HONG KONG, China (CNN) – Former U.S. President Bill Clinton said Wednesday he will have "very little" to do with the decisions his wife Hillary will face as secretary of state in the incoming Obama administration.
"I'll just try to be a helpful sounding board to her, but I don't think I'll do any more than that," Clinton told CNN during a trip to Hong Kong.
President-elect Barack Obama announced Monday that Hillary Clinton, the senator from New York and former first lady, was his choice for secretary of state. Bill Clinton said he and his wife have always talked "about everything," and he called her advice "invaluable" throughout his career.
"I really care about all these profound challenges that our country and the world are facing," he said. "But the decisions will have to be ultimately the President-elect Obama's decisions to make about what we are going to do, what our policies are going to be."
Clinton said his wife learned she was being considered for the Cabinet post by reading it in the newspaper. He said he would remain in the background unless Obama "asks me to do something specific, which I'm neither looking for nor closed to."
"I think she made the right decision, but for her it was hard. She adored being in the Senate," he said.
Clinton was in Hong Kong to open a meeting of his Clinton Global Initiative, the non-profit foundation he started after leaving office. The organization, which is aimed at tackling international problems such as worldwide poverty and disease prevention, came under scrutiny while his wife was being vetted for the job.
Clinton said he has agreed to disclose his donors in order to eliminate concerns that supporters were trying to influence U.S. international policy, a move he called "over and above what the law requires."
"If she is going to be secretary of state and I operate globally and I have people who contribute to these efforts globally, I think that its important to make it totally transparent," he said.