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Bill Clinton on Cheny: 'If They Hadn't Gone to War in Iraq, None of This Would Be Happening'

Related: NBC
Bill Clinton on Cheny: 'If They Hadn't Gone to War in Iraq, None of This Would Be Happening'

In an exclusive interview with NBC's David Gregory, former President Bill Clinton dismissed former Vice President Dick Cheney's criticism of President Obama's foreign policy as "unseemly," saying: "Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made."

Gregory sat down with the former president at the 2014 CGI America meeting in Denver earlier this week. The extended conversation will air this Sunday on NBC's "Meet the Press," along with excerpts of a panel discussion on inequality and economic mobility featuring Pres. Clinton and national business leaders.

A transcript of this preview is below and video is online here: http://nbcnews.to/1qyOyYF. If used, must credit NBC News "Meet the Press" with onscreen "Exclusive" credit clearly visible and unobstructed at all times.

Check out excerpts from the interview courtesy of NBC NEWS "MEET THE PRESS"

Air Date: Sunday, June 29

DAVID GREGORY:
I want to ask you about global leadership in the world. Iraq is back, unfortunately. A terror threat from this group known as ISIS is back and perhaps poses the biggest threat we've seen to the West and to the United States since Al Qaeda in Afghanistan. The former Vice president, Dick Cheney, said of President Obama in an op-ed that claims that Al Qaeda is decimated is clearly not true. That, in fact, Al Qaeda is on The March -- the argument that America is less safe under President Obama. Do you believe Dick Cheney is a credible critic on these matters?

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON:
Well, I believe, you know, if they hadn't gone to war in Iraq none of this would be happening. So I think they--

DAVID GREGORY:
It wouldn't be happening in Syria? There wouldn't be terrorist actors?

PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON:
Well, it might be happening in Syria, but what happened in Syria wouldn't have happened in Iraq. Iraq would not have been, in effect, drastically altered, as it has been. But Mr. Cheney has been incredibly adroit for the last six years or so attacking the administration for not doing an adequate job of cleaning up the mess that he made. And I think it's unseemly. And I give President Bush, by the way, a lot of credit for trying to stay out of this debate and letting other people work through it.

Photo by: Jason Bahr/NBC

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