Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton — in an NBC interview that was released in its entirety on Sunday — predicted that former President Donald Trump would seek the presidency in 2024 and said that his potential victory “could be the end” of US democracy.
Clinton — who lost the Democratic presidential nomination in 2008 to then-Senator Barack Obama of Illinois before becoming the party’s nominee in 2016 — was defeated by Trump in what was seen as one of the biggest political upsets in modern political history.
“If I were a betting person right now, I’d say Trump is going to run again,” she told Sunday Today host Willie Geist.
“He seems to be setting himself up to do that, and if he’s not held accountable, he gets to do it again.”
“I think that could be the end of our democracy,” she said. “Not too be too pointed about it, but I want people to understand that this could be a make-or-break point. If he or someone of his ilk were once again to be elected president, especially if he had a Congress that would do his bidding, you will not recognize our country.”
Trump has flirted with a 2024 presidential bid since leaving the White House in January, but has not yet made an official announcement of his plans.
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When Geist asked Clinton if she ever had “moments of responsibility or even guilt” about Trump’s tenure in the White House, she acknowledged having such feelings.
“Of course,” she said. “I tried to warn people. I tried to make the case that this was really dangerous — the people he was allied with, what they were saying, what he might do. I do think but for Jim Comey and the stunt he pulled ten days before the election, I would have won.”
Comey, who at the time was the director of the FBI, sent a letter to Congress on October 28, 2020, to announce that the law enforcement agency was reopening its investigation into her private email server.
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Clinton and many top Democrats have long maintained that the development swayed enough independent voters into Trump’s camp to help him win the election.
In her Today interview, Clinton remarked on what she sees as Trump’s perilous brand of politics.
“I feel terrible about not stopping him and the people around him, but I feel like now everybody can see for themselves what kind of leader he is,” she said.
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However, Clinton also reflected on Trump’s base of supporters, noting that he was trying to install loyalists in key election posts across the country.
“Clearly, there were people who liked what they saw, despite what I see as the real dangers to our country,” she said. “They turned out and voted for him. And he’s trying to get it set up so that will happen again for him, even as he loses, as he did twice the popular vote.”
In the 2016 presidential election, Trump beat Clinton in the Electoral College (304 to 227, with 7 electors defecting), but Clinton edged him out in the popular vote (48%-46%), securing nearly 2.9 million more votes than the Republican.