In an interview at the annual Women in the World Summit in New York on Thursday, former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton said she'd become "pretty worried" as a citizen in the days and weeks following Donald Trump's inauguration. However, despite a contentious election riddled with personal attacks and repeated insults, Clinton said she took no pleasure in seeing Trump's first 100 days in office marred by what she called chaotic functioning.
"It's the hardest job you can imagine," Clinton said of the presidency in an onstage interview with New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof. Clinton speculated that the Trump campaign may not have been suitably prepared to transition into the White House as the election drew to a close. "Clearly [the transition] wasn't well-prepared for by the incoming administration, and I think they're going through some very public growing pains."
While acknowledging that her defeat in the 2016 presidential election had been initially devastating, Clinton told Kristof that her concerns now stemmed from simply being a citizen, not a politician. "I'll put it this way: As a person I'm OK, as an American I'm pretty worried," Clinton said. "I think I'll take off my politician hat and put on my citizen hat, and there's a lot to be concerned about." Clinton noted she was specifically concerned about Russia's alleged meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and that she hoped to see a nonpartisan, independent investigation.
But while Clinton claimed she took no satisfaction from seeing Trump's administration stumble (except when it came to health care, that is), she had yet to understand why the administration seemed so set on pursuing policies that hurt even the voters who'd carried them into office. "Here's what I don't understand. I don't understand the commitment to hurt so many people that this administration, this white house, seems to be pursuing. There are so many examples in just the first 100 days," Clinton said, citing Trump's travel ban, failed health care legislation, and the language used in an executive order reinstating the Mexico City Policy as specific examples. "The targeting of women, which is what's going on, is absolutely beyond any political agenda."
Clinton did, however, admit to finding it "somewhat gratifying" to watch Trump and senior House Republicans go back and forth with other legislators while trying to get their health care legislation passed.
"I hope we move on to being able to see some positive developments in our country, but that's going to take some time apparently," Clinton said.