In March of 2009, the Obama administration was attempting to reset their relationship with Russia, which had taken a bad turn after the Russian and Georgian war the year before. At that time, as reported by CNN, Hillary Clinton was secretary of state. On March 6, 2009, Clinton met with Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov. Prior to their working dinner, she gave him an unusual gift.
Hillary Clinton opened the little box and presented Lavrov with a red plastic button. The red “reset button” had the word “peregruzka” inscribed in Russian on its base. The word “Reset” was also written in English.
Hillary Clinton then told Lavrov, “I would like to present you with a little gift that represents what President Obama and Vice President Biden and I have been saying and that is, we want to reset our relationship, and so we will do it together.”
When Clinton noticed that Lavrov was looking at the words with a confused expression on his face, she mentioned that they had worked hard to get the proper word in Russian.
“Do you think we got it?” she asked him.
Lavrov laughed as he said, “You got it wrong.”
He went on to inform Clinton that it should have read “perezagruzka,” which is the actual word for reset. Instead, Hillary Clinton had mistakenly inscribed a word that means “overcharged.”
Hillary Clinton provided a relatively quick-witted response when she stated that “we won’t let you do that to us, I promise. We mean it and we look forward to it.” Although clearly amused at Clinton’s mistake, Lavrov assured her that he would put his new reset button on his desk. The improper inscription was fixed before the joint press conference took place. You can watch how the situation played out in the video below.
Hillary Clinton’s reset button, which was meant to mend the foreign relationship with Russia, was defective. It is without question that a lot of thought went into the concept of a reset button. Clinton made sure to put the Russian word first, making Lavrov feel special, and the gift was presented to Russia, rather than the other way around. Not much thought, however, went into the translation process. In Russia, the Cyrillic alphabet is used. As a result, Russia was presented with a relationship reset button, on which, as author David Haggith describes, “they had to read their own language in the American way.”
During his impromptu press conference on February 16, President Trump made reference to the Hillary Clinton reset button fiasco. As reported by the Washington Examiner, President Trump alleged that the infamous Hillary Clinton reset button made the U.S. look foolish, and he mentioned that if he tried to do something to that nature, he would be ridiculed.
— OHIO4TRUMP (@Mjhall412) February 17, 2017
“Hillary Clinton did a reset, remember, with the stupid plastic button that made us all look like a bunch of jerks? Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov looked at her like, what the hell is she doing with that cheap plastic button? Hillary Clinton, that was a reset, remember it said ‘reset’? Now if I do that, oooh, I’m a bad guy.”
His position on Russia and the Hillary Clinton reset button was clearly the same in a January press conference, prior to his inauguration into the presidency.
Donald Trump: "I won't be giving them (Russia) a reset button like Hillary – guy looked at her like: what is she doing?" pic.twitter.com/ZntOABY3oh
— Ben (@Jamin2g) January 11, 2017
At one point during the press conference, President Trump affirmed, once again, that he has no businesses in Russia.
He stated, “I can tell you, speaking for myself, I own nothing in Russia. I have no loans in Russia. I don’t have any deals in Russia.”
A quick fact check at Vox shows that he is truthful in this statement. Despite numerous efforts, he has not been able to land any real estate deals in Russia. Throughout the years that President Trump spent building his empire, he has observed and gotten a taste of Russia’s culture while meeting with Russian diplomats, whom he has attempted to impress.
The Democrats had to come up with a story as to why they lost the election, and so badly (306), so they made up a story – RUSSIA. Fake news!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2017
There has been a lot of skepticism surrounding President Trump and his ties to Russia. In fact, some of his campaign members do have some ties to Russia, namely Michael Flynn, who resigned from his post as national security advisor. It has come to light that Flynn had been communicating with Russia, allegedly about sanctions, and hadn’t reported truthfully to Vice President Pence about the extent of the communications.
It is a matter of fact that President Trump is kept under a watchful eye when it comes to Russia. Trying to improve foreign relations with Russia is one of the key points of President Trump’s platform, and he is continuously ridiculed for it. However, back in 2009, the Obama administration sent their Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to Russia with a reset button to do the same thing.
[Featured Image by POOL AFP/AP Images]