Hillary Clinton on election meddling: Russians ‘will be back’

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NEW YORK (CNN) — Hillary Clinton referred to Russia’s meddling in the 2016 US presidential election as an “act of aggression” on Thursday, in her most extended comments yet about a controversy that has consumed the earliest days of Donald Trump’s presidency.

“I am deeply concerned about what went on with Russia,” Clinton said at the “Women in the World” summit in New York City. “A foreign power meddled with our election and did so in a way that we are learning more about every single day.”

Accusing Russian President Vladimir Putin of wanting to “sow distrust and confusion, as well as influence, our election,” the former secretary of state also said she supports an independent investigation into whether there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Former US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at the Eighth Annual Women in the World Summit at Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts on April 6, 2017, in New York City. / AFP PHOTO / ANGELA WEISS (Photo credit: Angela Weiss/AFP/Getty Images)

Russians “will be back time and time again” if the United States doesn’t take bipartisan “action together to hold whoever was involved accountable,” Clinton warned.

In the immediate aftermath of her loss to Trump in November, the two-time presidential candidate largely stayed away from the limelight.

But in recent weeks, Clinton has appeared increasingly willing to speak out in public, even wading into politics.

At a diversity conference hosted by the Professional BusinessWomen of California last week, Clinton took on what she said were “indignities,” “sexism” and “structural barriers” that women confront today.

One person Clinton singled out in that speech: Sean Spicer. The White House press secretary had had a contentious back-and-forth with American Urban Radio Networks correspondent and CNN political analyst April Ryan, culminating in a condescending request for Ryan to “please stop shaking your head.”

“She was patronized and cut off as she tried to ask a question,” Clinton said of Spicer’s comment to Ryan.

Days after the California appearance, Clinton delivered pointed criticism of the Trump administration. In remarks at Georgetown University, she blasted the President’s budget blueprint, which proposed deep domestic spending cuts and reductions in foreign aid.

“We are seeing signals of a shift that should alarm us all,” Clinton said. “This administration’s proposed cuts to international health, development and diplomacy would be a blow to women and children and a grave mistake for our country.”

While Clinton’s closest associates are inclined to reject speculation of the former candidate’s interest in pursuing public office again, rumors have continued to swirl nonetheless. Local media have floated her name as a possible New York City mayoral candidate.

Clinton’s aides say that she is still mulling over what she would like to do in the coming years, and has been reaching out to friends, donors and other associates to keep the lines of communication open.

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  • Shiloh's Mom

    There is absolutely no proof that Russia was involved in any way in our election. No one can even give a hypothetical scenario about how they possibly could have done that. And has far as Hillary – Nobody cares what you have to say. You are absolutely no longer relevant. Accept it, shut your yap, and move on. And poor April Ryan. Yeah, I’m positive the reason Sean Spicer cut you off was solely because you’re a woman – let’s go with that and continue with this ridiculous “everyone’s a victim, and everyone’s mean to me” mindset”. That will continue to benefit women for sure. I’m sure it had nothing to do with YOUR condescending shaking of your head and disrespect to him.

  • DaMailman

    Just curious when we’re going to see our first tiny piece of evidence that the Russians did anything to effect the out come of the election

  • steve

    The Russians will be back? Who said that they affected the election in the first place? Just like most Democrats, Hillary still can’t believe that she lost. The real reason she lost was Hillary herself. and an awful lot of people who voted for Trump were actually voting against her.