During the 2016 fall campaign, with Clinton leading in national polls and almost all Electoral College projections, it was Trump who drew attention for suggesting he may not accept election results.
NPR’s Terry Gross asked Clinton: “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 would not”, Clinton responded.
But the 2016 Democratic nominee said Monday during an NPR interview that she knows of no constitutional grounds to challenge the actual election results, regardless of what investigators find. She pointed to the Constitution, which gives the Electoral College “broad discretion to resolve disputes as it saw fit”.
“But people are making those arguments”, she said.
During the election and afterward, President Donald Trump has gone after the media too, often criticizing them through social media and calling unfavorable coverage “fake news”.
On Oct. 21, she tweeted, “Donald Trump refused to say that he’d respect the results of this election”.
He said he’s paid close attention to Clinton since November, “and I have never heard her broach the possibility of a formal challenge of the results”. “I just don’t think we have a mechanism”. “And the peaceful transition of power is something that sets us apart”, Clinton said.
They come as special counsel Robert Mueller is investigating the election-meddling campaign that U.S intelligence agencies say was done to benefit Trump, and whether any of the president’s associates colluded with Moscow.
The former lady then mentioned how the results of an election in Kenya were recently overturned before veering off into a brief discussion about the “weaponization of information”. “And usually we don’t need it”.
Asked what these means would be, Clinton seemed unsure. “There’s no doubt they influenced the election. They lost the election, and now they have lost their grip on reality”.
If we define “legitimacy” for a government as requiring the consent of the governed (and we do), there is no good reason for her to not do just what she is doing.
“Still, I felt a responsibility to be there”, she wrote about attending Trump’s inauguration, no matter how painful.
And she made the same case hours after her crushing loss, as she stood before the nation and her supporters to publicly concede the election. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. “We don’t just respect that”.