On Friday, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders referred to comments that Hillary Clinton made in an interview with Mark Helenowski of the leftist Mother Jones magazine, in which the former Democrat presidential candidate alluded to claims of sexual misconduct by President Donald Trump. At Friday’s press conference, Sanders replied to a request for reaction, “I think Hillary Clinton should have dealt with some of her own issues before addressing this President on questions of sexual misconduct allegations.” Sanders also batted away comparisons members of the media drew between accusations of sexual misconduct aimed at Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) and those lingering against President Donald Trump.

Weaponization of fake news

In the Mother Jones interview, Clinton admitted to some “shortcomings” in her failed campaign, but again blamed Russian meddling in the election. “If we don’t figure out what they did to us and take adequate steps to prevent it, they’re only going to get better,” she said. “This is the first time we’ve ever been attacked by a foreign adversary and then they suffer no real consequences.” According to Clinton, the Russians used “weaponized false information,” she said, in “a very successful disinformation campaign” that “wasn’t just influencing voters—it was determining the outcome.”

"I don't understand"

When Clinton was asked about the allegations of sexual assault against Trump that emerged during the campaign, she said that she could not explain why the allegations have not stuck. “I don’t understand a lot about how he got away with so many attacks and insults and behaviors that allowed him to win the presidency,” she said. “I think part of it is because a lot of people really saw him more as an entertainment figure.” Clinton added, “It’s something that people are going to be scratching their heads about a long time.”

As to persistent accusations that she mishandled or profited from the sale of Uranium One to Russia, Clinton pushed back hard during the interview.

Here follows an excerpt: 

HILLARY CLINTON: "I regret deeply that this appears to be the politicization of the Justice Department and our justice system. This Uranium One story has been debunked countless times by members of the press, by independent experts. It is nothing but a false charge that the Trump administration is trying to drum up in order to avoid attention being directed at them. I mean, even Trey Gowdy, somebody who’s hardly a fan of mine, said that there doesn’t seem to be the basis for a special counsel. Of course, there isn’t.

"It is personally offensive that they would do this. But taking myself out of it, this is such an abuse of power, and it goes right at the rule of law. … And if they sent a signal that we’re going to be like some dictatorship, some authoritarian regime, where political opponents are going to be unfairly, fraudulently investigated, that rips at the fabric of the contract we have that we can trust our justice system."

Referring to the controversy over Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.), Sanders said on Friday that a major difference between the sexual misconduct allegations leveled against the Democrat and  President Trump is that the senator "has admitted wrongdoing" while "the president hasn't." When Sanders was asked how multiple allegations, which the president and the White House have labeled as lies, differ from the allegations against Franken, she said "I think in one case, specifically, Sen. Franken has admitted wrongdoing and the president hasn't." She said, 'I think that's a very clear distinction."

Here follows complete Mother Jones interview:

Here follows Sarah Huckabee Sanders press conference:



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Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat and the editor of Spero News.

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