Clinton, of course, talked President Trump and politics — the upcoming election, the impeachment hearings and losing to him in 2016 — but also about her dating life pre-Bill Clinton and rumors about her sexuality.
“Obviously I was crushed,” she said of her demeanor after losing the 2016 election to Trump. “I was disappointed and I was really surprised because I couldn’t figure out what had happened. So when he’s going to be inaugurated, I was going as the former first lady. That was the reason I was there — I was no longer in the Senate. Secretaries of state don’t attend.”
Clinton attended as a sense of duty, she said despite people telling her, “Don’t go,” and it being “one of the hardest days of my life.” But she said Bush lightened the mood a little.
“Bill and I were sitting with George and Laura Bush and then [Trump] started on that speech which was so bizarre. That’s when I got really worried. I thought: Wait a minute. It’s not rational, but it’s also not politics. It’s not what a president does. A president is supposed to try to reach out to people who weren’t for him or her... I hoped I would hear a little of that but then the carnage in the street and the dark dystopian vision. I was sitting there like just: Wow. I couldn’t believe it, and George W. Bush says to me, ‘Well that was some weird sh**.’”
Clinton didn’t mince words when it came to her feelings about her political foe, talking about Trump being egotistical, a narcissist and calling him an “admirer of dictators.” She said, “If I had lost to a normal Republican, I would have been unhappy but I wouldn’t have had that pit in my stomach: What the heck? What is going to happen? What’s he going to do next? His impulsiveness, his vindictiveness — where does this lead?”
She didn’t save her criticism just for the president, criticizing “cowardly” Republican senators for not taking him on. And of Lindsey Graham, whom she said she once “admired and liked enormously” (and vice versa as he openly praised her in a 2006 Time magazine essay), she said she doesn’t know what happened to him.
“Lindsey was good company, he was funny, he was self-deprecating,” she said.“He also believed in climate change back in those days. I saw him as somebody who, you know, had been working to try to figure out what he believed and how he could do things.”
When asked by Stern if he sold his soul to the devil, Clinton replied, “I don’t know. That’s a fair question, however. I'll be honest with you. I haven't talked to him in a long time... It's like he had a brain snatch, you know?”
The Book of Gutsy Women author said she’s not endorsing anyone ahead of the 2020 presidential election. She’ll support whoever the Democratic nominee is, explaining that she doesn’t want “to get in the middle.” She thinks Joe Biden will likely win the nomination as he’s leading the polls. She also admitted that Bernie Sanders “hurt” her campaign by not endorsing her immediately. She said she’s still “disappointed” about it — and hopes he doesn't do it again to whoever gets the nomination, adding, “Once is enough."
Clinton called her own husband a “terrific support” following her 2016 loss after Stern brought up a story he had heard about Bill holding her hand as she fell asleep just devastated after the election. She also spent a lot of time talking about them getting together in their college days. Clinton said she had a boyfriend at the time — whom she said looked like a “Greek god” — and ended up breaking up with him for Bill.
“He was a good guy,” she said of the ex, who has since passed away. “He was so handsome, really handsome. He looked like a Greek god. He was very attractive.”
That led to her referencing rumors, generated by political rivals, about her sexuality.
“Contrary to what you might hear, I actually like men,” Clinton said.
That led Stern to reply, “Raise your right hand, you’ve never had a lesbian affair?”
“Never, never, never!” she answered. “Never even been tempted, thank you very much.”
Clinton added that she “dated a lot of different people” and said, “boys were not my problem.”
Stern, who often extols the virtues of therapy, asked if Clinton saw a therapist after losing the election. She said no. The only time she did she said was in the “late ‘90s” and it was couples counseling with Bill after his affair was being brought to light.
Clinton also had a cough during part of the interview, which they joked about because her health, like her sexuality, is constant fodder for conservatives. She recounted having pneumonia when she attended the 9/11 memorial in 2016 and when she left early because she was overheated, “They had me dead.”
Clinton also revealed some other personal aspects of her life. She said she loves her three grandchildren, Chelsea Clinton’s brood, but they tire her out. She and Bill no longer own cars, and they rely on the Secret Service to take them everywhere. But it’s important to her that she still gets out there and lives her life — whether it’s going to the supermarket (which she does), taking in Broadway shows with Bill or going to the movies.
Stern did ask if she plans to run in 2020, but she didn’t say either way. He was mostly talking her out of it and telling her to enjoy her life. At one point he asked if she ever considered going into seclusion having had enough of the criticism — and of the “lock her up” chants. She said no because “that would only delight my adversaries.”
Stern, of course, played a role in making Trump famous through the years, giving him a platform on his show. However, Stern didn’t support him in the election — and is very clearly is a Clinton fan, gushing about her through the interview, calling her his “hero” and saying she “would have been spectacular” as president.
Earlier this year, Stern said that he could have helped Clinton get elected — had she appeared on his show during her campaign. He spoke about that on Wednesday, saying he wanted to help sell her his “earth dog” audience by telling them, “This is a cool woman. She really cares. Maybe you don’t get her 100 percent, but she cares. She’s devoted her life to public service.” He said he felt it would help “bring a couple more votes.”
Clinton claimed she didn’t know Stern campaigned to get her on the show at the time. And she said that even if she did know, she probably wouldn’t have gone on even if she had.
“In a presidential campaign... I often did not prioritize media the way I should have. I think that’s one thing. Trump would interview with anybody — and in his pajamas they’d take him — he was just a constant presence. I think I made a miscalculation. I do.”
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