Clinton: ‘I was on the way to winning’

Tuesday - 02/05/2017 15:44
HILLARY Clinton has delivered her strongest critique of Donald Trump yet, saying she was “on the way to winning” the US election except for two intervening factors.

“If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president,” she told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at a Women for Women International event in New York on Tuesday.

“I take absolute personal responsibility. I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had,” Ms Clinton said.

But she added that she was “on the way to winning until a combination of (FBI Director) James Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off. The evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling, persuasive, and so we overcame a lot in the campaign.”

Ms Clinton, who is currently writing a book about her shock election loss, said: “The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days.”

In the wideranging and candid interview, Ms Clinton also opened about North Korea’s nuclear ambitions, her relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin and misogyny.

The former US secretary of state agreed with the journalist that misogyny played a role in her defeat by Mr Trump, but mentioned several times that she won the popular vote. (She won three million more votes than her Republican opponent.)

“Yes, I do think it played a role. I think other things did as well. Every day that goes by, we find out more about the unprecedented inference, including from a foreign power whose leader is not a member of my fan club,” Ms Clinton said, referring to President Putin.

“It is real, it is very much a part of the landscape, political and socially and economically.”

According to CNN, Ms Clinton has grown more at peace with her loss in recent months, but is still focused on interference by the Russian government.

CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (left) interviewed Hillary Clinton at a Women for Women event in New York. Picture: CNN
CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (left) interviewed Hillary Clinton at a Women for Women event in New York. Picture: CNNSource:Supplied

Ms Clinton revealed she personally supported Mr Trump’s strike in Syria after its alleged chemical attack on its own people, but said “it’s too soon to really tell” if it worked.

“I am not convinced that it really made much of a difference,” she said about the Syria strike.

“I don’t know what kind of potentially, you know, backroom deals were made with the Russians. I mean, we later learned that the Russians and the Syrians moved jets off the runway, that the Russians may have been given a heads up before our own Congress was. I think there’s a lot we really don’t fully know about what was part of that strike.”

Hillary Clinton opened up about her relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Picture: AFP/Alexander Zemlianichenko
Hillary Clinton opened up about her relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin. Picture: AFP/Alexander ZemlianichenkoSource:AFP

 

Hillary Clinton refused to refer to Donald Trump by name, instead calling him her “opponent”. Picture: AP Photo/Evan Vucci
Hillary Clinton refused to refer to Donald Trump by name, instead calling him her “opponent”. Picture: AP Photo/Evan VucciSource:AP

Ms Clinton also responded to Mr Trump’s assertion that he would be “honoured” to meet brutal North Korean dictator Kim Jong-un.

“I take this (North Korean nuclear) threat very seriously. But I don’t believe that we alone are able to really put the pressure on this North Korean regime that needs to be placed,” she said.

“Now the North Koreans are always interested ... in trying to get Americans to try to come to negotiate to elevate their status and their position and we should be very careful about giving that way.

“We should not offer that in the absence of a broader strategic framework to try to get China, Japan, Russia, South Korea to put the kind of pressure on the regime (that will bring them to the table).”

US President Donald Trump said he would be open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Picture: AFP/Ed Jones
US President Donald Trump said he would be open to meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong-un. Picture: AFP/Ed JonesSource:AFP

Ms Clinton praised Defence Secretary James Mattis for calling for the maintenance of US foreign aid funding, in defiance of President Trump.

“I am hoping that because of voices like Jim Mattis and others that that will begin to influence the administration,” she said.

The 69-year-old also pledged to “publicly request” that the Trump administration “not end our efforts making women’s rights and opportunities” central to US policy.

“Women’s rights is the unfinished business of the 21st century,” she said.

Although Ms Clinton is writing a book about her campaign, she did not reveal any other career plans, only saying: “I am back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance.”

Women for Women International is a decades-old non-profit that advocates for women in war-torn and conflict-ridden areas of the world. The group has protested Mr Trump’s plan to bar certain refugees from entering America.

Hillary Clinton said she spoke to US President Barack Obama after losing the election. Picture: AFP/Saul Loeb
Hillary Clinton said she spoke to US President Barack Obama after losing the election. Picture: AFP/Saul LoebSource:AFP

CLINTON PRAISES KIMMEL’S EMOTIONAL MONOLOGUE

Earlier, Ms Clinton tweeted her support for American late-night host, Jimmy Kimmel, who opened up about his newborn son’s heart disease and subsequent surgery in an emotional opening monologue.

“President Trump last month proposed a $6 billion cut in funding to the National Institute[s] of Health,” the Jimmy Kimmel Live! host tearfully recalled.

“And thank God our congressmen made a deal last night not to go along with that. They actually increased funding by $2 billion, and I applaud them for doing that.”

The 49-year-old went on to praise the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, for giving people access to health care, even if they couldn’t afford it.

“We were brought up to believe that we live in the greatest country in the world, but until a few years ago millions and millions of us had no access to health insurance at all,” he said.

“You know, before 2014 if you were born with congenital heart disease like my son was, there was a good chance you’d never be able to get health insurance because you had a pre-existing condition.

“You were born with a pre-existing condition and if your parents didn’t have medical insurance you might not live long enough to even get denied because of a pre-existing condition. If your baby is going to die and it doesn’t have to, it shouldn’t matter how much money you make.”

Jimmy Kimmel shared a heartbreaking picture of his newborn son during his opening monologue. Picture: Jimmy Kimmel Live
Jimmy Kimmel shared a heartbreaking picture of his newborn son during his opening monologue. Picture: Jimmy Kimmel LiveSource:Supplied

Kimmel finished with a plea for Americans to think of the greater good.

“Whatever your party, whatever you believe, whoever you support, we need to make sure that the people who are supposed to represent us, people who are meeting about this right now in Washington, understand that very clearly,” Kimmel said.

“Let’s stop with the nonsense. This isn’t football. There are no teams. We are the team. It’s the United States. Don’t let their partisan squabbles divide us on something every decent person wants. We need to take care of each other.”

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 Keywords: Hillary Clinton

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