Hillary Clinton on Tuesday said that President Trump’s ceremonial swearing in of Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh at the White House on Monday night smacked of “a political rally” that “further undermined the image and integrity” of the nation’s highest court.
“What was done last night at the White House was a political rally,” Clinton told CNN’s Christiane Amanpour in an interview set to be broadcast Tuesday night. “It further undermined the image and integrity of the court. And that troubles me greatly.”
During the ceremony, Trump apologized to Kavanaugh and his family “on behalf of our nation” for the bruising nomination process that included multiple allegations of sexual assault against the judge. The president also falsely asserted that Kavanaugh was “proven innocent.”
“I want to apologize to Brett and the entire Kavanaugh family for the pain and suffering you have been forced to endure.” Trump said. “Those who step forward to serve our country deserve a fair and dignified evaluation, not a campaign of political and personal destruction based on lies and destruction. What happened to the Kavanaugh family violates every notion of fairness, decency and due process. Our country a man or a woman must always be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.”
Clinton said Trump’s tone “saddens” her.
“Our judicial system has been viewed as one of the main pillars of our constitutional government,” she said. “So I don’t know how people are going to react to it. I think given our divides, it will pretty much fall predictably between those who are for and those who are against. But the president’s been true to form. He has insulted, attacked, demeaned women throughout the campaign — really for many years leading up to the campaign. And he’s continued to do that inside the White House.”
Trump responded Clinton’s comments at the White House on Tuesday morning.
“I guess that’s why she lost,” Trump said of his 2016 Democratic opponent. “She doesn’t get it, she never did.”
Clinton also criticized Trump for mocking Christine Blasey Ford, the first woman to publicly accuse Kavanaugh of sexual assault, on the eve of the Senate’s confirmation vote.
“The president really demeaned the confirmation process, insulted and attacked not only Dr. Ford but women who were speaking out,” she said.
Clinton seemed to dismiss calls for civility between Republicans and Democrats.
“You cannot be civil with a political party that wants to destroy what you stand for, what you care about,” she said, “That’s why I believe if we are fortunate enough to win back the House and/or the Senate, that’s when civility can start again.”
Her remarks came a day after the announcement of a 13-city speaking tour with her husband, former President Bill Clinton. The tour, entitled “An Evening With the Clintons,” begins Nov. 18 in Las Vegas.
During the interview, Clinton was asked whether they would be prepared to talk about her husband’s sex scandal that led to his impeachment, and how it compares to the accusations against Trump and Kavanaugh.
“Well, there’s a very significant difference,” she said. “And that is the intense, long-lasting, partisan investigation that was conducted in the ’90s. If, you know, the Republicans, starting with President Trump on down, want a comparison, they should welcome such an investigation themselves.”
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