PunditFact checks claim about Hillary Clinton

St. Petersburg, Florida -- Hillary Clinton's new memoir "Hard Choices" isn't even out yet but plenty of people are already talking about it. It already has people talking about her tenure as Secretary of State.

That upcoming memoir, and a potential presidential run had supporters and detractors of Hillary Clinton looking at her past accomplishments. One of her closest allies, Missouri Senator Claire McCaskill, was on Fox News Sunday defending Clinton's record as Secretary of State, when host Chris Wallace pointed out potential problems.

Here's what he said:

"Let's look at some of Clinton's other initiatives, other policies during those four years as Secretary of State. She defended Syria's President Assad as a possible reformer at the start of that country's civil war."

Clinton's comments that Wallace was referring to date back to the Arab Spring of 2011 where government revolts erupted in Middle Eastern countries like Tunisia, Egypt, Libya and Syria. She appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" and talked about Syria's President Bashar al Assad.

"She did use the word "reformer," but what was clear from the transcript and anyone that had seen the clip, is that she was talking about what members of Congress thought of Bashar al Assad, not necessarily her own opinion. And she in fact went on in the same interview to say that she was upset and she thought Assad was using too much force on his people," says Aaron Sharockman with PunditFact.

In a later interview, Clinton said the administration had hopes for Assad; his father was a ruthless dictator and killed thousands of his people, so when Assad took power, many westerners thought Syria would be able to spring into democracy.

PunditFact said there is some truth to what Wallace was saying, but he went a little too far when he suggested Clinton defended Assad. Because of that, PunditFact rates his comments, HALF TRUE.

PunditFact reached out to Chris Wallace and Fox News Sunday, but got no response. To read more about this fact check, click here.


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