Hillary Clinton stands by 'Russian reset' in face of recent events
July 24th, 2014
12:35 PM ET
4 months ago

Hillary Clinton stands by 'Russian reset' in face of recent events

Washington (CNN) - It worked.

That is the argument former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton made during a Thursday interview about her much talked about 2009 reset of U.S.-Russia relations.

The statement comes as Russia, under President Vladimir Putin, has distanced itself from the United States, and the country is widely seen by U.S. and European analysts as linked to the downing of a passenger airliner earlier this month in Ukraine.

"What I think I demonstrate in the book, is that the reset worked," Clinton told guest host John Harwood on NPR's “On Point” on Thursday during a conversation about her new memoir, "Hard Choices." "It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while (Dmitry) Medvedev was president."

Clinton later said the reset "succeeded" and was meant to be "a device to try to refocus attention on the transactional efforts that we needed to get done with the Russians."

The former secretary of state – and frontrunner for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2016 – said the signing of the 2009 New START treaty, the increased sanctions on Iran and the securing of supply lines to American troops in Afghanistan were all successes that came from the reset.

But hindsight has not favored Clinton.

Russia has stepped up its aggressiveness on the world stage and the country's relations with the United States have suffered. The front cover of the latest issue of TIME Magazine even declares "Cold War II: The West is losing Putin's dangerous game."

Hillary Clinton: It’s up to Putin whether there’s 'another Cold War'

Putin now finds himself at the center of the Malaysia Airlines Flight MH 17 investigation. U.S. officials believe the plane was shot down over an area of eastern Ukraine that is now in control of Russian-backed separatists. The crash killed all 298 people on board, causing U.S. and European officials to step up rhetoric against Russia, with some blaming Putin directly for the deaths.

Putin has not taken responsibility for the downing, but in a written statement said, "no one should and no one has the right to use this tragedy to pursue their own political goals. Rather than dividing us, tragedies of this sort should bring people together."

The downing and the backing of separatists in Ukraine come after Russia annexed Crimea from Ukraine earlier this year. The move riled the international community and caused the United States and Europe to sanction important economic sectors of the country.

Clinton argued during the interview that when Putin retook the Russian presidency in 2012 she recognized the need to treat the country differently.

"When Putin announced in the fall of 2011 that he was coming back, I had no illusions," Clinton said. "I wrote a memo to the President, in fact I wrote two memos to the President, pointing out that we were going to have to change our thinking and approach. We had gotten all we could get from the reset."

Clinton's dealings with Russia have also turned political. Republicans have seized on Clinton's reset in light of recent events and the Republican National Committee has made the reset a hallmark of most of their sweeping attacks on Clinton. The group has argued "as relations with Russia continue to deteriorate, Clinton may need to reset her own Russian legacy."

Clinton compares Putin's Ukraine moves to Hitler, later recalibrates

During the interview with Harwood, Clinton acknowledged the number of foreign policy crises around the world but appeared to distance herself from decisions the Obama administration has made since she left in 2013.

"Every administration, every party in the White House has the responsibility during the time it is there to do the best we can to lead and manage the many problems we face," Clinton said when asked if the Obama administration is to blame for a number of issues around the world. "And I think we did in the first term."

On the topic of another international hotspot, Clinton strongly sided with Israel in the country's conflict with Hamas and the Gaza Strip.

Clinton said that she has "no doubt" that the current conflict "was a deliberate provocation" by Hamas to "engender more sympathy for their cause and also to put Israel on the back heal."

"I think the responsibility falls on Hamas," Clinton said.

Clinton did say, however, that she supports Secretary of State John Kerry's efforts to secure a ceasefire in the region and hopes the agreement will bring an end to the fighting.


Filed under: 2016 • Hillary Clinton • Russia
soundoff (101 Responses)
  1. Jayson

    A reset after what happend in Georgia? Why don't we do another reset now because it accomplishes so much.....

    July 24, 2014 12:38 pm at 12:38 pm |
  2. Tommy G

    Hillary Clinton stands by 'Russian reset' in face of recent events
    --

    Clearly a person that is incapable of admitting her mistakes and delusional. Ad this to her Benghazi incompetence and cover lies and you have somebody not fit to be President. Keep talking Hillary! PLEASE keep talking!!!

    July 24, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  3. sonny chapman

    Attention Repubs. w/Amnesia: The "Reset" was preceded by George W. Bush using his miraculous powers of being able to look into Vlad Putin"s eyes & see into his soul & discern that Putin was a "Good Guy". PS-They Hate us for Our Freedom.

    July 24, 2014 12:49 pm at 12:49 pm |
  4. it must be said

    "What I think I demonstrate in the book, is that the reset worked," Clinton told guest host John Harwood on NPR's “On Point” on Thursday during a conversation about her new memoir, "Hard Choices." "It was an effort to try to obtain Russian cooperation on some key objectives while (Dmitry) Medvedev was president."
    Clinton later said the reset "succeeded" and was meant to be "a device to try to refocus attention on the transactional efforts that we needed to get done with the Russians."
    --

    Well, the above Hillary Clinton statements raise, once again, the question of brain injury with regards to Hillary Clinton. Only a person with brain damage would claim her infamous Russian Reset succeeded.

    Democrats better have another candidate at the ready if Hillary Clinton keeps this up! Crazy Joe, you listening to this?!

    July 24, 2014 12:52 pm at 12:52 pm |
  5. Rudy NYC

    Tommy G

    Hillary Clinton stands by 'Russian reset' in face of recent events
    -

    Clearly a person that is incapable of admitting her mistakes and delusional. Ad this to her Benghazi incompetence and cover lies and you have somebody not fit to be President. Keep talking Hillary! PLEASE keep talking!!!
    =========================================================================
    Clearly a person in denial of the fact that it was the preceding administration's bungling that required a reset with the Russians in the first place.

    Person "A" comes into the kitchen, spills a mess onto the floor, and leaves because his two hours in the kitchen have expired. Person "B" comes along, sees the mess, and attempts to clean it up. Meanwhile, "A" keeps popping their hand into the room making more of a mess. It's an ongoing problem that "A" is making worse with each passing moment until "B's" time runs out. Even worse, "A" has now begun blaming "B" for not being able to clean up the mess that "A" had created and had continued to make worse through interference.

    July 24, 2014 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  6. sonny crapman

    sonny chapman
    Attention Repubs. w/Amnesia: The "Reset" was preceded by George W. Bush using his miraculous powers of being able to look into Vlad Putin"s eyes & see into his soul & discern that Putin was a "Good Guy". PS-They Hate us for Our Freedom.
    --–

    And what does any of this have to do with Hillary Clinton's idiotic statements and failed policy? ZILCH. Thanks for the usual drivel though.

    July 24, 2014 12:54 pm at 12:54 pm |
  7. Gurgyl

    Hillary, let EU deal this Russia garbage. They know they can tackle.

    July 24, 2014 12:55 pm at 12:55 pm |
  8. Mike

    The reset worked? Wow! I'll have what she's having.

    July 24, 2014 12:59 pm at 12:59 pm |
  9. Sniffit

    "Smokescreen. Nominal rate means nothing. Effective rate means everything. Thanks for playing.
    --

    And a flat tax with little to no loopholes would support your statement. Some "loopholes" make sense like the mortgage deduction. But almost everything else has come about due to lobbyists. A flat tax dramatically reduces the opportunity for our politicians to be bought off."
    ===

    Flat tax is grossly inequitable and regressive and there's no way around that. However, I have no problem setting rates on a progressive scale and eviscerating the tax code of most loopholes such that there is very little deviation per individual or corporation from the rate they are supposed to pay in their bracket.

    July 24, 2014 01:00 pm at 1:00 pm |
  10. Airmanc5

    She's a democrat, her lips are moving, so she is lying..just like Obama

    Obama goes on fund raisers and people DIE...Kinda of like when he went to las Vegas and raised money as our Ambassador lay MURDERED in Benghazi.......and the radicalized left wing media continues its coverup

    July 24, 2014 01:02 pm at 1:02 pm |
  11. Sniffit

    " Ad this to her Benghazi incompetence "

    #5MinutesToBenghazi

    Blah blah blah BLAHGAZHI!!!

    July 24, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  12. GatorBob

    sonny,
    OK,, so Bush was wrong...see that wasn't hard, now try it.
    Libs NEVER admit they were wrong, just divert attention. She accomplished nothing during her tenure but is going to be the unopposed nominee? We are doomed.

    July 24, 2014 01:03 pm at 1:03 pm |
  13. Lazybum

    And in a predictable, hard hitting NPR response, the host's reactionn was

    July 24, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  14. Lazybum

    (cue crickets)

    July 24, 2014 01:04 pm at 1:04 pm |
  15. Jim Anger

    Even the most ardent liberals must be tiring of Hillary's constant (yet consistent) delusional blather! At the rate she's lying and denying...she'll get pummelled in the 2016 election! So...in short, keep up the fine work Benghazi Babe! Cuz...you're going down!!

    July 24, 2014 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  16. Anadara

    Yeah... The reset worked. ...We are now, once again, in a cold war footing with the Russians seeking European hegemony and they have more and better nukes.

    July 24, 2014 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  17. Ann Onymous

    C'mon people. She's every bit as competent to be president as Barack Obama.

    July 24, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  18. Yellow Devil

    The "Reset" worked? LOL, Clinton you couldn't even translate the word "reset" into Russian. You mistranslated the word into "over charge" and that's exactly what they are doing. Nice job, I thought the State department was bad under the previous administration, but they found ways to make it worse in this current one. You can't even make this up anymore.

    July 24, 2014 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  19. Andylit

    Of course she says it worked. Did you expect her to claim it as a failure?

    July 24, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  20. O'drama ya Mama

    I see the same people commenting here who defended Dick Cheney when he stood by his actions not doing the same for Hillary. Dont you people realize the same lot comes here every day and remembers what you've said? You all contradict each other.

    July 24, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  21. Jeff

    Clinton is an elitist puppet and a liar. She is nor more of a match for Putin than the weenie that is Barack Obama. We need God-fearing, thoughtful people in the white house, not these people any longer.

    This country sells billions of dollars worth of weapons every year to all the countries of the world, and then we fly useless diplomats like Hillary Clinton and John Kerry to put out the terrible fires of war we have set. We have completely screwed up this world and must urgently turn back towards the help of heaven–we can't do it ourselves any longer. Locutions.org

    July 24, 2014 01:15 pm at 1:15 pm |
  22. Andylit

    Did you expect her to claim it as a failure?

    July 24, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
  23. Roger Wilko

    There was a story reporting the famous "reset" button was removed from a hot tub where the State Department was staying prior to meeting with the Russians. It was a gimmick, like the entirety of State Department efforts under Hillary and John Kerry. That gimmick set the stage for the World to believe that the United States was assuming the roll of circus clowns. A roll that's perfect for the current State Department, with results matching the efforts. Hillary continues to keep people cringing.

    July 24, 2014 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  24. Rudy NYC

    Jim Anger

    Even the most ardent liberals must be tiring of Hillary's constant (yet consistent) delusional blather! At the rate she's lying and denying...she'll get pummelled in the 2016 election! So...in short, keep up the fine work Benghazi Babe! Cuz...you're going down!!
    ----------------------------
    I hereby nominate "Jim Anger" to be the official authority on delusional blather.
    Any questions? Ask me. Any delusions? Ask him to compare yours to his.

    July 24, 2014 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  25. Alex

    Folks you have to understand that to a far left Liberal this is success. As long as their policies weaken the United States they think that is a good thing. God help us all if we don't get a majority in the Senate come the fall.

    July 24, 2014 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
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