Hillary Clinton stated that she won’t dismiss questioning the legitimacy of President Donald Trump depending on what the official inquiries reveal about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential campaign, Chicago Tribune reports.
However, she said she cannot think of any constitutional grounds to challenge the actual election results, despite what the investigators find.
Clinton stated that “there’s no doubt” Russian propaganda efforts “influenced the election,” and added that she’s sure Trump’s close campaign officials had communication with Russian officials during the campaign.
She was asked specifically if she would rule out questioning the legitimacy of the election if the U.S. learns that Russian meddling is much deeper than what is known now. Clinton replied, “No, I would not.”
She added, however, that she doesn’t “think we have a mechanism” to challenge the results.
Clinton’s interview is part of a publicity tour surrounding the release of her campaign memoir, “What Happened,” which tracks back to her second failed presidential bid.
During the 2016 fall campaign, with Clinton leading in national polls and nearly all Electoral College projections, it was Trump who drew attention for suggesting he may not accept election results.
Clinton ultimately prevailed in the national popular vote, but Trump won the key battleground states of North Carolina and Florida while nipping Clinton in Pennsylvania, Michigan, and Wisconsin to secure an Electoral College majority.
Clinton also said for the NPR that she still thinks that then-FBI Director James Comey helped tip the election by telling Congress in a late-October letter that he was still looking into her email practices at the State Department. Voters did not learn that the FBI had begun its investigation into the Trump campaigns potential ties to Russia in early 2016, she said. Trump fired Comey as FBI chief on May 9, but a special counsel, Robert Mueller, has since been appointed to continue the investigation.
In her NPR interview, Clinton also criticized the media for covering too little on the alleged Russian involvement in hacking the emails of her campaign leader, John Podesta.
“The press fell for it,” she said, shifting attention away from the Trump tape and onto the Podesta email dump as a window to peek inside Clinton’s world.
“What I would like to have seen is, ‘You know what? These were stolen emails,'” Clinton said. “Every story should start with, ‘These were stolen emails, and the best judgment from our intelligence professionals and independent analysts is they were stolen by Russia.'”