In an interview Wednesday night that touched on everything from Russian influence on the election to the Harvey Weinstein scandal, Hillary Clinton came right up to the edge of calling Donald Trump a sociopath. When asked about his lackluster, finger-pointing response to the terrorist attack in New York on Tuesday, Clinton said that responding to national tragedies was “not part of the job that our current president accepts or is willing to perform,” going on to say:
… his immediate reaction is always to blame somebody, to play to our worst feelings, and I really regret that. You know, I take no pleasure in the kinds of behavior that we’re seeing out of the White House. … He just doesn’t have any empathy. And you can disagree with somebody over all kinds of partisan issues, but you want to have a president who can try to put himself into the shoes, the feelings of somebody else, and he has not been able to do that.
Later, she added, “I think there is a lot of spite involved.” Speaking of people who lack empathy, Noah asked her about the Harvey Weinstein scandal, since Fox News—home of Roger Ailes and Bill O’Reilly—and the Republican Party—home of Donald Trump—have been criticizing Clinton because of her past ties to Weinstein. Noah didn’t put any stock in that position, but wanted to know if she’d ever heard anything about Weinstein’s behavior. She said she hadn’t, but pointed out that sexism and sexual harassment were not confined to the entertainment industry:
No. No, and it was, it was really upsetting and shocking. I felt, you know, that so many people who had been in Democratic politics for many years had known him in one capacity but not in the other. So I do think that it’s very important that more women step forward and describe their experiences. But I also am in a picture with Donald Trump. And he’s on tape confessing to sexual assault, on the Hollywood Access tape. So this is a pervasive problem that has to be dealt with. And more women have to be given the support they need, so they can come forward. Because I’ve talked to some of these young women over the years who have been facing these kinds of difficult choices. And, you know, maybe now, with these revelations coming out, more people will feel emboldened, and most importantly, the spotlight will shine on people who will think twice about doing some of these terrible things they are reported to have done.
Clinton was also asked about her willingness to support pro-life Democratic candidates, an issue of contention right now, and emphasized her belief in a big tent:
We have Democratic candidates, and we have Democratic office holders who say that. And I think that there has to be a big tent—I write about that in the book. Where I would draw the line is, yes, I believe that this most intimate of decisions should be rooted in your personal faith, your personal views, your understanding of your life, your health, and all that goes with it. Abortion is at the lowest rate it’s been since 1973, when Roe v. Wade was decided. So we are doing something right by helping people. And along comes the Trump administration, and they say, “We’re gonna cut back on family planning and birth control.” How cruel is that? So I think we were on the right track, and I think that, I’m for people that—we have Democrats who are much more pro-gun than I am. I think we should be, you know, trying to ban bump stocks and prevent what happened in Las Vegas with the murder of 58 people and wounding of 600 people. So you can have differences of opinion, and yet at the same time, not want to legislate or litigate changes that would deprive people of their lives and livelihood.
Clinton also had harsh words for the media, saying that “media guilt” over election coverage was one of the reasons there were cries for her to retreat from public life away after the election. After noting that “rank sexism” was most of the problem—past losing candidates like Romney, Kerry, and McCain weren’t put under the same pressure—she talked about the ways she felt the media failed:
Some of it, I will say, is media guilt. You know, when they now have to face the way they covered this campaign, and the fact that they didn’t pay any attention to policies, which, you know, I thought would be important, and spent a lot of time saying, “Here’s what we’re going to do on an infrastructure plan, here’s what we’re going to do to improve the Affordable Care Act” and everything I worked on. They were so totally entranced by the reality TV element of it and the entertainment value of it that I’m told, and some members of the press have privately said to me, look, they missed it. They missed it, they thought I was going to win, so they could beat up on me without consequence, and they didn’t really stand up against a lot of the ridiculous lies and accusations against me. So I think there’s that.
Clinton also addressed the younger members of the party, while reiterating that she wasn’t going anywhere:
There are people who are genuinely worried that we’ve got to make room for new voices. That’s why I’m supporting candidates and causes I believe in. And a lot of these people, who are primarily young people, just getting started, they’ve got tremendous energy: they’re not going to get on your show. I am. And so I’m going to say, we need to stand up for our fundamental values, we need to be promoting and electing people who care about the American public, who are not in it for self-enrichment, who are not in it to have a spite match with former President Obama, who did a great job and is now being, you know, mistreated by his successor. So, okay, I can get that voice out there. And I’m going to keep talking—I’m not going anywhere. I walked in the woods, that was enough. I’m done with that—I’m back.
Watch the full interview above.