Madam Secretary

Clinton says Obama has passed ‘3 a.m.’ test

In her first Sunday morning TV appearance since she ended her presidential campaign a year ago, Secretary Clinton hold George Stephanopoulos that President Obama had “absolutely” passed the 3 a.m. test. She added: [T]he president, in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been ...

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Hillary Clinton, This Week In her first Sunday morning TV appearance since she ended her presidential campaign a year ago, Secretary Clinton hold George Stephanopoulos that President Obama had “absolutely” passed the 3 a.m. test.

She added:

[T]he president, in his public actions and demeanor, and certainly in private with me and with the national security team, has been strong, thoughtful, decisive. I think he’s doing a terrific job.

Regarding Israeli settlements, Clinton once again reiterated that there is no “official record” passed from the Bush administration to the Obama administration of an agreement between the United States and Israel that allows for settlement expansion in the West Bank. She said:

Well, that was an understanding that was entered into, so far as we are told, orally. That was never made a part of the official record of the negotiations as it was passed on to our administration. … Nobody in a position of authority at the time that the Obama administration came into office said anything about it. And, in fact, there’s also a record that President Bush contradicted even that oral agreement.

Regarding Iranian nuclear weapons, Clinton said that if Iran attacked Israel with nuclear weapons, “there would be retaliation.” From the transcript:

STEPHANOPOULOS: Is [retaliation] U.S. policy now?

CLINTON: I think it is U.S. policy to the extent that we have alliances and understandings with a number of nations. They may not be formal, as it is with NATO, but I don’t think there is any doubt in anyone’s mind that, were Israel to suffer a nuclear attack by Iran, there would be retaliation.

STEPHANOPOULOS: By the United States?

CLINTON: Well, I think there would be retaliation.

On his blog, Stephanopoulos said it’s the first time that “extending America’s nuclear umbrella to Israel has been publicly declared U.S. policy by the Obama Administration.”

Photo: Thumbnail from This Week with George Stephanopoulos

Preeti Aroon was copy chief at Foreign Policy from 2009 to 2016 and was an FP assistant editor from 2007 to 2009. Twitter: @pjaroonFP

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