Russian President Vladimir Putin can be "smart and he can be charming" and he "makes things up," former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright said Monday, and President Barack Obama will have to be tough while he's dealing with him.
"One of hard parts about diplomacy is you do deal with people you disagree with and you have to find the areas where you can find something to do in common and yet make clear what your position is," she told MSNBC's "Morning Joe"
program. Putin "knows what he wants," she continued, and Obama will "have to push back."
Albright noted the news that Russia, Iran and Syria are sharing intelligence on the Islamic State, and that Russia has said it will be involved in fighting the ISIS threat means "we're going to have some kind of relationship where we have common goal of getting rid of ISIS."
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But there are difficulties in dealing with Putin, who over the weekend called U.S. support of Syrian rebels "illegal
," said Albright, pointing out the Russian leader is handling the situation with Ukraine illegally.
At the same time, she said, "they can help us in terms of fighting ISIS," she said. "It's hard to keep the players and their motives straight."
She also thinks the United States could have done more earlier in Syria, but she doesn't believe Russia's latest activity is due to that issue.
"They have had an interest in having influence in the Middle East historically and they feel they have lost generally in terms of stature or abroad," Albright said. "What Putin is trying to do is restore Russia's greatness because they lost the Cold War and I think that that is something that bears heavily on them."
Obama and Putin will meet on Monday
, and Albright believes both men have to "take a new measure of each other," as Putin will want to "have some visible respect for Obama but at the main time he's trying to undermine Obama's position."
Albright also spoke about the ongoing controversy behind another Hillary Clinton, another former secretary of state, and her email issues.
"I think we always have to be concerned about security and Secretary Clinton has been and will be," said Albright, who served under Clinton's husband, Bill Clinton, from 1993-1997.
But at the same time, if she were told by a deputy that emails were to be done on a private server, Albright said, she "would not" approve that.
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