Clinton Won’t Rule Out New Reset With Putin Despite Failure of First Reset

January 17, 2016

Hillary Clinton said Sunday that she would consider doubling down on her failed reset strategy with Russia if elected president.

NBC anchor Lester Holt pointed out rough patches in U.S.-Russian relations that followed Secretary of State Clinton’s attempted reset in 2009.

"Secretary Clinton, you famously handed Russia’s foreign minister a reset button in 2009. Since then, Russia has annexed Crimea, fomented a war with Ukraine, provided weapons that downed an airliner, and launched operations, as we’ve just discussed, to support Assad in Syria," Holt said.

"As president, would you hand Vladimir Putin a reset button?" Holt said.

Clinton did not rule out the possibility of a new reset strategy, brushing off its past troubles.

"Well, it would depend upon what I got for it," Clinton said, listing what she saw as the positive consequences of her 2009 strategy.

"I can tell you what we got in the first term. We got a New START Treaty to reduce nuclear weapons between the United States and Russia. We got permission to resupply our troops in Afghanistan by traveling across Russia. We got Russia to sign on to our sanctions against Iran, and other very important commitments," Clinton said.

Still, Clinton admitted the U.S. has to "figure out how to deal with" an assertive Putin.

"When Putin came back in the fall of 2011, it was very clear he came back with a mission," Clinton said.

Russia expert Michael Weiss, who is senior editor of The Daily Beast, tweeted that Clinton’s optimism was unfounded.

"Russia has violated Reagan-era nuke deals; it is now arming Taliban in Afghanistan. Putin did not ‘come back.’ He was there when you were," Weiss wrote.