White House

Hillary Clinton Labels Trump an ‘Illegitimate President’

Then Republican nominee Donald Trump listens as Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton speaks during their presidential town-hall debate in St. Louis, Mo., October 9, 2016. (Rick Wilking/Reuters)

Hillary Clinton said that Donald Trump is an “illegitimate president” during a Wednesday appearance on ABC’s “The View.”

The former presidential candidate made the comment after host Joy Behar asked what she made of Trump leading “lock her up!” chants at campaign rallies.

“I do think that [Trump] knows that he’s an illegitimate president,” said Clinton to applause from the studio audience. “Because of that, he’s very insecure about it.”

Clinton’s campaign met with harsh public backlash after she was accused of using a private home server to receive classified emails from the State Department in violation of federal laws governing the handling of classified information. After an F.B.I. investigation, then director James Comey announced that the agency would not press charges against Clinton, but referred to her actions as “extremely careless.”

The investigation into her use of a private server for classified emails became a key issue in the 2016 elections, with Trump and supporters shouting “lock her up!” at rallies and alleging that Clinton had overstepped the bounds of the law.

The State Department is continuing its own investigation into the matter.

During the 2016 election season, Trump hinted that he would not accept the election results if he were to lose. Clinton herself went on to question the legitimacy of the results in a 2017 interview with in Mother Jones.

Later in the Wednesday interview, Clinton accused Trump of “being helped a lot” in the 2016 elections, presumably referring to the Kremlin’s efforts to sway the election in his favor.

Trump has been fighting accusations that his campaign conspired with Russian government officials to obtain dirt on Clinton, which allegedly helped him to become president.

The allegations that Trump colluded with Russian operatives touched off a nearly two-year FBI counterintelligence operation into the Trump campaign. The probe began after the FBI received reports from the Australian government that a Trump campaign official, George Papadopoulos, had bragged to Australian diplomat Alexander Downer that the campaign had obtained incriminating documents on Hillary Clinton from Russian intelligence.

An investigation into the matter by special counsel Robert Mueller cleared the Trump campaign of colluding with Russian operatives.

In May of this year, Trump tasked U.S. Attorney General William Barr with looking into the origins of the Mueller report. It was revealed on Monday that Barr had asked Trump to request aid from the Australian government pertaining to Barr’s investigation. Australian ambassador to the U.S. Joe Hockey had also offered to aid the investigation in May.

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