Clinton told the innovators summit she’d had to go on “The Clinton Apology Tour” after WikiLeaks in 2010 published diplomatic cables leaked by Chelsea Manning, formerly known as Bradley Manning. Clinton noted that the cables showed U.S. officials characterizing some foreign leaders as “vain, egotistical, power hungry, corrupt. And we knew they were. This was not fiction.”
“I had grown men cry,” Clinton recalled. “I mean, literally. ‘I am a friend of America, and you say these things about me?'”
Clinton, a few months after departing the State Department in 2013, told a Goldman Sachs conference in South Carolina that she would have liked to see the U.S. intervene in Syria “as covertly as is possible for Americans to intervene.”
She added, “We used to be much better at this than we are now. Now, you know, everybody can’t help themselves. They have to go out and tell their friendly reporters and somebody else: Look what we’re doing and I want credit for it.”
Clinton appears to call for eliminating the filibuster rules in the Senate that make a 60-vote threshold necessary to pass most items rather than a 50-vote majority. Clinton says “we need to change the rules in the Senate” and say presidential nominees as well as “policies” deserve “an up-or-down vote.”
Republicans are already incensed that Senate Democrats recently changed the rules to eliminate the filibuster for most nominations, an extraordinary step known as the nuclear option.
In the June 2013 speech, Clinton said Chinese President Xi Jinping, who had taken over as the country’s leader the previous fall, was “a more sophisticated, more effective public leader” than his predecessor, Hu Jintao. Clinton said she had watched Xi “work a room,” adding, “you can have him make small talk with you, which he has done with me.” She said Xi’s experience of visiting Iowa in the 1980s “was a very important part of his own development.”
Associated Press writer Jack Gillum contributed to this report. Thomas reported from White Plains, New York.