Politics & Policy

Hillary Clinton: ‘Putin Made It His Mission to Deny Me the Presidency’

Hillary Clinton arrives for the inauguration of Joe Biden in Washington, D.C., January 20, 2021. (Jonathan Ernst/Reuters)

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton claimed on Wednesday that Russian president Vladimir Putin “made it his mission to deny me the presidency” when she ran against Donald Trump in 2016.

Clinton’s comments came during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe on the same day that President Joe Biden met with Putin in Geneva for the first time since taking office in January.

The Democrat lauded Biden’s “long history with foreign relations” ahead of the meeting, but also couldn’t keep herself from rehashing the past and taking jabs at Trump.

“I think that [Biden’s] long history with foreign relations, his eight years as vice president seeing what worked, what didn’t work, watching the disaster of the Trump presidency in basically giving a green light to Putin to do whatever he wanted – once he helped elect Trump, of course – I think you’ll see a much different approach,” Clinton said. 

Asked about dealing with Putin without elevating him, Clinton again steered the conversation toward Trump.

“Trump has elevated him. Trump, from the very beginning, even when he was running in 2016, basically lifted up Russia and lifted up Putin against our own country and our own president,” Clinton said. “That behavior and that rhetoric continued, so it’s difficult to say, ‘Let’s turn the clock back.’”

While U.S. intelligence concluded that Russia did look to boost Trump in 2016, there was no actual Russian changing of vote tallies.

Clinton has shown difficulty moving on from her 2016 loss and has repeatedly criticized Trump over the last five years.

On Wednesday, Clinton accused Trump of being a “spokesperson” for Putin.

“We don’t have you know, Trump being in effect a spokesperson for Putin any longer. We have a president who will stand up and defend American interests,” she said.

Clinton also said that elected officials who have suggested that the 2020 presidential election was rigged against Trump are aiding Putin’s effort to undermine America.

“We never thought we had to worry about domestic enemies. We never thought we had to worry about people who didn’t believe in our democracy,” Clinton said. “And sadly, what we’ve seen over the last four years and particularly since the election is that we have people in our own country who are doing Putin’s work.”

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