Clinton Savages ‘Crisis’ Trump Presidency in New Afterword for Memoir: ‘Monstrous,’ ‘Despicable’

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump / Getty Images
• September 17, 2018 12:34 pm


Hillary Clinton ripped into President Donald Trump in the new afterword for her election memoir, calling her 2016 opponent a crisis for American democracy and guilty of wide-scale deceit, corruption, and hate.

Excerpted for The Atlantic, Clinton writes at the end of What Happened that her worst fears for a Trump presidency have come true in his 20 months in office.

"Trump has sunk far below the already-low bar he set for himself in his ugly campaign," she wrote, citing the administration's panned separation of illegal immigrant children and families at the southern border earlier this year.

"Trump and his cronies do so many despicable things that it can be hard to keep track," she wrote. "I think that may be the point—to confound us, so it’s harder to keep our eye on the ball. The ball, of course, is protecting American democracy. As citizens, that’s our most important charge. And right now, our democracy is in crisis."

After a passive-aggressive description of Trump's victory—she writes "it’s been nearly two years since Donald Trump won enough Electoral College votes to become president of the United States"—Clinton outlined "five main fronts of this assault on our democracy" by the Trump administration: assault on the rule of law, doubt in the legitimacy of U.S. elections, "war on truth and reason," "breathtaking corruption," and undermining of national unity.

Clinton took particular issue with Trump's attacks on the press and establishment experts, saying a functioning democracy is in dire straits if people can't trust what they hear from such sources.

She also accused Trump of outright racism, recapping his remarks about "s—hole countries" in Africa, a "monstrous" response to Puerto Rico's devastation from Hurricane Maria, and handling of white nationalist violence in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Like former President Barack Obama said in a speech earlier this month, Clinton said Trump was a symptom of a broken political system. She called for voting reforms, an abolishment of the Electoral College, high turnout for Democrats in the midterms, and a spirit of newfound public civility.

"Democracy may be our birthright as Americans, but it’s not something we can ever take for granted. Every generation has to fight for it, has to push us closer to that more perfect union. That time has come again," she wrote.

What Happened will be released as a paperback book on Tuesday. Clinton penned the memoir last year and blamed a variety of factors for her surprising loss at Trump's hands, including Russian election interference, then-FBI Director James Comey, fake news, Facebook, media coverage of her email server scandal, sexism, the Democratic National Committee's incompetence, Sen. Bernie Sanders' (I., Vt.) insurgent primary campaign against her, and white women listening to their husbands.