In her first public interview since the election, Hillary Clinton sat down today with the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof at Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit to address a number of topics: her emotions after November 8, the first 100 days of Donald Trump’s presidency, and the ongoing attack on women’s rights around the world. Also: her favorite Trump GIF.
Read on for some of the highlights below.
She’s okay – she’s got the woods.
“I am doing pretty well all things considered. The aftermath of the election was so devastating. And everything that has come to light in the days and weeks since has been also troubling, and so I just had to make up my mind that yes, I was going to get out of bed and yes, I was going to go for a lot of long walks in the woods and I was going to see my grandchildren a lot and spend time with my family and my friends who have rallied around me in an amazing way. We have had lots of fun adventures talking and laughing. I am OK – as a person, I’m OK. As an American I’m pretty worried.”
She did get a kick out of the health-care bill mess.
“I will confess to this: having listened to them talk about repeal and replace for 7 years now, they had not a clue what that meant; they had no idea. I don’t know that any of them had ever even read the bill – read the law, understood how it worked. It was so obvious. Health care is complicated, right? They don’t know what to do, and I do admit that was somewhat gratifying.”
This is her favorite meme:
“The things that come out of some of these men’s mouths — like, ‘Why do we have to cover maternity care?’ Well, I don’t know, maybe you were dropped by immaculate conception. There is that classic picture of all of them — men — sitting around deciding how they were going to defund Planned Parenthood and maternity care, and access to insurance for family planning and contraception. Looking at that picture, you just think it has got to be from a skit on Saturday Night Live. It can’t possibly be true.”
She’s doesn’t understand the cruelty of Trump’s first 100 days.
“I don’t understand the commitment to hurt so many people that this administration, this White House seems to be pursuing. There are so many examples in just the first 100 days. The ban on people coming into our country — and yes, it was aimed at originally seven, now six, countries but it really sent a chilling effect across the world. And not just to Muslims to all kinds of people, who are saying to themselves, ‘Wait, what happened, don’t you still have Lady Liberty in the New York Harbor?’”
She believes women’s rights are under attack around the world.
“The targeting of women — which is what is going on — is absolutely beyond any political agenda. There is something else happening here. So the global gag rule, that bounces back and forth between Republican and Democrats, but the way they wrote it this time — not like Bush did, not like Reagan did — this time would be to remove all aid if there is some kind of alleged breach. Because you provide family planning services, but somebody says to a woman desperate to get an abortion because she has been told she will die if she bears another child so then you try to help her and you lose everything. And then you follow that with the U.N. population fund … The impact that those dollars have is saving women and children’s lives and helping women have a better shot at a future… This is not just the right and moral position for the United States to take; this in our national security interest. The more we support women, the more we support democracy … Women’s issues are national security issues around the world.”
She believes the sexism in the election was real.
“Certainly, misogyny played a role. And that just has to be admitted, and why and what the underlying reasons for that, is what I’m trying to figure out myself … I think in this election there was a very real struggle between what is viewed as change that is welcomed and exciting to so many Americans and change which is worrisome and threatening to so many others. You layer on the first woman president over that, and I think some people, women included, had big problems.”
She’s still not sure why everyone hated her so much, but she has stopped caring.
“I am not perfect, everybody knows that by now … Sometimes I don’t know quite how to fix what they are concerned about. But I try. And so, I take it seriously, but I don’t any longer, and haven’t for a long time taken it personally. Because part of the attacks … part of the bullying and part of the name calling — and that has certainly become more pervasive — is to crush your spirit and feel inadequate. And I just refused to do that — and that infuriated everyone.”