Hillary Clinton on Thursday said President Donald Trump, the man who beat her in the 2016 election, posed a "clear and present danger" to the future of the country. Clinton was speaking at an event in Washington, DC marking the 50th anniversary of a leading abortion-rights advocacy group.
"This is a moment of reckoning, a historic moment," Clinton said, calling House Speaker Nancy Pelosi the "woman of the hour" days after she announced the start of an impeachment inquiry into the president.
"I had a chance to visit with Nancy backstage and I really share her view that the seriousness with which she has addressed the question of impeachment is exactly in line with what a sobering decision she had to make," Clinton said. "And now she must proceed with an impeachment inquiry into the president, who has betrayed his oath of office to uphold the Constitution and protect and defend our country. This occupant of the Oval Office poses a clear and present danger to our future and our democracy."
"This is not a partisan political statement, it is a harsh reality, which is why the Speaker has acted. Because it goes to the core of our values, our strength, our freedom, our security, our prosperity."
"I think it is fair to say we have known who Donald Trump is for some time now," Clinton said. "We knew he was a corrupt businessman who cheated people. We knew his campaign invited foreign adversaries to tamper with our elections. And now we know that in the course of his duties as our president, he has endangered us all by putting his personal and political interests ahead of the American people."
"So this is a moment of reckoning, a historic moment, and I'm very grateful to Speaker Pelosi for her leadership," Clinton said. "There is so much more at stake; it is not just what we now know happened in a phone call between this president and his counterpart in Ukraine, we are living through a crisis in our democracy."
Clinton reaffirmed her view that Trump's actions fall under "high crimes and misdemeanors" in an interview with CBS News that will air Sunday morning.
Clinton also said Donald Trump was an "illegitimate president" predicted he won’t be elected to a second term. "My view is that, given the latest revelation, which is such a blatant effort to use his presidential position to advance his personal and political interests, there should be an impeachment inquiry opened," Clinton said. "I don't care who you are for in the Democratic primary, when the president of the United States, who has taken an oath to protect and defend the Constitution uses his power and position to in effect extort a foreign government for his own political purposes, I think that is very much what the founders worried about in high crimes and misdemeanors."
"Look, there were many funny things that happened in my election that will not happen again," she told CBS's Jane Pauley. "And I’m hoping that both the public and press understand the way Trump plays the game."
She added: "The most outrageously false things were said about me in 2016, and unfortunately, enough people believed them. So, this is an effort to sow these falsehoods against Biden."