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Obama Aide: Hillary Clinton Wouldn't Distance Herself from 'Broad Thrust' of President's Foreign Policy

Despite the flap over Syria, "on the broad majority of issues, they've been very much aligned," Deputy National Security Advisor Ben Rhodes tells ABC's Jonathan Karl.
4:05 | 08/12/14

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Transcript for Obama Aide: Hillary Clinton Wouldn't Distance Herself from 'Broad Thrust' of President's Foreign Policy
-- the first -- fire coming from Hillary Clinton. -- sense well look the fact that matter is Secretary Clinton called President Obama today. They have had a long relationship they understand -- they agree on the broad majority of issues involving America's role in the world. They've had occasional differences this is not a new one has really it's a serious she wrote about in the book. But I think. The message she delivered the president that the president understand certainly -- -- they are in agreement as it relates to the broad majority -- things that were engaged in around the world including. Our effort to protect our people and provide humanitarian aid in Iraq right now. But this is a very pointed criticism she said that the failure to support the moderate rebels in Syria. Led to the creation and fueled the rise -- -- arbitration which fueled the rise -- -- they were able to fill that vacuum in other words it was a major mistake Bob for this president to decide not to fully support. The rebels the moderate rebels in Syria that's the argument she's -- Well we've been through this what I would say is we do provide military assistance a Syrian opposition. We started to do that several months after the timing question here at the end of 2012. The president had two concerns at that time. One he was worried that we need to bet that opposition to their weapons -- not fall into the wrong hands -- given how many extremists are operating in that area and to. There wasn't a plan that was gonna tip the scales against they -- regime at that point. We wanted to get to know these people and develop. Carefully planned for the fact of the matter is is still has been in this part of the world for some time -- the legacy of al-Qaeda in Iraq. What we're doing now is are trying to squeeze them between Iraqi Security Forces the Kurdish forces who -- supporting. And the moderates -- forces who were also ramping up our systems. The only thing that she said is that don't do stupid stuff is not organizing principle for foreign policy. Was known for -- Well I think it's a principle that the American people understand which is it after a decade of war. You have to think very carefully and ask serious questions before you apply military force particularly before you put US troops on the ground. That's a starting point. From the president makes decisions that doesn't mean that that's -- totality of our foreign policy of course the Secretary Clinton recognizes that we're gonna take action when we need to. As we have against al-Qaeda -- are doing right now in Iraq to protect their people. Ross in a strengthened. Forces on the ground on the front lines answers like the Iraqi Kurdish forces to hug it out -- Clinton spokesperson says they're gonna hug it out tonight. Well I -- John united hug it out after this interview but and I think -- bottom line is that they've been through so much together. The first campaign trail to about seventy that's -- -- For years -- you secretary of state. -- means a close friend of the president's and I think the point is that their friendship extends well beyond. Any differences. -- anything that is spun out in the public -- So I think tomorrow about the good chance to each other have a lot about this move -- In the bottom line is she was his secretary stage she was there for the big decisions literally is no way for her to truly distance herself. For president Obama's foreign policy is there. And I don't think she would distance yourself from again the broad thrust reform policy which has helped to wind down two wars restore. American standing strengthen alliances she was a big part of that project. They're huge challenges in the world John. We wouldn't expect anyone to be in lockstep agreement -- the president referred to his own cabinet as a team of rivals because he wanted differences -- on the table. So we welcome back. -- on different issues they're going to be some differences of opinion but I think on the broad majority of issues they've been very much alive -- -- -- crusher on Iraq. Prime minister morality seems to be backing down a little bit right now but what is your sense -- house to go right now he has to go. Absolutely there is a new government that has been designated as -- president. There's any speaker then this year national -- -- -- candidate for prime minister that candidate doctor body has been tasked with forming government. That is a process that must move forward and if they can get that new government in place we believe that would unify the country against a threat this.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

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