With the midterms fast approaching, Hillary Clinton has written a scathing critique of President Trump that accused him of disregarding the law and weakening the social fabric of the country, imploring voters to “do everything we can to fight back” and “mobilize massive turnout” in November.
When Mr. Trump prevailed over Mrs. Clinton in the 2016 election, she had told her supporters that they owed him “an open mind and the chance to lead,” she recalled in the essay, which was posted by The Atlantic on Sunday.
“I hoped that my fears for our future were overblown,” she wrote. “They were not.”
“And right now, our democracy is in crisis,” she added, saying she does not use the word “crisis” lightly.
The essay was adapted from the new afterword in the paperback edition of her 2017 memoir, “What Happened,” which is being released on Tuesday. In the piece, she listed “despicable things” inflicted by the president “and his cronies” and ticked off five “main fronts” to what she calls the “assault on our democracy.”
Comparing Mr. Trump to a tyrant, Mrs. Clinton said he considered himself above the law. She cited the investigation led by the special counsel, Robert S. Mueller III, to examine links between the Trump campaign and Russian officials, pointing to an article in The New York Times that said Mr. Trump told White House officials that he needed Attorney General Jeff Sessions to protect him, and had asked the White House’s top lawyer to stop Mr. Sessions from recusing himself in the Justice Department’s investigation.
Mrs. Clinton also expressed concern over the legitimacy of the country’s elections, saying it was “in doubt.” She pointed to “Russia’s ongoing interference and Trump’s complete unwillingness to stop it or protect us,” as well as voter suppression and gerrymandering efforts.
She then referred to large tallies of Mr. Trump’s “false or misleading statements,” without going so far as to explicitly call him a liar, and denounced “Trump’s breathtaking corruption.”
The president “makes no pretense of prioritizing the public good above his own personal or political interests,” Mrs. Clinton wrote. “He doesn’t seem to understand that public servants are supposed to serve the public, not the other way around.”
Finally, she took aim at Mr. Trump’s divisive words. He “doesn’t even try to pretend he’s a president for all Americans,” she wrote. “It’s hard to ignore the racial subtext of virtually everything Trump says. Often, it’s not even subtext.”
Representatives from the White House did not immediately respond on Monday to a request for comment.
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On Monday, Mrs. Clinton posted a link to the essay on Twitter, adding that “we should all be focused, determined and, yes, optimistic as we work to save our country.”
In addition to her blistering critiques, Mrs. Clinton’s essay also listed ways to help “save our democracy,” such as voting during the midterms, engaging in “serious housecleaning” in Washington and pursuing election reform, which included a call to abolish the Electoral College.
Democrats have mobilized in advance of the November midterm elections, drawing on help from former President Barack Obama, who had largely stayed out of the fray after leaving office.
In recent weeks, however, Mr. Obama has also spoken out against Mr. Trump, describing the president and his administration as a “threat to our democracy” during a speech at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign on Sept. 7.
During the speech, Mr. Obama condemned Mr. Trump’s policies on climate change, taxes, health care and regulations, and also blamed him for polarizing the nation.
Mr. Obama said he decided to speak out because “the stakes really are higher” than before.
Mr. Trump, who had not commented on Mrs. Clinton’s essay as of Monday morning, had seemed to take Mr. Obama’s words in stride.
“I’m sorry, I watched it, but I fell asleep,” he said at the time. “I found he’s very good, very good for sleeping.”
He also speculated that Mr. Obama’s criticism might further motivate his base. “Now if that doesn’t get you out to vote for the midterms, nothing will,” he said.