Former President Bill Clinton was in Seattle to promote his new novel, “The President is Missing,” which he wrote with author James Patterson. He told an audience at McCaw Hall, “This is a time for citizen activism.”
The United States is divided. But in the age of “fake news” and voters only wanting to talk with those who share their views, former President Bill Clinton says Americans shouldn’t lose hope.
In fact, he said Saturday evening, Americans should feel optimistic about the nation’s future.
“This is not a time for despair,” he said at Seattle’s McCaw Hall. “This is a time for citizen activism.”
Clinton was in Seattle as part of an international tour to speak about his new novel, “The President is Missing,” which he wrote with author James Patterson.
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In a discussion with former aide and current Starbucks executive Kris Engskov that lasted about an hour, Clinton talked about the thriller, his love of storytelling and how the book’s themes relate to the current political climate.
The visit to Seattle marks the president’s last stop on the monthlong tour to discuss the novel.
While he mostly strayed from commenting directly on President Donald Trump, he did take a few digs at the current administration. He ended one story, for example, with “back then, you couldn’t just tell an outright lie and get away with it,” which was met with roaring applause from the audience.
“The President is Missing” is a thriller about the fictional President Jonathan Lincoln Duncan, who disappears amid threats of cyberterror and an attack on the U.S.
Cyberterror is an ongoing, important threat with a lot of different players, Clinton said. Anything electronic can be hacked, he warned.
Earlier Saturday, Clinton and Patterson spoke to Amazon employees on the company’s campus. Clinton and Patterson also visited the Starbucks Reserve Roastery, the Amazon spheres and the Amazon Go store, according to the office of President Clinton.
Clinton’s most recent public visit to Seattle was in January 2016, for a fundraiser to benefit the presidential campaign for his wife, Hillary Clinton. He was seen on Capitol Hill, visiting The Elliott Bay Book Company and enjoying Molly Moon ice cream.
The Seattle Times was among the sponsors of Saturday’s event.