Hillary Clinton a Sore Loser? Democrat Still Hopeful of Overturning Trump Victory

Hillary Clinton compares herself to Game of Thrones' Cersei
Hillary Clinton makes her concession speech after being defeated by Donald Trump, in New York on November 9, 2016. JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty

Former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton won't rule out challenging the result of the 2016 election if new information emerges about Russian interference in the campaign.

"No, I wouldn't rule it out," Clinton told Terry Gross, host of NPR's Fresh Air, on Monday when asked if she would act if new details came to light that show Russian interference was deeper than is currently known and cast doubt on the election's legitimacy. Gross pointed out that more and more information is coming out that shows the extent of Russia's efforts to interfere in the election.

Still, legally challenging the election's legitimacy is another thing, Clinton said, noting that she doesn't "know if there's any legal constitutional way to do that." Scholars and academics have proposed arguments about how it could be done, she said, "but I don't think they're on strong ground."

"I think the attack by Russia, which we still don't fully understand in terms of everything that was done, was a new form of warfare," Clinton told The New Yorker's editor-in-chief, David Remnick, in an interview over the weekend about her new book, What Happened, on The New Yorker Radio Hour.

"This attack on our electoral system, which was at least publicly encouraged by Trump and his campaign, I hope the investigations in Congress and by Mueller as well will give us more information and understanding of what else they really did to us," she said, referring to the ongoing Russia investigations in Congress and by special counsel Robert Mueller.

The investigations are looking into whether the Trump campaign assisted Russia in its efforts to interfere in the election.

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In early September, Facebook revealed that the Internet Research Agency—a shadowy Russian company known to produce political "troll" accounts on social media—had created 470 fake accounts on the platform. The IRA then used $100,000 worth of political ads targeting specific voters during the 2016 election to sow disunity. The ads dealt with race, gay rights, gun control and immigration.

America's intelligence agencies reported that the Kremlin used a misinformation campaign, including spreading false stories through Russian media outlets RT and Sputnik, in a similar way, including stories titled "Clinton and ISIS Funded by the Same Money" and "How 100% of the Clintons' 'Charity' Went to…Themselves."

"State-owned Russian media made increasingly favorable comments about President-elect Trump as the 2016 U.S. general and primary election campaigns progressed while consistently offering negative coverage of Secretary Clinton," the report found.

Trump has repeatedly called Clinton a sore loser and claims the Russia investigations in Congress and Mueller's probe amount to no more than a "witch hunt," as well as the Democrats' excuse for losing the election. Trump has said Clinton needs to consider her own failings as a candidate when weighing her election loss.

"If I had lost the popular vote but won the Electoral College and in my first day as president the intelligence community came to me and said, 'The Russians influenced the election,' I would've never stood for it," Clinton told Remnick. "Even though it might've advantaged me, I would've said, 'We've got to get to the bottom of this.' I would've set up an independent commission with subpoena power and everything else."

Clinton told Remnick that her own analysis led her to conclude "someone was offering very astute political advice about how to weaponize information" to the Russians.

"It seems clear to us that the Russians were, again, being guided about our politics," she said, indicating that whoever was acting as a guide had deep insights into America's political system and how to time and target misinformation.