the clinton years

Boris Yeltsin Is a Fun Houseguest

Throughout his presidency, Bill Clinton would regularly sit down with author Taylor Branch, in secret, to record his private thoughts on personal and political events, as a way to chronicle the history of his administration. On the hour-long ride home, unbeknownst to Clinton, Branch would then record his recollection of what Clinton had just said, and those tapes have now become the basis of Branch’s new book, The Clinton Tapes: Wrestling History With the President. Though Clinton eventually encouraged Branch to write the book, he’s still “nervous” about the contents, according to Branch, who has provided the former president with proofs to look over. Meaning that, hopefully, the book will contain some embarrassing tidbits — things that, at the time, Clinton never intended for the public to know. But any embarrassment is bound to be shared by others as well. For example:

He also relayed how Boris Yeltsin’s late-night drinking during a visit to Washington in 1995 nearly created an international incident. The Russian president was staying at Blair House, the government guest quarters. Late at night, Clinton told Branch, Secret Service agents found Yeltsin clad only in his underwear, standing alone on Pennsylvania Avenue and trying to hail a cab. He wanted a pizza, he told them, his words slurring.

So relax, Bill. Nothing this book reveals about you can actually be more humiliating than that … probably.

Secret interviews add insight to Clinton presidency [USAT]

Boris Yeltsin Is a Fun Houseguest