It’s been nearly 10 years since Chris Wallace’s contentious interview with former President Bill Clinton. And it’s the last time they spoke to one another.

In an interview with The Hill, the “Fox News Sunday” host said, “In 2006, when I interviewed Bill Clinton and asked him why he hadn’t done more to get [Osama] bin Laden out of business when he was president, he went off on me for about 15 minutes and has not talked to me since.”

{mosads}Wallace says of all the interviews he’s done, the Clinton one will be in the first or second paragraph of his obituary. He does note, however, that any hard feelings from the former president didn’t affect his working relationship with Hillary Clinton when she ran for president in 2008.

Hillary Clinton “was very fair and talked to us as much as any of the other Sunday shows,” Wallace said. 

“Interestingly enough, I think her camp came to feel that she was getting … fairer coverage on Fox than on any of the so-called ‘mainstream’ networks because they felt that we didn’t sort of fall in love with [President] Obama as much. … I hope she remembers it this time,” he added with a sly smile.

A spokesman for President Clinton didn’t comment for this article.

Earlier this month, the 67-year-old anchor gave The Hill a behind-the-scenes look at how he and his Fox team prepare for their weekly show. Part of Wallace’s Sunday routine is greeting his guests in the green room before grilling them on air. On June 7, Wallace’s guests included Reps. Pete King (R-N.Y.) and Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), and former Sen. Rick Santorum (R-Pa.), who is running for the White House.

To prepare for the show, Wallace reads “nearly half a dozen newspapers” and is “so old-fashioned” that he will “literally clip them out and underline them.” 

“You take all this information, the clippings, the research, your thoughts, and you have to winnow it down and make a plan — a coherent, interesting 12-minute interview with a guest. So that’s my favorite day, preparing for the show on Saturday,” says Wallace, who is now dean of the Sunday talk show hosts, following the retirement of CBS’s Bob Schieffer. Wallace first started hosting “Fox News Sunday” in 2003.

Preparation is an essential skill that Wallace learned, before he joined the broadcast industry 50 years ago, from two veterans. Bill Leonard, who headed CBS News, was Wallace’s stepfather and Mike Wallace of “60 Minutes” was his father. Leonard died in 1994, and Mike Wallace died in 2012.

Wallace said his father told him that many of his television guests “are going to know more than you do, but you will have the advantage of knowing where you are going to take the conversation in terms of the questions you’re going to ask. If you make it clear very early on that they can’t spin you, that you know too much, then they are going to kind of level with you.”

What’s the secret to a successful show? Wallace says, “One, it’s the work you do before you ever get on the air, and then two, on the air, listen.”

Tags Adam Schiff Bill Clinton Hillary Clinton

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