Richard Nixon quietly advised Bill Clinton on post-Cold War tactics
Washington: In the final months of his life, disgraced former US President Richard Nixon quietly advised President Bill Clinton on navigating the post-Cold War world, newly declassified documents have revealed.
The documents also revealed that Nixon even advised Bill Clinton to serve as a conduit for messages to Russian President Boris Yeltsin and other government officials.
The memos and other records are part of an exhibition opening on Friday at the Nixon Presidential Library, marking the centennial of his birth, the New York Daily News reports.
According to the report, Bill Clinton has talked often of his gratitude to Nixon for his advice on foreign affairs, particularly Russia.
In a video that will be part of the exhibition, Bill Clinton recalls receiving a letter from the 37th president shortly before his death on April 22, 1994, at a time when Bill Clinton was assessing US relations ‘in a world growing ever more interdependent and yet ungovernable’.
Bill Clinton, in the video said that he sought guidance in the example of President Nixon, who came to the presidency at a time in our history when Americans were tempted to say, ''We've had enough of the world.
He added that ‘but President Nixon knew we had to continue to reach out to old friends and to old enemies alike. He knew America could not quit the world.
The documents from late February and early March 1994 show Nixon, then 81, in his role of elder statesman.
The exhibit is an attempt to present a fuller picture of Nixon. It includes the wooden bench he often sat on as a second-rate football player in college, and illustrates events often eclipsed by the scandal that drove him from office, the report said.
Media reports from the time discussed interaction between Nixon and Bill Clinton before his trip, including a phone call.
They include a confidential National Security Council memo from a senior Bill Clinton aide who spent three hours with Nixon, shortly before the former president would make his 10th, and final, trip to Russia that year.
The documents, released through Bill Clinton's presidential library for the exhibit, also include talking points Bill Clinton apparently used in his call with Nixon, the report added.