Hillary: No, My Russian ‘Reset’ Was Not a Misreading of Putin

Wednesday on PBS’ “NewsHour,” host Judy Woodruff questioned 2016 Democratic presidential front-runner Hillary Clinton on her assertion that the Obama administration’s effort to “reset” U.S.-Russian relations in 2009 was a “misreading” of the situation in light of Russia President Vladimir Putin’s aggression in the Ukraine and Syria.

Clinton refused to admit the mistake saying, “No, I don’t think so at all.”

Woodruff asked, “You dealt President Putin and favored the reset with Russia in 2009. My question, is did you and others in the administration misread Putin and underestimate what he was capable of doing?”

Clinton answered, “Remember, when President Obama came into office, Medvedev was president and he turned out to be a good partner”

Woodruff interjected, “But Putin was in the background.”

Clinton continued, “He was, but he was letting Medvedev make the decisions backed by him. When Putin decided in fall of 2011 that he wanted to be president and basically announced it, we knew we were going to have a lot tougher time because he was taking back the presidency to assert himself and, therefore, Russia.”

Woodruff followed up asking, “Doesn’t that add up to misreading what was going on?”

Clinton replied, “No, I don’t think so at all. When we dealt in 2009, 2010 and the first part of 2011 with the Russian government sitting across of Medvedev in many meetings, we got results. Putin comes back, of course you have to readjust because he’s coming back with an agenda. It’s an ongoing challenge because of the way he behaves and how he basically wants to, you know, push the boundaries in Europe and now in the Middle East.”

Follow Pam Key on Twitter @pamkeyNEN


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