In her own words: Hillary Clinton speaks candidly on Ireland, the election and Trump

In her own words: Hillary Clinton speaks candidly on Ireland, the election and Trump

FORMER Secretary of State and First Lady Hillary Clinton has spoken candidly on Ireland, the election and Trump in an interview for Irish television. 

In a revealing interview at her New York home with host Ryan Tubridy for RTÉ's The Late Late Show, Clinton opened up and spoke her mind life after the election.

In her own words, this is Hillary Clinton on... 

The North 

Both my husband and I are extradorinarily interested in and devoted to the island.

What we've tried to do in both our private and public capacities has been to encourage the Peace Process in the North, but also enjoy the friendships we've developed.

It has been an absolute privilege to be involved, in a small way, in everything that's going on.

Memories of Ireland 

It's a big sigh of relief. I think partly because of Bill's background and feeling close to Ireland because of his Irish roots.

I think because we were actively involved in a time of such hope and optimism, going to Belfast early in his presidency, being on the steps of City Hall and lighting the Christmas tree, looking out at a totally huge sea of people, so many young people, fathers with young children on their shoulders, those are indelible memories.

Going to Dublin, traveling around the country and working with people whose values and concerns we not only respected but shared.

It's been fun and if Bill were here he'd talk about the golf courses he's played and I could regale you with stories of the women I got to know, and the pots of tea I enjoyed.

It's very personal.

Martin McGuinness 

I had the opportunity to work with Martin and so many others on both sides of the sectarian divide in the North. We forged a personal relationship so when I was First Lady and a Senator I tried to be supportive in any way I could.

When I was a Secretary of State, I made it a point to continue that support in an official capacity because I didn't want the progress that had been made to be lost.

I'm a little worries right now, I'll be candid. I'm listening to and hearing reports of the loggerheads people find themselves at.

There's just been so much progress I don't want to see it lost.

What Happened 

I wanted to write this book to come to grips with what happened because I had theories and of course, I was reading a lot of commentary after the election, which the vast majority of people thought I was going to win.

But I wanted to sort it out because I felt I had to be as candid as I could. What my shortcomings were, what I did or didn't do that might have made a difference.

I knew there were other forces at work that needed to be unpacked and analysed because it's not only about what happened, but it's about preventing it from happening again, so that our democracy and our country is not subjected to the destabilising effects of Russian intervention as just one example.

Election night 

It was painful, so terrible. I ended a huge rally in Philadelphia the night before with President and Mrs Obama and my family.

Everyone was so confident, we knew we had navigated through some really choppy waters but we thought we had gotten to land.

The day started off with voting, and all the excitement around that. Then that evening was just incredible to start getting these reports that were not at all square with what we thought was going to happen.

I was in a state of shock, I had not prepared a concession speech. I knew it would be close, but I would have been disappointed, I would have been really unhappy if I had lost to a normal republican because I would have disagreed with a lot of the policies and actions that such a president would take.

But to lose to someone who I believed profoundly was not ready for the job, was temperamentally unqualified for the job, it was such a burden.

I just thought I've let everyone down, I've let my country down, I've let the world down, how did this happen?


We are ending up with someone who is injecting instability into a dangerous world.

He certainly is unpredictable, it's unclear to me all of the reasons for that.

We can see, like the speech that he gave to the UN was a dark, dangerous selfish speech and it was provocative in the worst possible ways.

Provoking not only the North Koreans - who we do have to deal with - but provoking the Iranians after a deal I started the negotiations with to put a lid on their programme.

Why would anybody unleash nuclear proliferation on our planet?

Being a woman in politics 

I wrote a whole chapter on being a woman in politics, because there is such a double standard and we know that, but I don't want women to get discouraged.

If you put your foot into the public arena, you are going to be analysed, questioned, criticised. It can be unbelievably cruel.

I've got a thick skin that I've built up over a lifetime but it does hurt when people go after you, as we saw Trump do in the campaign insulting how women looked and all the other kinds of things that he said.

You try to brush it off, but it hurts.

On life now

I'm a happy woman because I'm not going to let what happened tear me down and make me bitter and cynical. 

I'm happy in part because I think, in part, because I think there's still a role for me and others to play in fighting back against these trends that are politically damaging, to our country and to the world.

I'm going to use my voice on every platform and every way I can continue to make a difference.

You can catch the interview with Hillary Clinton on The Late Late Show on playback with the RTÉ Player.