At the venue where she had hoped to deliver an election night victory speech, Hillary Clinton instead spoke Thursday night about her loss to Donald Trump, telling a Manhattan audience that she’s “worried” by his presidency.
“I worry not just because there are partisan differences,” Clinton told more than 1,000 people at the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center in Manhattan for the annual BookExpo convention.
“We’re living in such an abnormal time, when we look at the way this White House is behaving about some of the biggest challenges we face,” she said. “The dishonesty, the fabrications . . . It is deeply troubling, and it is also worrisome that it could cause lasting damages to our institutions.”
Clinton, 69, who is releasing a memoir in the fall recounting her experiences from last year’s election, did not mention Trump by name during her nearly hourlong question-and-answer session with author Cheryl Strayed.
But Clinton took shots at Trump’s performance as president, saying her future role in public life includes supporting groups that would fight the Republican’s agenda.
“I am going to do everything I can to support the resistance,” Clinton said, noting that she recently launched Onward Together, a political group that will provide funding to grass roots groups aimed at increasing political activism and voter participation.
The Democrat described what she called a “painful” and exhausting period of introspection following the election and “honestly understanding what I didn’t do well, or what I didn’t do well enough,” but said her loss to Trump stirred feelings unlike any of her previous campaign losses, including her 2008 Democratic primary defeat to Barack Obama.
That’s because of the reported role Russia played in meddling with the election through a series of computer hacks against her top campaign aides and the Democratic National Committee, she said.
“I’ve won races, I’ve lost races. I’ve never felt the way I feel about this,” Clinton said, adding, “I’m particularly concerned about the role that Russia played and the very serious interference we know that they were responsible for in our most fundamental democratic act.”
Clinton said her book would touch upon what she described as a “bizarre” and “odd” campaign season.
“I’m going to tell you how I saw it, how I felt, because you cannot make up what happened,” Clinton told the audience.
Asked to offer advice to the next female U.S. presidential candidate, Clinton said she hoped to be alive to offer the next candidate her advice.
“You have to be prepared for what it means to literally be brutalized,” she said. “It’s not to say men don’t get harsh treatment, but you are carrying the burden of the double standard.”
Clinton and Trump have continued to trade barbs after the election. On Wednesday, Trump tweeted “Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate.”
Thursday night’s appearance is one of Clinton’s latest public outings as she starts to shape her next act in public life following a career in politics that has included serving as first lady, U.S. senator and secretary of state.
Clinton recently delivered the commencement address at her alma mater, Wellesley College, and next week is slated to deliver the commencement address for graduates of Medgar Evers College in Brooklyn.
Aside from her memoir, Clinton is expected to release a children’s picture book in the fall based on her book, “It Takes a Village.”