"We pushed very hard. But as I say in my book, I believe that
Harry Truman was right, the buck stops with the president," Clinton
said in a CNN interview.
The former secretary of state said she, along with the then heads of
the Pentagon and CIA tried but failed to persuade Obama to arm the
rebels fighting Syrian President Bashar al-Assad, but that the White
Clinton said it was not clear whether arming moderates in Syria
would have prevented the rise of the al Qaeda splinter group, the
Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant, which has swept toward Baghdad
aiming to build a Muslim caliphate across the Iraqi-Syrian border.
"It's very difficult, in retrospect, to say that would have
prevented this," she said. She said it is too soon to tell whether
American policy in Syria was a failure.
The former secretary of state, senator and first lady has been
offering views that differ from Obama's on foreign policy in recent
months, including on issues such as Iran's nuclear program and
dealings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
In an interview with Fox News on Tuesday, Clinton also said German
Chancellor Angela Merkel had every right to be upset with
disclosures that the National Security Agency had listened in on her
cellphone as part of its large-scale surveillance of electronic
communications in Germany.
"It was absolutely uncalled for," Clinton said.
"There is work that we need to do with the Germans and inside
Germany," she said, recalling that some of the hijackers in the
Sept. 11 attacks got part of their training in Hamburg.
But Clinton added: "That has nothing has to do with Angela Merkel's
cellphone, and that should be off limits."
[to top of second column]
Clinton, who ran for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008,
has said she will not decide before November's congressional
elections whether to run for president in 2016, but is regarded by
many as the Democratic front-runner. Her CNN interview was organized
as part of a tour to promote her newly released book, "Hard
Fox News also asked Clinton about accusations that the Internal
Revenue Service targeted the tax status of organizations with names
linked to the conservative Tea Party movement and if she agreed with
Obama's characterization that it was a "phony scandal."
"I think that any time the IRS is involved for many people it's a
real scandal," she said. "And I think, though, that there are some
challenges that rightly need to be made to what is being said and I
assume that the inquiry will continue.
"I don't have the details but I think what President Obama means is
there was not a lot of evidence that this was deliberate but that's
why the investigation needs to continue."
(Editing by Jonathan Oatis and Ken Wills)
[© 2014 Thomson Reuters. All rights
Copyright 2014 Reuters. All rights reserved. This material may not be published,
broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.