Hillary Clinton returned to late night TV for the first time since the election on Tuesday, telling “Late Show” host Stephen Colbert that President Donald Trump’s speech to the United Nations was “very dark” and “dangerous.”
“Not the kind of message that the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering,” she said.
In such speeches, she said, “You are both required to stand up for the values of what we believe in — democracy and opportunity — as a way to demonstrate clearly the United States remains to beacon that we want it to be.” She said that the message also should be that “when you face dangerous situations, like what is happening in North Korea, to make it clear that your first approach should always be diplomatic.”
In his address, Trump said that the United States would “totally destroy” North Korea if it is forced to defend itself or its allies in the face of a nuclear threat. He also referred to North Korean leader Kim Jong Un as “rocket man,” just as the president wrote on Twitter earlier this week.
Clinton’s appearance on “The Late Show” was the latest stop on her book tour for “What Happened,” a memoir of the 2016 campaign.
On Monday, in an interview with NPR’s Terry Gross, Clinton said that she would not rule out questioning the legitimacy of the election if it is discovered that Russian interference in the campaign is even deeper than is known.
Clinton told Colbert that if that were to happen, it wouldn’t mean contesting the results, because there is no mechanism in the Constitution for that. Instead, she said, “what you do is mobilize politically” via the ballot box in the next election.
But she warned that Russia would continue to try to influence American democracy.
“I think they will be back in 2018 and 2020, unless we stop them,” she said.
Clinton said that she believed that part of Russian president Vladimir Putin’s motivation was a personal grudge against her, after she questioned the legitimacy of Russian elections when she was secretary of state. She also suggested that Putin was “agitated” that she was a woman.
She relayed a story of one meeting when, after she managed to hold his interest when she brought up the issue of wildlife conservation, he took her to a room where there was a large map of Russia. Putin started to point out places to visit to see polar bears and other animals, and “then he says to me, ‘Would your husband like to come?'”
“Then I say, ‘Well, if he’s busy, I’ll go.'”
Clinton said that writing the book was “painful” and “horrible reliving it,’ but said that she did her “very best to lay out what happened so that it doesn’t happen again.”
Colbert asked her about one reaction to the book and her tour. “A lot of people say, ‘I wish Hillary Clinton would just go away,'” he noted.
After quipping that she’d consider it “if they take up a collection,” Clinton said, “I am not going anywhere.”
Colbert finished up his interview by pouring Clinton a glass of chardonnay, which she said she drank in the aftermath of her surprise loss.