Transcript: Interview With Hillary Clinton

Clinton: Absolutely. And then … and he has been, uh … you know, very supportive. Very forthcoming. Um, I feel that, you know, not only incredibly involved, but, um … relied upon. And, you know, as an advisor and as someone with this responsibility that I have for … to kind of help shape and execute foreign policy, um … uh, I'm … I'm very pleased by not just the relationship I have with the President. I already had very, you know, a good, close personal relationship with the Vice President, but with the rest of the team, you know, getting to know Bob Gates, and … and Jim Jones whom I've known, but know now in a different capacity and … and the teams that each of them has put together.

CM: There are a lot of [inaudible] breeders as you know.

Clinton: (Laughs).

CM: In Washington and the rest of the country. So … so one of the things people are very interested in, how much time do you actually spend with the President? A lot? A little?

Clinton: I am shocked at how much time I spend in the White House. I mean, you know, for people on the outside, the idea of going to the White House for a meeting must seem like the most important, serious, even glamorous kind of thing to do. But I've been there so much, it's … it's I see them, I say, oh, my gosh, I have to go to the White House again. (Laughs).

I spend so much time every week. I spend it in meetings with others in the White House. I spend it in meetings in the Situation Room, particularly given everything that's going on. And I spend it one on one with the President. So there's an enormous amount of interaction, which I find fascinating.

You and I were talking about this, um … here we are living in a world of computers and Blackberries and all the rest of it, but nothing substitutes for that personal, sitting down, listening to each other, looking at each other, you know, reading body languages as well as, you know, what the papers in front of you say.

So I … I could not be, um … more satisfied with our relationship and the way that this is all unfolding.

CM: So you talk to him four or five times a week?

Clinton: Oh, well, I mean, depending upon our travel schedule and the like, it … it could be, you know, once a week or ten times a week. I mean, it just depends on what's going on.

CM: There has been a lot of talk about all of the other big dogs surrounding foreign policy. And, as you know, famously there was a column written saying; Hillary, take off your burka.

Clinton: (Laughs).

CM: Being obscure about each other, very powerful men, [inaudible] foreign policy from Richard Holbrook to … to George Mitchell and others. Is there any thought in your mind that you are, in fact, the President's chief foreign policy counsel?

Clinton: No. There … there really isn't any doubt in my mind. And, you know, I … I'm not going to put myself in anyone else's minds, but I really believe in teams and I really believe in recruiting the best people you can recruit. And giving them the authority that they need to do the job you've asked them to do. But at the end of the day I remain accountable, and I am deeply involved in, um … helping to, you know, chart the course and then try to execute what we've decided to do.

CM: So you met yesterday with the Russian president.

Clinton: Right.

CM: Uh, Iran I know was on the agenda.

Clinton: Right.

CM: Can you update us about the Russian feeling about Iran at this point?

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