WASHINGTON – Hillary Clinton blasted President Donald Trump in a new essay for launching five major “assaults” on democracy and creating a national “crisis.”
“Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track,” Clinton writes in The Atlantic in an essay adapted from the new afterword of her 2017 book, “What Happened,” which will be released as a paperback Tuesday.
“I think that may be the point – to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball,” Clinton writes. “The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis.”
Clinton, who lost the 2016 presidential election to Trump, said she doesn’t use the word “crisis” lightly.
“There are no tanks in the streets,” she wrote. “The administration’s malevolence may be constrained on some fronts – for now – by its incompetence. But our democratic institutions and traditions are under siege. We need to do everything we can to fight back. There’s not a moment to lose.”
Trump and Clinton have continued their bitter feud during the past two years, with the president often lashing out at his former rival on Twitter and blasting the ex-secretary of State as “Crooked Hillary.”
Clinton uses her essay as a rallying cry to voters to elect Democrats in this November’s midterm elections to rein in Trump.
“We could finally see some congressional oversight of the White House,” she writes.
Clinton says “Trump has sunk far below the already-low bar he set for himself in his ugly campaign” by separating immigrant children from their parents at the border, denying the deaths of 3,000 Puerto Ricans in last year’s Hurricane Maria, and dismissing the Russia investigation as “a witch hunt.”
Clinton alleges that Trump’s administration has assaulted America in five main areas:
- Undermining the rule of law. Clinton points to news reports that Trump expected Attorney General Jeff Sessions to protect him from special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation, regardless of the law. She also accused Trump of urging the Justice Department to go after his political opponents. Although she didn’t mention it in her essay, Clinton is one of the people Trump has publicly asked the department to investigate.
- Failing to protect the U.S. election system from further attacks from the Russians or other foreign governments. Clinton said Trump and Republicans also are trying to suppress voter participation by putting “onerous – and I believe illegal” – regulations in place.
- Attacking journalists and “waging war on truth and reason.” Clinton talks about Trump’s penchant for making false and misleading statements. She says he needs to learn to take criticism from the media and push back without destroying the free press.
- “Breathtaking corruption.” Trump promised to “drain the swamp,” but instead, Clinton contends, “It’s amazing how blithely the president and his Cabinet have piled up conflicts of interest, abuses of power, and blatant violations of ethics rules.”
- Weakening national unity. “Trump doesn’t even try to pretend he’s a president for all Americans,” Clinton writes. “It’s hard to ignore the racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says.”
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