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Hillary Clinton might not be feeling the Bern, but the former U.S. Secretary of State and rival to Bernie Sanders for the 2016 Democratic nomination for president says if Sanders is nominated this year, she will support him.
“I’ll wait and see who we nominate, and I will support the nominee,” Clinton said, at a press conference at the Berlin International Film Festival for the Hulu documentary series Hillary from director Nanette Burstein. “And I think it is imperative that we retire the incumbent.”
Hearty cheers and scattered boos greeted Clinton when she was introduced. In addition to discussing the series, she commented on several current topics, including the Monday conviction of Harvey Weinstein of rape and criminal sexual assault in the first degree.
“I think the jury’s decision speaks for itself,” she said. “It was time for an accounting, and the jury clearly found that.”
Asked about Weinstein’s support for her presidential run, Clinton noted that the disgraced film producer “supported every Democratic campaign,” including those of Barack Obama and John Kerry. She also touched on Russian interference in the 2016 election and the leaks of her personal emails. But she declined to comment directly on Julian Assange. “I have a personal opinion,” she said, but added that she did not want to interfere in the legal process of his extradition hearing to the U.S.
When it came to Russian interference in the 2016 election, and Russian President Vladimir Putin in particular, Clinton was more forthcoming. Noting that her political opponents did a “very good job” of raising “all kinds of phony issues, exaggerated issues” to distort her public image with American voters, Clinton said Putin was not deceived.
“He knew exactly who I was and what I would do to stand up for freedom and decency, and to create a strong relationship among Western democracies, particularly across the Atlantic. To defend Europe to defend NATO,” Clinton said. “He knew exactly who I was. So when he ordered his intelligence service to go after me and say anything negative they could possibly say — and we have intercepts of quotes from the generals to their operatives in the intelligence agencies to do just that — it wasn’t because he was fooled or didn’t understand me. It was because he wanted to defeat me.”
While Burstein’s documentary chronicles Clinton’s decades at the heart of political power, Clinton said she did not see the series as her legacy.
“I’m not at the point in my life yet that I’m looking backwards. I’m still looking forward. There is so much still to be done and to speak out about every single day,” she said. “I’m not thinking about legacy. I’m thinking about, how do we get healthcare for every American? How will we deal with climate change? How do we retire Donald Trump? That’s what I’m thinking about.”
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