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Secretary Of Spin

- September 9, 2015

Our Heads Are Spinning After Today's Speech As Clinton Worked Double Time To Twist The Truth On Her Failed Foreign Policy Record

CLINTON TRIED TO PAINT HERSELF AS A HARSH SKEPTIC OF PUTIN, WHEN IN FACT, SHE WAS "THE FACE" OF THE RESET AND CALLED IT A "BRILLIANT STROKE"

Today, Clinton Painted Herself As Tough On Putin, Saying, "I Think We Have Not Done Enough." CLINTON: "Well, you know, I have been, I remain convinced that we need a concerted effort to really up the cost on Russia and in particular on Putin. I think we have not done enough, I am in the category of people who wanted us to do more in response to the annexation of Crimea and the continuing destabilization of Ukraine." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 9/9/15)

Click To Watch

But In The Past, Clinton Touted Her Reset As A "Brilliant Stroke" And Even Mocked Gov. Romney's Warning On The Russian Threat

"Clinton Was The Face Of The Administration's Effort To 'Reset' Its Policy With Russia." "In Obama's first term, Clinton was the face of the administration's effort to 'reset' its policy with Russia and cultivated relations with then-President Dmitry Medvedev." (Philip Rucker, "Hillary Clinton's Putin-Hitler Comments Draw Rebukes As She Wades Into Ukraine Conflict," The Washington Post, 3/5/14)

  • Clinton, 2009: "We're Going To Hit The Reset Button And Start Fresh Because Clearly The Obama Administration Believes That There Are A Number Of Important Areas To Discuss With The Russians." MICHELE KELEMEN: "Madam Secretary, you've exchanged letters, you met briefly in Egypt this week already with Sergey Lavrov, but this is going to be your first lengthy meeting with the Russian foreign minister tonight. How do you set the tone, because as you know your predecessor had quite a testy relationship with him?" CLINTON: "Well, we're going to hit the reset button and start fresh because clearly the Obama administration believes that there are a number of important areas to discuss with the Russians. We're just at the beginning of this discussion, but I'm looking forward to it." (Michele Kelemen, "Clinton Says She'll Hit 'Reset Button' With Russia," NPR, 3/6/09)

Clinton, March 2010: "Our Goal Is To Help Strengthen Russia." HILLARY CLINTON: "One of the fears that I hear from Russia is that somehow the United States wants Russia to be weak. That could not be farther from the truth. Our goal is to help strengthen Russia." ( Interview With Vladimir Pozner, 3/19/10)

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Clinton On The Russia Reset, June 2014: "I Thought It Was A Brilliant Stroke, Which In Retrospect Appears Even More So, Because Look At What We Accomplished." BBC HOST: "You famously pressed the reset button. Are you embarrassed by that now, that gesture?" CLINTON: "No I thought it was a brilliant stroke, which in retrospect appears even more so, because look at what we accomplished." ( Interview With BBC, 6/12/14)

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In 2012, Then-Secretary Hillary Clinton Mocked Concerns Over The Russian Threat , Saying, "In Many Of The Areas Where We Are Working To Solve Problems, Russia Has Been An Ally. … So I Think It's Somewhat Dated To Be Looking Backwards …" CLINTON: "Well, without getting into the political campaign, because that's for others to comment on, I think if you take a look at the world today, we have a lot of problems that are not leftovers from the past, but are of the moment. We've just been talking about one, namely Iran. And in many of the areas where we are working to solve problems, Russia has been an ally. They're in the P-5+1 talks with us, they have worked with us in Afghanistan and have been very helpful in the Northern Distribution Network and in other ways. So I think it's somewhat dated to be looking backwards instead of being realistic about where we agree, where we don't agree, but looking for ways to bridge the disagreements and then to maximize the cooperation." ( CNN Interview With Secretary Of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, Istanbul, Turkey, 4/1/12)

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CLINTON WORKED TO SPIN THE ADMINISTRATION'S "RED LINE" WALK BACK, DESPITE PREVIOUSLY CLAIMING THE RUSSIAN-BACKED DEAL SHOULD BE JUDGED A SUCCESS

In Today's Remarks, Clinton Tries To Spin The Obama Administration's "Red Line" Walk Back Following Syria's Use Of Chemical Weapons . ANDREA MITCHELL: "Madam Secretary, when you talk about the policies with Syria and Putin, was it in retrospect a mistake for the administration after you left office to pull back on Labor Day, a couple of years ago, make the deal with Russia on the chemical weapons? Yes the weapons were disposed of but that created a different partnership, if you will." … CLINTON: "Well as to the first one, you know it is always difficult in hindsight to say what could have happened if something different had been done. If we remember back to that time, Prime Minister Cameron had lost the vote in the Parliament, he wanted to show support for the President's policy of taking some limited military action in light of Syria's use of chemical weapons. So it became clear that there was going to be a difficult vote in congress not clear at all that it would be successful which would have left the president with authority, certainly, with executive authority to act but since it had become a public debate it would have been a much more difficult decision for him to make. I do think that not being able to follow through with it cost us, I'm certain of that, that still comes back in conversations that people have with me both here at home and people from other countries but I do think it was a net positive to get as much of the chemical weapons out as we could and there is no way we could have done that without Russian cooperation. I think there was hope after that kind of cooperation produced positive results that then we could go back to talking more broadly with the Russians about what needed to be done in Syria and what needed to be done with Assad. They did not reciprocate on that. You know I think it's like much in international relations, it's a mixed picture, some positive and some negative." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 9/9/15)

  • Clinton: "You Know I Think It's Like Much In International Relations, It's A Mixed Picture, Some Positive And Some Negative." (Hillary Clinton, Remarks, Washington, D.C., 9/9/15)

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But In Hard Choices, Clinton Claimed The Russian-Backed Deal To Remove Syria's Chemical Weapons Should Be Judged As A Success

In Hard Choices, Clinton Claimed The Russian-Backed Deal To Remove Syria's Chemical Weapons Has Been Successful. CLINTON: "Just a month later, the UN agency charged with implementing the deal, the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons, was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. It was quite a vote of confidence. Remarkably, as of this writing, the agreement has held, and the UN is making slow but steady progress dismantling Assad's chemical weapons arsenal, despite extraordinarily difficult circumstances. There have been more delays, but more than 90 percent of Syria's chemical weapons had been removed by late April 2014." (Hillary Rodham Clinton, Hard Choices, 2014)

AMID CONCERNS OVER THE NUCLEAR DEAL, CLINTON TRIED TO SPIN HER RECORD ON IRAN SANCTIONS

A New Fact Sheet Released Today By Clinton's Campaign Claims She "Worked Closely With The Treasury Department And Congress To Craft Sanctions That Would Maximize Economic Pressure On Tehran And Also Gain Maximum Compliance From The Rest Of The World." "At the State Department, Clinton also oversaw the strengthening of sanctions against Iran for its proliferation activities, support for terrorism, and human rights violations. She worked closely with the Treasury Department and Congress to craft sanctions that would maximize economic pressure on Tehran and also gain maximum compliance from the rest of the world. Under her watch, sanctions became global in scope. They reached private sector entities, such as foreign banks that had been floating Iran's economy, resulting in massive inflation and economic losses for Iran's Revolutionary Guard Corps. The pressure from these global sanctions ultimately forced Iran to the negotiating table, leading to an agreement that cuts off all of Iran's pathways to a bomb and imposes unprecedented enforcement and verification measures." ("Hillary Clinton: Consistent, Tough, And Effective Leadership To Counter Threats From Iran, Hillary For America, Accessed 9/9/15)

But In Fact, Clinton's Own State Department "Worked Hard Against" Sanctions Legislation

Clinton's Spin On Iran Sanctions Are "An Attempt To Rewrite The Events Without Acknowledging The Administration's Actions At The Time." "For the senators who worked against the administration to pass the sanctions, Clinton's comments Wednesday were an attempt to rewrite the events without acknowledging the administration's actions at the time." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

What Clinton Fails To Mention In Her Repeated Claims On Sanctions, Is That Her Own State Department "Often Worked Hard Against Many Of The Measures She's Now Championing." "Hillary Clinton is now claiming to be the architect of crippling sanctions on the Iranian economy. … What Clinton didn't mention was that top officials from her own State Department-in conjunction with the rest of the Obama administration-often worked hard against many of the measures she's now championing." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

  • The Daily Beast Headline: "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop" (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

Some Sanctions Legislation Was "Opposed Outright By Clinton's Deputies" Was Slowed Or Watered Down By The State Department. "Some bills Foggy Bottom slowed down; others, the State Department lobbied to be made less strict; still others were opposed outright by Clinton's deputies, only to be overruled by large majorities in the House and the Senate." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)

  • The Obama Administration Worked "Behind The Scenes To Water Down Congressional Language That Would Impose Crippling Sanctions" On Iran. "President Barack Obama's administration is working behind the scenes to water down congressional language that would impose crippling sanctions on the Central Bank of Iran (CBI). The Obama administration sent to Congress this week a list of requested changes to the sanctions language found in the Senate's version of the defense authorization bill, which was passed last week. Those sanctions, which would punish any bank that does business with the CBI, were part of an amendment authored by Sens. Mark Kirk (R-IL) and Robert Menendez (D-NJ) that passed the Senate over the administration's objections by a vote of 100 to 0." (Josh Rogin, "Administration Tries To Water Down Iran Sanctions Legislation," Foreign Policy, 12/6/11)
  • Foreign Policy Headline: "Administration Tries To Water Down Iran Sanctions Legislation" (Josh Rogin, "Administration Tries To Water Down Iran Sanctions Legislation," Foreign Policy, 12/6/11)

In 2011, Clinton's Top Deputies Fought A Bipartisan Amendment "At Every Step Of The Legislative Process" That Sought To Sanction The Central Bank Of Iran. "The most egregious example of the administration's effort to slow down the sanctions drive came in late 2011, when Senate Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Robert Menendez openly chastised top administration officials for opposing an amendment to sanction the Central Bank of Iran that he had co-authored with Sen. Mark Kirk. Leading administration officials including Undersecretary of State Wendy Sherman publicly expressed 'strong opposition' (PDF) to the amendment, arguing that it would anger allies by opening them up for punishment if they did not significantly reduce their imports of Iranian oil. Clinton's top deputies fought the amendment at every step of the legislative process. Clinton's #2 at the State Department, Bill Burns, even joined an emergency meeting with top senators to urge them to drop the amendment. They refused. The amendment later passed the Senate 100-0." (Josh Rogin, "Hillary Clinton Celebrates The Iran Sanctions That Her State Department Tried To Stop," The Daily Beast , 5/15/14)


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