Hillary Clinton Says Goal of New Book Is to Prevent Another 2016 Election

The Late Show with Stephen Colbert Still Hillary Clinton - Publicity - H 2017
Courtesy of CBS

The former Democratic presidential nominee also clarified her comments earlier this week that she would "not rule out" questioning the results of the election.

Hillary Clinton says the primary goal of her new book, What Happened, is to make sure something like the 2016 election never happens again, she told host Stephen Colbert at The Late Show on Tuesday.

The former Democratic presidential nominee made her first of many stops on late-night television to talk about her new memoir, which she says attempts to answer the question of "what happened" with the election. "At the end, I feel like I've done my very best to layout what happened so that it doesn't happen again. That is my primary goal here."

To critics who wish she would "just go away," Clinton joked, "You know, if they would take up a collection and send me somewhere really nice I might consider it," adding, "[But] I'm not going anywhere."

After Colbert thanked her for not disappearing from the public eye, it was Clinton's turn to thank Colbert for "sounding the alarm" about the Russians. "I believe so strongly that [the Russians] believe that they succeeded in messing with our democracy," she said. She explained that she is going to wait for the results of the investigation into Russian meddling in the election before drawing too many conclusions, but she wants to make it clear that she believes "the Russians will be back in 2018 and 2020 unless we stop them."

When asked if she believed Russia's efforts were a personal attack on her, she said she doesn't take it personally. However, she did say the fact that she's a woman "does seem to get [Russian President Vladimir Putin] agitated."

In regards to her comments earlier this week that she would "not rule out" questioning the results of the election, she clarified, "Nobody is talking about contesting the election, including me. There is no mechanism [to do that]. But I think legitimacy is rooted in what comes out of these investigations because if there is evidence of coordination or communication or whatever it might be, then I think millions of Americans are going to say, 'Well that raises questions of legitimacy.'"

Her advice, instead, is to mobilize. "What you do is mobilize politically to express your will and rejection of that kind of Russian involvement and coordination at the ballot box. That is where we settle our political differences."

During her appearance, Colbert also asked her if she had seen President Trump's speech at the United Nations today, in which the president referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man" and said, in part, “If it is forced to defend ourselves or our allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”

Of the address, Clinton said, "I thought it was very dark, dangerous, not the kind of message that the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering. You are required to stand up for the values of what we believe in — democracy and opportunity — as a way to demonstrate clearly that the United States remains the beacon that we want it to be."

She said that when the country faces dangerous situations, such as the one in North Korea, the approach of the president should be diplomatic. "What I'd hope the president would have said, was something along the lines of, 'We view this as dangerous to our allies, to the region, and even to our country. We call on all nations to work with us to try to end the threat posed by Kim Jong-un,'" she said.

She also advised against referring to Kim Jong-un as "Rocket Man," saying instead the president "should lead with diplomacy, you should lead with the commitment to try and avoid conflict however you can."

Colbert also gave Clinton a dossier of the many jokes he had prepared to do for his live election special if she had won. And he included a photo of a planned bit they were going to do with naked men. Colbert said he wished he'd been able to tell the jokes and he wished that she was president now.

Wednesday night marked her second appearance on The Late Show since Colbert succeeded Letterman as host. She previously appeared in October 2015.