‘I’ve spent sleepless nights thinking about it’: President Clinton reflects on relationship with Putin during Providence visit

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WLNE) — Bill Clinton, the 42nd President of the United State, spoke at Brown University Tuesday evening, outlining Ukraine, Russia, and his relationship with Vladimir Putin.

The discussion is a part of an annual discussion series hosted by the university.

Clinton explained he does not believe that his administration at the turn of the century could have done anything to stop the rise of Putin, and the ensuing war in Ukraine.

“I’ve spent sleepless nights thinking about it,” explained Clinton. “It is not true that we’ve done anything to isolate, humiliate, or ignore Putin. That is the biggest load of bull you’ll ever hear.”

Clinton explained that during his term, Putin was an able leader. But, he feared he was capable of what we are now seeing in Eastern Europe.

He told hundreds in the crowd, “He never gave much indication that he was gonna basically put kleptocracy on steroids or get rid of democracy. Ukraine needs to prevail.”

One Brown student from Kazakhstan, Aeilkhan Kobabayev, said he holds the same hope for peace that Clinton described.

“All of us are brothers,” said Kobabayev. “We used to divide one bread. We went through a lot of barriers back in the day. So, I believe one day, we will be back to our general relationship.”

Clinton concluded with a message directly to Brown students: “You want to be able to get in a good fight when things, that you feel are fundamental to our life on this planet, are threatened.”

The former president also covered topics such as climate change, global economy, and some of his personal interests.

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