July 18th, 2014
10:33 AM ET
7 years ago

Bill Clinton on Malaysian airliner: 'It's pretty tough'

(CNN) - Former President Bill Clinton said that AIDS researchers among the 298 killed when a Malaysia Airlines jetliner was shot down over eastern Ukraine on Thursday were "doing so much good."

"Thinking about those people, knocked out of the sky, it's pretty tough," Clinton added in an interview Friday with CNN's Anna Coren.

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A number of members of the International AIDS Society were on the plane as they made their way to a major conference in Melbourne, Australia, according to a statement from the organization. The former president is scheduled to give a keynote address at the conference next Wednesday.

"This gathering, we do this on a regular basis, have these international AIDS conferences. And I try to go to all of them because I'm always so inspired by what other people are doing and what we can learn from them," Clinton said in Hanoi, Vietnam. "Since I left office it's been kind of a regular part of my life. Thinking about those people, knocked out of the sky, it's pretty tough."

Clinton is in Hanoi as part of his tour of Asia/Pacific countries to review the work of the Clinton Foundation.


Filed under: Bill Clinton
soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. Gurgyl

    -pretty much traumatic and devastation. All these fascinating gadgets, be they Guns, Rocket-bombs, or any other human casualty is human-shame. Terrorists better realize this on "HUMANE-BASE". God bless these bereaved families–it is rough, tough.

    July 18, 2014 10:40 am at 10:40 am |
  2. Rudy NYC

    It's my understanding that there were close to 100 conference attendees on board.

    July 18, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. stormchaser 101

    This airliner tragity leads strait to putin's door and his desire to restore the old soviet union.he supplied the rockets to the idiots who shot down the plane.

    July 18, 2014 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  4. OBAMA - THE OPEN BORDERS PRESIDENT

    Clinton knew how to lead. Obama gave it 40 seconds before bashing the opposition, engaging in his comedian act, and flying off to another fundraiser. That's the pattern. Yesterday with a confluence of events in Israel and the Malaysia Airliner its just pathetic. The only good thing I can say is at least John Kerry is showing up for work and doing his job.

    Clinton was a very good President continuing to do great things while showing incredible compassion.

    July 18, 2014 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  5. Sniffit

    Putin's got some 'splainin to do.

    July 18, 2014 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  6. Anonymous

    Clinton is in Hanoi as part of his tour of Asia/Pacific countries to review the work of the Clinton Foundation.
    --

    So is Clinton's foundation helping the Communists in Vietnam??? Are you kidding?

    July 18, 2014 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  7. Rick McDaniel

    This is how things happen..........when dictators take control of countries. We are on the verge.........and we need to face that truth.

    July 18, 2014 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  8. Desire, Lagos Nigeria

    I always see politicians as people who have no respect for human lives. May the departed rest in peace.

    July 18, 2014 11:08 am at 11:08 am |
  9. smith1

    God bless everyone on board and the families they left behind.

    July 18, 2014 11:10 am at 11:10 am |
  10. O'drama ya Mama

    Rudy NYC

    It's my understanding that there were close to 100 conference attendees on board.
    July 18, 2014 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
    _________________________________________________________________________________________________

    Its interesting that both this flight and flight 370 were carrying a number of important people. Flight 370 had all those patent holders from the Freescale Semi-conductor.

    July 18, 2014 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  11. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA - Take Back the House

    It's truly a sad day for the world. Vladamir, their blood is on your hands!!

    July 18, 2014 11:15 am at 11:15 am |
  12. rs

    I love how those on the Right are already trying to politicize this (Rush even rumbled on an Obama conspiracy with this event). Clinton is right, hard stuff indeed. Anyone want to consider that such things do happen (and have happened in the past) to commercial airliners in war zones? The pilots and their airline may have thought they were safe at 33,000' and they were obviously wrong. Civilians die in war zones- that is the sad truth.

    July 18, 2014 11:16 am at 11:16 am |
  13. salty dog

    So, he spends most his time helping the less fortunate, while w, tries to paint, and learning to ride a bicycle, and mittens? Not hard to see why there is such a difference in opinions toward the two.

    July 18, 2014 11:19 am at 11:19 am |
  14. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    It was reported on the "news" that some of the conference attendees were considered pivotal leaders in the field of AIDS research.
    May they all rest in peace, and may God give comfort to the families of all who perished in this tragedy.

    July 18, 2014 11:45 am at 11:45 am |
  15. Democrat Junk

    Bill....Looking alot like W.C. Fields in this picture. Just an observation.

    July 18, 2014 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  16. Dominican mama 4 Obama

    Bill....Looking alot like W.C. Fields in this picture. Just an observation.
    -----------------------------------------------------
    I thought the same in regards to this picutre and others.
    It's the nose I think.

    July 18, 2014 12:07 pm at 12:07 pm |
  17. Killary Klinton -- Butcher of Benghazi

    Desire, Lagos Nigeria
    I always see politicians as people who have no respect for human lives. May the departed rest in peace.
    --

    You are very correct, as the death of four Americans in Benghazi proves this applies to Killary Klinton.

    July 18, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  18. Democrat Junk

    OK...Sure, everybody understands. And your point is? The U.S. was not in charge of overseeing this Russian/Ukraine conflict. In fact BO has stayed out of it almost completely. As for Benghazi..which you are referencing by your comments, we were in charge of overseeing our people at the embassy and protecting them. Your comments make no sense and are just misdirected jibberish.

    July 18, 2014 12:13 pm at 12:13 pm |
  19. just asking

    OK
    OK GOPTards. Just so that we're 100% clear on this. Terrorists shot down a jet. It doesn't matter if the terrorists shot down the jet because they watched a bad video, or if they were mad at their women, or if they were mad at the price of milk. Do you understand that?
    --

    don't be an imbecile. these weren't terrorists, these were russians or russian separatists fully supported by the government of russia and its leader putin. why do you think they are scrubbing the crash site of evidence?

    July 18, 2014 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  20. Donna

    Clinton is in Hanoi as part of his tour of Asia/Pacific countries to review the work of the Clinton Foundation.
    -–

    Why is Bill Clinton's Foundation helping to prop up repressive communist governments? Aren't there enough opportunities right here in Central America to help all these kids and their families? Geez, Bill, do them and THIS country some good by refocusing on Central America and leave the communists alone.

    July 18, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  21. Rudy NYC

    stormchaser 101

    This airliner tragity leads strait to putin's door and his desire to restore the old soviet union.he supplied the rockets to the idiots who shot down the plane.
    --------------------------
    You need more than just the missiles. They're NOT rockets. These missiles are radar guided, which means you would also need the radar system to track the targets and the communication, command, and control systems to get the information to the missile in flight. I find it highly unlikely that the separatists were able to carry this off without outside technical assistance and support.

    July 18, 2014 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  22. Malory Archer

    Rick McDaniel
    This is how things happen..........when dictators take control of countries. We are on the verge.........and we need to face that truth.

    +++++++++++++++++++++++++

    Right on rick – which it's so very important for Dems to go to the polls this November and vote out the reds.

    July 18, 2014 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  23. yolanda

    @Salty, you are a funny person. Clinton has pocketed over $100 million for giving speeches since leaving office....how very humanitarian of him. When you take gratuitous swipes at Bush, at least put the bong down long enough to stop drooling on the keyboard.

    July 18, 2014 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  24. Democrat Junk

    Dm4O..Yeah, silly, but you see it too.

    July 18, 2014 12:50 pm at 12:50 pm |
  25. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    The Bill Clinton Foundation seems to be helping PEOPLE in the WORLD that need help... Before you critize, Domma, what does YOUR foundation do?

    Thought so...

    July 18, 2014 01:16 pm at 1:16 pm |
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