The Slatest

Chelsea Clinton: Trump Is Degrading “What It Means to Be an American”

Chelsea Clinton speaks on stage at the WE Day UN at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 20, 2017 in New York City.
Chelsea Clinton speaks on stage at the WE Day UN at The Theater at Madison Square Garden on September 20, 2017 in New York City. Monica Schipper/Getty Images

Chelsea Clinton didn’t hold back on her feelings for the current U.S. president in a wide-ranging interview with the Guardian to promote her new book, She Persisted Around the World. The former first daughter said that our “president and many people around him have not only mainstreamed hate, but mainlined it.” She cited figures from the Southern Poverty Law Center to discuss how that has caused a rise in bullying in schools. “Not just the hundreds but now thousands of instances in schools across America, where children are citing the president as they’re demeaning a little girl, or they’re chanting ‘Build a wall’ in an attempt to demean and degrade brown children,” she said.

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When asked what people in Britain should do when Trump visits the country in July, Clinton advised that a good old fashioned protests could be in order. “Well, I’ve been to multiple protests since the election,” she said. “If I lived in Britain I would show up to protest, because I don’t agree with what he’s doing to degrade what it means to be an American.”

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Beyond the criticism of Trump’s ideology and promotion of hate, Clinton also said that many of Trump’s appointees were not qualified for their jobs when they were appointed so the White House now has a strange mixture of corruption mixed with incompetence. “I do not believe that many of the people that he has hired have been qualified to do the jobs. Not only do I want an administration that isn’t venal, corrupt and focused on making life harder for millions of Americans, I also want a competent administration,” Clinton said. “So for me, the larger question is the collision of cruelty and incompetence and corruption that we see across the administration.”

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Clinton said that Barbara Bush’s death has made her think a lot about the importance of intentions. Although she disagreed with her and her husband, she “never doubted that she believed what she and her husband were fighting for was going to be to the benefit of most Americans.” There was a time when she thought “all that mattered was the bottom line” but now she has come to believe “that intentions and tone and decency matter.”

Clinton smartly dodges questions regarding Stormy Daniels, changing the conversation to special counsel Robert Mueller’s probe. “I haven’t followed that as closely as I have everything that’s emerging around the Russia investigation,” she said.

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Clinton’s feelings toward Trump are hardly a surprise considering that shortly after the election she emerged as one of Trump’s sharpest critics on Twitter even as her mother and father kept a low profile. In one notable instance, Trump took to Twitter to complain about how media bashed him for having his daughter briefly sit in for him at a meeting in Germany last year.
“If Chelsea Clinton were asked to hold the seat for her mother,as her mother gave our country away,” Trump wrote, “the Fake News would say CHELSEA FOR PRES!” Clinton replied: “Good morning Mr. President. It would never have occurred to my mother or my father to ask me. Were you giving our country away? Hoping not.”

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Clinton also mocked Trump for saying Sweden was suffering the toll of too many immigrants, helped him out on how he should have responded to a question about rising anti-Semitism, and questioned whether members of foreign intelligence agencies would become members of Mar-a-Lago, just to name a few of the times Clinton took to Twitter to criticize the president.

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