By Maggie Mallon. Photos: Getty Images.
Nearly six months after the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton offered her most candid remarks about what went wrong on that November night during the annual Women for Women International luncheon on Tuesday afternoon.
In a conversation with CNN's Christiane Amanpour, Clinton offered a preview of her forthcoming memoir about her campaign—a writing endeavor that she called "cathartic"—and revealed that she did believe that misogyny played a role in the race, saying, "It is real. It is very much a part of the landscape politically, socially, and economically."
However, she went on to speak more frankly about her failed bid for the presidency, saying that sexism was not its sole cause. Taking the blame for her defeat, Clinton detailed the additional factors that she believes were at hand in the final few weeks, and even days, leading up to the election.
"I take absolutely personal responsibility: I was the candidate; I was the person who was on the ballot; I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had," Secretary Clinton said. "It wasn't a perfect campaign—there is no such thing. But I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on October 28th and Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off."
"If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president," she added.
Throughout the conversation, Clinton was more forceful in her critiques of the current president than she's been in prior public events but repeatedly referred to him as "my opponent" or "the president" rather than call him by name.
Clinton was especially pointed when asked about Donald Trump's foreign policy decisions, particularly because of her own experience in the State Department as the nation's foremost diplomat. She told Amanpour that though she did support Trump's missile strike against Syria, she does not believe they accomplished much—if anything. She also spoke critically of Trump's recent declaration that he would be "honored" to meet North Korea's leader Kim Jong-un under the "right circumstances," and, more broadly, his frequent use of social media to conduct foreign relations.
"Negotiations are critical but they have to be part of a broader strategy and not just thrown out in a Tweet some morning," Clinton said.
Now in a role that she describes as an "activist citizen"—and "part of the resistance—Clinton says she looks forward to advocating for women's issues both at home and around the globe and urges the White House to do the same.
"I am going to publicly request that this administration not end our efforts making women's rights and opportunities central to their [goals,]" Clinton said.
She went on to say that she's had the great privilege of traveling around the world but sees that "there is still so much inequity, so much unfairness, so much disrespect and discrimination toward women and girls."
"It's not a minor issue. It's not a luxury issue we can get to after everything else is resolved," Clinton said. "It is central to the maintenance, stability, sustainability of democracy and human rights. It is critical to national security."
She added, "You look at places where women's rights are being stripped away: They are the places that are most likely to catalyze or protect terrorism or create ideologies that are antithetical to women's lives and futures. It's not an accident."
"Women's rights are the unfinished business of 21st century. There is no more important, larger issue."
This story originally appeared on Glamour.
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