What does Bill think of Hillary's Chris Wallace interview?
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That Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonMcConnell proposes postponing impeachment trial until February The Hill's Morning Report - Biden takes office, calls for end to 'uncivil war' The Memo: Biden strives for common ground after Trump turmoil MORE has a temper is known to anyone who has followed him. And boy, did it reach a red-faced fury when he gave an interview to Chris Wallace, then, as now, moderator of "Fox News Sunday."

That sit-down interview aired on Sept. 24, 2006, just after the close of the former president's annual Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) in New York. The former president apparently thought he was going to be taking bows for raising a boatload of money — $7.5 billion — for his CGI and the good causes it supported, but instead Wallace did what Wallace often does: He asked tough questions and wouldn't let up.

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I thought of that tense and ugly exchange, which I researched in detail for my 2008 book, "Clinton in Exile: A President Out of the White House," when I read that Hillary was giving her first interview, as the Democratic nominee, to Chris Wallace. The sit-down interview, to be taped today or tomorrow, will air on Sunday, July 31.

The question that so offended her husband was about whether he had taken his eye off the ball in fighting terrorism. Wallace claimed that his listeners had reacted to news that he would be interviewing Bill Clinton by pushing the question: "Why didn't you do more to put [Osama] bin Laden and al Qaeda out of business when you were president?"

Wallace cited a book, Lawrence Wright's "The Looming Tower," which, as he said, "talks about the fact that when you pulled troops out of Somalia in 1993, bin Laden said 'I have seen the frailty and the weakness and the cowardice of the U.S. troops.'" From there, Wallace mentioned "the bombing of the embassies in Africa and the attack on the Cole. ... and then there was no response [from America]."

"So you did Fox's bidding on this show," Bill Clinton exploded. "You did your nice little conservative hit job on me. ... And you've got that little smirk on your face and you think you're so clever."

If I were Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden must wait weekend for State Department pick Texas Supreme Court rejects Alex Jones request to toss lawsuits from Sandy Hook parents Paris Agreement: Biden's chance to restore international standing MORE's handlers, I'd have her prepped to the gills on Benghazi and Iraq and Libya and the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS). True, she hasn't yet served as commander in chief, but she did serve as secretary of State.

Wallace will likely grab the opportunity to make news and get answers to questions that he has long wanted to ask. He claims to have been pestering Hillary's handlers for an interview since she announced she was running 15 months ago. For all those months, he says, he has been keeping a list of questions and updating it regularly. "I've only had 15 months to prepare," Wallace said.

Hillary Clinton last appeared on "Fox News Sunday" nearly five years ago, when she was secretary of State. (She has dipped her toe in the Fox News waters more recently, calling in to Bill O'Reilly's "The O'Reilly Factor" earlier this month, after the terrorist attack in Nice, France, and, last March, she appeared in a Fox News-sponsored town hall.)

Hillary Clinton has been drawing some prominent Republicans to her side — former Deputy Sec. of State Richard Armitage, former Treasury Sec. Henry Paulson, former National Security Adviser Brent Scowcroft, among them — and opening the door to Fox News is an obvious effort to draw more.

And now that supporters of Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBoycott sham impeachment Sunday shows - Biden agenda, Trump impeachment trial dominate Sanders: Senate may use budget reconciliation to pass Biden agenda MORE (Vt.), her rival in the Democratic primary, have been quasi-pacified, why not Fox News and Wallace?

Besides that, Sanders was interviewed, albeit remotely, by Chris Wallace on "Fox News Sunday" last Valentine's Day, and survived without visible wounds.

Felsenthal is a political blogger and contributing editor for Chicago magazine. She has written biographies of Katharine Graham and President Clinton and profiles on former Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley and Roger Ebert, among others. Contact her at carolfelsenthal@gmail.com and follow her on Twitter @cfelsenthal.


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