Clinton Says She Won’t Rule Out Challenging Election Legitimacy

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks at a fundraiser for the Elijah Cummings Youth Program in Israel in Baltimore, Monday, June 5, 2017. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)
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September 18, 2017 5:13 p.m.

Hillary Clinton said in an interview that aired Monday that she wouldn’t rule out challenging the legitimacy of the 2016 election based on the ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the election.

“Democrats have said that they think there was Russian interference in the election, but that they’re not challenging the results of the election,” “Fresh Air” host Terry Gross asked Clinton in the interview. “As more and more information comes out about the depth of Russia’s interference in the election, do you think, at some point, that it would be legitimate to challenge the legitimacy of the election?”

“I don’t know if there’s any legal constitutional way to do that,” Clinton said. “I think you can raise questions.”

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Gross returned to the point: “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. I would say —” Clinton began.

“You’re not going to rule it out?” Gross pressed.

“No, I wouldn’t rule it out,” Clinton said.

“What would be the means to challenge it, if you thought it should be challenged?” Gross asked.

“Basically, I don’t believe there are,” Clinton said. “There are scholars, academics who have arguments that it would be, but I don’t think they’re on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don’t think we have a mechanism.”

Clinton loosely compared the American election to the Brexit referendum in the United Kingdom, and the recent presidential election in Kenya, the results of which were tossed out over irregularities. Clinton pointed out that Cambridge Analytica, the data analysis firm closely aligned with former White House chief strategist Steve Bannon, was involved in all three contests.

“What happened in Kenya, which I’m only beginning to delve into, is that the Supreme Court there said there are so many really unanswered and problematic questions, we’re going to throw the election out and re-do it,” she said. “We have no such provision in our country. And usually we don’t need it.”

Listen to the full interview, and read NPR’s transcript of it, here.

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