Released documents have disclosed a treasure trove of conversations between former US President Bill Clinton and former UK Prime Minister Tony Blair.
Documents of all the pair’s official private conversations – between Blair’s election in 1997 and Clinton leaving office in 2001 – were released by the US government this week under transparency rules.
The documents are, of course, heavily redacted to avoid leaking sensitive information – but many of the exchanges show an affectionate jokey friendship between the former leaders.
However, one partly-removed exchange has us scratching our heads.
The fateful conversation took place over the phone in April 2000. The pair chat for a while, with Clinton candidly discusses the state of US politics, including Hillary Clinton’s senate campaign and Al Gore’s Presidential bid.
After explaining that he is doing “everything he can” to ensure a victory for Gore – who eventually lost to George Bush – President Clinton adds: “We’re making a little progress on the Africa trade bill…I may run over to Nigeria in a few months.”
After a long redacted comment from Prime Minister Blair, Clinton interjects: “But better gay than sad!”
It’s likely intended to be ‘gay’ meaning happy… but given the President’s jokey style throughout the conversation, it’s also probably a play on the other meaning.
After a few more redacted comments, Clinton appears to joke again, saying: “…if you are, you’ve got a hell of a cover-up!”
The pair’s meandering conversation doesn’t give many clues about the subject – Al? Hillary? George Bush? Someone in the Nigerian government? We can only imagine.
Here’s the exchange in full.
Answers on a postcard…