley Haynie

    Where and what is the 35 years experience Hillary claims to have on her political ads?

    January 18, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
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