At an event hosted by Women for Women International, a nonprofit group, Hillary Clinton also voiced disbelief at what she cast as the Trump administration’s slapdash approach to issues like health-care policy and the North Korean nuclear program.
Hillary Clinton on Tuesday questioned President Donald Trump’s conduct in office, criticizing his foreign-policy pronouncements and penchant for posting on Twitter, and described herself as “part of the resistance.”
Clinton, who has kept a relatively low profile since her defeat in the presidential race, repeatedly characterized Trump as struggling in the presidency during a public interview with Christiane Amanpour, a CNN correspondent, at an event in midtown Manhattan.
Pressed by Amanpour to reflect on the campaign, Clinton said she took “absolute personal responsibility” for her defeat. “It wasn’t a perfect campaign. There is no such thing. But I was on the way to winning until a combination of (FBI Director) Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.”
She added: “The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days,” suggesting that based on the available data, “if the election had been on October 27, I’d be your president.”
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Clinton said Trump seemed to be tightly aligned with Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, whom U.S. intelligence agencies believe ordered an extensive campaign aimed at influencing the 2016 race. “He certainly interfered in our election,” Clinton said of Putin. “And clearly interfered to hurt me and to help my opponent.”
Clinton said that if you “chart my opponent and his campaign’s statements,” they appear “quite coordinated with the goals of that leader, who shall remain nameless.”
At the event hosted by Women for Women International, a nonprofit group, Clinton also voiced disbelief at what she cast as the Trump administration’s slapdash approach to issues like health-care policy and the North Korean nuclear program.
She specifically criticized Trump’s suggestion in a television interview that he would be prepared to meet with Kim Jong Un, the North Korean leader, mocking Trump’s comment as impulsive and naive. North Korea, Clinton said, has long tried to lure U.S. leaders into direct contact “to elevate their status and their position, and we should be very careful about giving that away.”
While she described herself as merely a private citizen, she placed herself publicly on the side of the popular backlash against her former opponent. She effectively endorsed the explosion of activism on the left, in the language activists have embraced. “I’m back to being an active citizen,” Clinton said, “and part of the resistance.”
She said Trump appeared to be struggling to fulfill his campaign promises. “Health care is complicated, and so is foreign policy and other stuff,” Clinton said, drawing laughter and applause from a supportive audience. “If it’s easy, it doesn’t get to the president’s desk.”
She appeared to be enjoying herself as she served up crowd-pleasing lines and won a loud ovation from the audience when she observed that Trump seemed irked by the fact that she won the popular vote by several million ballots.
The president, she said, “should worry less about the election and my winning the popular vote” than about more urgent matters of policy confronting the country.
Clinton, who said she believed sexism also played a role in the 2016 race, promised she would offer a fuller reflection on the campaign in a book next fall. She said she was working on the manuscript, and, “It’s a painful process, reliving the campaign.”