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September 25th, 2013
04:06 PM ET

Bill Clinton's rules for effective diplomacy: "Be brutally honest with people in private... try to avoid embarrassing them in public"

Coming up tonight at 9, Piers Morgan sits down with former President Bill Clinton for an engaging and insightful primetime interview.

Joining the host in person at his annual CGI meeting, the nation's 42nd commander-in-chief shares some perspective on the escalating violence in the Middle East, and the potential impact of other foreign nations.

"Can we really believe that Vladimir Putin, with his own self-interest for Russia, is orchestrating this huge maneuver to remove all of Assad’s chemical weapons and it’s just going to happen," Morgan asks his guest.

Offering clear boundaries, Clinton notes that trust is not necessarily a fundamental element to a productive relationship:

"No, we don’t have to believe it. We just have to see what happens and make the most of what happens. You work for the best and prepare for the worst in this business," says the former president. "But I think it would be a terrible mistake not to take advantage of the opportunity. And, you know, look, Mr. Putin is very smart."

Allowing that he knows Putin as well as anybody, and revealing that the Russian president never reneged on one of their diplomatic agreements, Clinton describes the operating guidelines that he personally favors:

"I think the right strategy most of the time, is – but it’s frustrating to people in your line of work – you should be brutally honest with people in private, and then if you want them to help you, try to avoid embarrassing them in public," Clinton told the "Piers Morgan Live" host. "Now, sometimes they do things which make it impossible for you to keep quiet. But by and large I found all the people I dealt with appreciated it if I told them the truth. How I honestly felt and what our interests were, and what our objectives were, and they also appreciated it when I didn't kick them around in public for as long as I couldn't kick them around. That’s my experience."

Watch the above clip for more of Clinton's perspective and experiences with Putin, and for the entire interview with the former president, watch CNN at 9.
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soundoff (32 Responses)
  1. maureen hart

    Pierce I know you interview with former President Clinton is Rules of Conduct but would you please do millions of children and parents a huge favor and ask Mr Clinton what he was thinking when he singed the Bonusact for CPS and placed price tags on innocent children who DO NOT need the protection of CPS and please let him know right now as you ask him this question a beautiful little girl named mimi who is the daughter of Kem Bailey in Tennessee is at this very moment in danger of the worst abuse ever to be inflicted upon an innocent child Pierc Morgan please be the investigating reporter who helps save mimi

    September 25, 2013 at 9:03 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  2. MR Brown

    When you have Pres Clinton on, why don't you let him finiish answering the questions. less you & more Pres Clinton. We don't care about your comments. Let him talk.

    September 25, 2013 at 9:33 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  3. KM

    Piers has been discredited in England. He is a tabloid hack. Why CNN makes us suffer him is a mystery to me. How many more interviews where he talks to disaster survivors laughing and ignoring what they're saying like he's interviewing a B list celebrity? His lack of empathy is disturbing. But, it figures. Once a tabloid journalist, always a tabloid journalist.

    September 25, 2013 at 10:20 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  4. Gabe

    Mr. Morgan – continue doing what you are doing and don't let narrow-minded people bring you down. I only wish more American's were as dedicated as you are to the future of this country. Echoing President Clinton's comments, your show does well because of the depth of your analysis and the moderation of your message. Kudos.

    September 26, 2013 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse | Reply
  5. Paul

    I dare you to interview John MacArthur.

    September 26, 2013 at 2:38 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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    Piers Morgan ( mr debauchery)
    I dare you to interview John Macrthur.

    September 26, 2013 at 2:39 pm | Report abuse | Reply
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