Former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton admitted that she wouldn’t “completely rule out questioning the legitimacy” of the presidential election’s results if the ongoing probe into Russia’s election interference reaps further results, speaking during an interview with NPR’s “Fresh Air” that aired Monday.
Clinton has not been shy about discussing the stunning blow she was dealt on November 8 when President Donald Trump pulled off his shocking Election Day upset and carried the Electoral College. Clinton, who won the popular vote, now believes that the U.S. “should abolish the Electoral College.” Although she acknowledged that Trump earned the legal right to assume the presidency through the Electoral College, Clinton hinted when pressed that she could challenge the 2016 election results if information surfaced showing that Trump’s campaign officials conspired with the Russians to illegally snatch the presidency away from her.
"Fresh Air" host Terry Gross pointed out to Clinton that "Democrats have said that they think there was Russian interference in the election, but that they're not challenging the results of the election."
"As more and more information comes out about the depth of Russia's interference in the election, do you think, at some point, that it would be legitimate to challenge the legitimacy of the election?" she asked Clinton.
Clinton initially deflected the question, saying, "I don't know if there's any legal, constitutional way to do that. I think you can raise questions."
"[Trump] knew they were trying to do whatever they could to discredit me with emails, so there's obviously a trail there, but I don't know that in our system we have any means of doing that," Clinton added. "There's no doubt they influenced the election. We now know more about how they did that."
But Gross pressed further, saying, "Would you completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election is even deeper than we know now?"
"No, I wouldn't rule it out," Clinton replied.
When Gross asked Clinton "what would be the means to challenge it, if you thought it should be challenged," she admitted that "Basically I don't believe there are."
"There are scholars, academics, who have arguments that it would be, but I don't think they're on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don't think we have a mechanism," Clinton said.
Eddie Zipperer, an assistant professor of political science at Georgia Military College, told LifeZette in an email that "Donald Trump is president of the United States, and Hillary Clinton is not in the line of succession. Period. There is no constitutional process in existence that overturns the results of the electoral college vote."
"No Obama-appointed federal judge can order Trump out of the presidency no matter how much they're aching to do it," he said.
Clinton's "waffley answers" in the interview "suggest that even she does not believe it's possible" to challenge and reverse the Election Day outcome, Zipperer said, noting that he's "old enough to remember when Hillary and the Democrats thought questioning the results of a free and fair election was an assault on our democracy."
During the final presidential debate in October, Trump fielded widespread criticism for saying that he would keep the country "in suspense" over whether he would accept the results of the November 8 election if it had been "rigged" so that he'd lose. In response, Clinton told Ohio voters during a rally that Trump "threatens democracy" by not promising to accept the election results.
"We know, in our country, the difference between leadership and dictatorship. And the peaceful transition of power is something that sets us apart," she said.
On October 21, Clinton tweeted, "Donald Trump refused to say that he'd respect the results of this election. By doing that, he's threatening our democracy."
"This just shows that their self-righteous show of democracy worship is all just that — a show," Zipperer said of Clinton and the Democrats at large. "She can cling to whatever desperate hope she wants to cling to, but the idea that the election results are challengeable is the pinnacle of left-wing delusion."
(photo credit, homepage and article images: Gage Skidmore, Flickr)
Last Modified: November 21, 2017, 1:24 pm