Exclusive - Bill Clinton Extended Interview Pt. 1

September 15, 2016 - Bill Clinton 09/15/2016 Views: 16,705

Former President Bill Clinton discusses his wife Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and describes the work he does with the Clinton Foundation. (9:25)

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My guest tonight,former president

and founderof the Clinton Foundation,

please welcomePresident Bill Clinton.

(cheering, applause)


Welcome to the show.


Thank you so muchfor being here.

I watch you.

I'm one of your olderdemographic.

Oh, I, uh, would have thoughtyou were 18 to 34.

No, but I don't even think thatwhen I look in the mirror.


Nicely played,nicely played.

But I am home alone a lot,so I get to watch you on TV.

Oh, well, thank you very mu...

That's-that's reallya great compliment.

Um, before we getinto the interview,

how is Hillary doing?

Great. She looked greatwhen she left this morning,

and I turned on the TV

and saw her in North Carolina,she looked great.

She just called and saidshe got home,

and she still feels good.

Big deal, she had pneumonia.

People get it all the time.


Can I ask an honest question,though?

Whe-When you, when you'rewatching the video,

I know that I was--

I mean, a lot of people hereat the show were...

Y-Y-You're afraidwatching the video.

You-you go, "Oh, is something...is everything okay?

I-Is something happening?"

Wh-wh... are you afraidwhen you see that?

Well, uh,you're always concerned,

but I was pretty sure I knewwhat it was,

because she had beenworking hard.

She was dehydrated.

She'd been standing upa long time there.

And, you know, the... she wantedto go to that 9/11 ceremony,

and we both thoughtit would be okay.

She felt good, but...

It's not surprising, uh...

You showed that clipof President Obama

in Philadelphia, and somebody...

-Fainted in the crowd.-Fainting, yeah.

It happens a lot to me,and 90% of the time,

it's just people dehydrated.

And so, I-I didn't worrytoo much about it.

And sure enough,she got examined,

that's what the doctor said.

But she also said,"You do have pneumonia,"

and it used to be called,when I was young,

-walking pneumonia.-Yeah.

But sometimes you can't walkanymore, and you got to rest,

so that's what she did.

Well, it's good to hear,good to hear.

Um, let's get into the reasonyou're back in New York.

Here for the, uh, 12th annualClinton Global Initiative.

It really is a coming togetherof some of the most powerful

and influential peoplein the world.

Why do these people cometogether for this initiative?

Why does everyone feelthat it is so important?

I think the primary reason is,

and the primary reasonI started it,

is that people come here andthey talk about a lot of things

that are both in the newsand are long-term problems.

And then they actuallymake a commitment

to do something about it.

And we have a staffthat works year-round

to help them developand then keep those commitments,

so that it's a change agent.

And I-I think it's really donea lot to change philanthropy.

I mean, more and more peoplein other forums

are trying to do the same thing.

Don't just talk about something,tell me what you're gonna do.


And because we were reallythe first group

that tried to organizegovernment, business, labor,

non-governmental organizations,philanthropists,

organizations big and small,to actually work together.

And we now have analyzedall these commitments.

The ones where peopleare working together

with a lot of partnersget better results quicker

and tend to actuallydo slightly better

than the goal they set.

There are, there are11½ million people,

the last time I checked,

who now have accessin developing countries,

to AIDS medicationbecause of the Foundation.

Everywhere in Africa, theClinton Foundation has touched.

Uh, these are governmentsthat you're working with.

These are peoplethat you're working with.

Why is this the final CGI?

Why is this the final gathering?

Well, first of all, the questionthat you're asking of me,

it has to clarify something.

Unless one of the partnersat CGI asks my Foundation,

-which is separate from theGlobal Initiative, -Yeah.

to work with them, I just gothere and try to raise money

and resources for other people.

The work we do in health carehas been an independent entity,

our Health Access Initiative,since 2010.

And it's not gonna be shut down,

but because you can't doglobal health care

on a scale like we do,

like more than half the peoplein the world

in poor countrieson AIDS medicine

-get the cheapest, best medicinefrom our group. -Right.

They build health systems,they cut malaria prices.

They do all this other stuff.

You can't do thatwithout government help.

We've gotten big help from--first from Ireland and Canada,

but our biggest donorsare the United Kingdom,

and we get a lot of moneyfrom Norway and other places.

And it has to be totallyout of politics,

and so if Hillarybecomes president,

that has to be totallyarm's-length.

I can't be involved in itat all.

It needs to be an independententity, and it will be.

But what we've donehas been really...

Th-That's including 75%of all the little kids

in the world who arestaying alive today with AIDS,

and are gonna havenormal lives,

get their medicineoff contracts negotiated.

But we're buildinghealth systems in Rwanda.

We built hospitals therewith Partners in Health

for all over the countrythat was destroyed

-after the, after thegenocide there. -Yeah.

It's exhilarating, and that'sjust one of the things we do.

But if you just are tryingto make something good happen,

and you work together,it's not as hard as it sounds.

It's just that I,because I had been president,

and I knew a lotof these people,

we could put this together, and

most of the credit goesto the people

who actually do this work,not me.

I just try tostart the balls rolling.

Oh, you, you definitelyget them rolling.

Unfortunately, what we've seen,and I guess it is exacerbated

by the fact that thisis a campaign year,

you have the Clinton Foundationdragged into the campaign.

You have people saying, um...

Hillary, as head of, uh,

as secretary of state

and now someone who could be thepresident of the United States

has a conflict of interest.

People... peopleask the question, they say,

"You know,isn't there undue influence?"

If people are donatingto the foundation,

aren't they doing that to curryfavor from the foundation?

How do you reply to that?

First, there are three bigcharity rating organizations.

Charity Navigator,

Charity Watch, Bright Star.

They gave our foundationthe highest possible rating.

One of 'em gave us a higherrating than the Red Cross.

So one of these...

the leadersof one of these groups said,

"If it weren't forthis political campaign,

"people would understand thisfoundation for one of the great

philanthropic treasuresof the last several decades."

So... That's the first thing.


the state departmenthas career people,

not under the influenceof Secretary Kerry,

who analyzed all this and saidthere's not a shred of evidence

that anybody got a meeting,much less anything substantive

because they've contributedto the Clinton Foundation.

Thirdly, that assumesthat she knew everybody

who had given,

but it overlookswho these people are.

Like, Melinda Gatesand her husband Bill

run the biggest and, I think,most important foundation

in the world, by far.

They're major contributorsto global health,

they've tried to promote theinterests of children and women

in the United States,they've worked with us before.

They... Anybody in the world

would give her a meeting.

There were two Nobel Prizewinners on that list.

One of 'em,the late Elie Wiesel,

probably the greatest livinghuman rights activist

until he recently passed away.

Hillary and I--they're friends of ours,

we had dinner in their home.

One of 'em, Muhammad Yunus,

along with anothergreat citizen...

...uh, they ran these two huge

microcreditors in-in, uh,

Bangladesh, and they keptthe government...

the economy going when they hadno government for three years.

They were stillgoing at six percent a year.

That's never happened before.

He won the Nobel Prize for it.

He's been our friend since 1983.

You say these questionsare raised-- why?

Because none of those factswere included in the story.

And... that's the waynews is today.

Give it to me in five secondsand you raise questions,

then when the questionsare answered, nobody ever

gets around to telling you,"Hey, guess what,

there was nothing there."

But I'm proud of my friendshipwith Muhammad Yunus,

I'm proud that Elie Wieselwas my friend.

I-I saw no one in the press--

I... all I can comment on isthe names I saw in the press--

not a single one of those peoplethat any American

secretary of stateor any foreign minister

of another country would nothave been glad to receive.

Well, there you have it.

That's what I think.

(cheering, applause)

Thank you.

The man himself,President Bill Clinton,

still with us on The Daily Show. We'll be right back with more.