Hillary Clinton: Trump May Be A Witting Russian Tool; He Plays Checkers, Putin Playing Three-Dimensional Chess

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Hillary Clinton said Russia "wanted to get me out of the way" when they politically disrupted the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Clinton told MSNBC host Rachel Maddow while she believes she is a "small part of the puzzle," it is worth asking, "why did they want to get me out of the way?"

"I do believe that we're finding it more about how they viewed me and what they wanted to do to get me out of the way, but to get me out of the way to do what, Rachel? Yes, try to elect the president which apparently they succeeded at, but it was more than that. I think they play a long game," Clinton said about Russia and the 2016 election.

Clinton said Tuesday night she doesn't know if President Trump is a "witting" agent for Russia, but she does know it's clear "he is playing checkers and Putin is playing three-dimensional chess."





"I don't know whether Trump is a witting or unwitting tool of Putin," Clinton said. "I don't know that. But it's clear he is playing checkers and Putin is playing three-dimensional chess. Putin has a very clear vision of what we wants to accomplish, and high on his bucket list is undermining democracies. And he uses money. He uses blackmail. He uses all kinds of inducements to political leaders and business leaders to try to bend them to his will, to make them part of the future that he's trying to create."

Transcript,

HILLARY CLINTON: The Russians are still interfering with our democracy. It's not as though they said whew, Hillary Clinton is gone, oh, she is not going to be president, we're all going home. No! They are trying to influence how we look at one another, how we treat each other. They're certainly, as Trump's own intelligence officials have stated, [are] in our election systems. So what is the next chapter? You see, I think I was an obstacle to their plans to undermine and disrupt our democracy.

I think I was an obstacle to their efforts to try to impose greater authoritarian control in Russia, go after people who were opponents of Putin's, whether they were in the LGBTQ community or the press, and I think that they wanted to get me out of the way.

And the question I think is worth asking why did they want to get me out of the way? What is it they are trying to accomplish now? And from what we've seen, they're still trying to stir up trouble. They're still trying to influence people's minds on social media. Recent information came out about how they had tens of thousands of, you know, bots and proxies talking about the Affordable Care Act.

They were trying to undermine our effort to get health care to people. Why? Because they know that that will continue to cause a lot of political disruption in our country. So I think I am a small part of the puzzle. I do believe that we're finding it more about how they viewed me and what they wanted to do to get me out of the way, but to get me out of the way to do what, Rachel? Yes, try to elect the president which apparently they succeeded at, but it was more than that. I think they play a long game.

I don't know whether Trump is a witting or unwitting tool of Putin. I don't know that. But it's clear he is playing checkers and Putin is playing three-dimensional chess. Putin has a very clear vision of what we wants to accomplish, and high on his bucket list is undermining democracies. And he uses money. He uses blackmail. He uses all kinds of inducements to political leaders and business leaders to try to bend them to his will, to make them part of the future that he's trying to create.

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