Current Affairs

This ‘gay’ exchange between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair has us scratching our heads

Nick Duffy January 8, 2016
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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!”
This ‘gay’ exchange between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair has us scratching our heads
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.
This ‘gay’ exchange between Bill Clinton and Tony Blair has us scratching our heads

Answers on a postcard…

More: Bill Clinton, Blair, Gay, joke, Nigeria, president, Prime Minister, Tony Blair, US

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