(CNN) – In an interview with CNN's Fareed Zakaria, former President Bill Clinton stood by the Obama administration's pursuit of a deal with Russia for Syria to hand over its chemical weapons.
On a separate topic, Clinton called Larry Summers "a friend" but did not directly answer whether he should have removed his name Sunday from consideration for the chairmanship of the Federal Reserve.
The full interview will air Sunday on "Fareed Zakaria GPS" at 10 a.m. ET and 1 p.m. ET. In it, Clinton said of the origins of a potential diplomatic deal to the Syria chemical weapons crisis: "who cares how it came up?"
While cautious of the diplomatic solution's chances, Clinton stood by President Barack Obama's stance against chemical weapons and general handling of the matter.
"[Secretary of State] John Kerry got asked 'well, what can we do to stop you from bombing' and he said 'make the problem go away' so Putin says 'OK, I'll do that,'" Clinton said in reference to Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Clinton also said that the perception that the diplomatic back and forth has strengthened Russia's international position and ensured Syrian President Bashar al-Assad's power was "a separate issue."
"But there is inherent and enduring benefit in taking a step that has the potential to rid the world of these chemical weapons, because it's going to be difficult for anybody else to use them if this happens," Clinton said.
The military strike against Syria for its use of chemical weapons for which Obama had once sought permission from Congress has been tabled indefinitely. Kerry and his Russian counterpart, Sergey Lavrov, have started hashing out a deal that will, in theory, see Syria turning over all its chemical weapons to international authorities by the middle of next year. Syria has still not taken responsibility for a chemical weapons attack believed to have killed more than 1,400 people in August.
Lawmakers disagree on whether use of force is still on the table
For his part, Clinton said he didn't think the president was required to seek Congressional authorization for a strike. Clinton himself launched punitive military strikes against Iraq in the 1990s over noncompliance with international weapons inspectors.
Clinton said the failure of a strike authorization in the British parliament likely gave Obama pause. "I think it made him think, you know, this is something the country ought to do together," Clinton said.
As for Larry Summers, the man believed to have been Obama's top pick to lead the Fed after Ben Bernanke steps down in January, Clinton would not directly say whether or not he was disappointed that Summers had withdrawn his name from consideration.
Clinton did however say that Summers is "a friend of mine and I think that a lot of the criticism which he's been subject about, what he did in my administration, is not accurate," he said.
"I think there's this kind of cartoon image that's been developed that somehow Larry Summers was a one-note Johnny, just trying to let big financial titans ravage the land. And it's just ludicrous."
Summers took himself out of consideration over the weekend, yielding to liberal pressures over a reputation as a deregulator during his time as Clinton's Treasury Secretary, along with controversial statements about women.