Hillary Clinton took a wide-ranging series of questions from her traveling press corps Monday for the first time in over a month, primarily responding to a report in The Washington Post that U.S. intelligence agencies are investigating potential Russian interference in the U.S. election.
"We are facing a very serious concern. We've never had a foreign adversarial power be already involved in our electoral process, with the DNC hacks. We've never had a nominee of one of our major parties urging the Russians to hack more," said Clinton.
She continued, "I think it's quite intriguing that this activity has happened around the time [Donald] Trump became the nominee. And look, he very early on allied himself with [Russian President Vladimir] Putin's policies."
Clinton, speaking to reporters aboard her new campaign plane, dubbed Hill Force One, said this "credible report" on the probe, which the Post says is being coordinated by the U.S. director of national intelligence, shows that we need to be "on guard to protect our electoral system at all levels and we have to make it clear that we're not going to let anyone interfere with decisions of the American people."
In an interview with Bloomberg News last week, Putin referred to the hacking of the Democratic National Committee as a public service and didn't seem to care about who coordinated the attack.
"Listen, does it even matter who hacked this data?" he said. "The important thing is the content that was given to the public."
Clinton described Putin's response as a serious concern. "From my perspective, having met with and watched Putin over the years, when I saw his response to that question, it was very clear he's quite satisfied with himself," she said.
She repeated what her running mate, Tim Kaine, said Sunday on ABC's "This Week," that "this is like Watergate."
"It is stunning that we are facing this. And especially from a foreign power," said Clinton.
During her press availability with reporters, she also took questions about the notes the FBI released about her use of a personal email server during her time as secretary of state, the Clinton Foundation, trade and her health.
Clinton, whom Trump has accused of not having the stamina to be president, brushed off his attacks.
"I'm not concerned about conspiracy theories," she said. "There are so many of them, I've lost track of them. And so I pay no attention to them."
Clinton briefly excused herself from reporters because of a cough. Upon returning, water in hand, she said wryly, "One thing you know from my doctor letter is I have seasonal allergies."