Hillary Clinton has been all over the place promoting her new book, “What Happened?” — and on Tuesday night, she stopped by CBS’s “Late Show With Stephen Colbert” to chat with the host, one of the most vocal critics of President Trump in the entertainment industry. Here are five things viewers learned:
1) Clinton isn’t going anywhere.
Colbert pointed out that as Clinton makes the media rounds, a lot of people have said, “I wish Hillary Clinton would just go away.” Clinton acknowledged this, joking, “Well, you know, if they’d take up a collection and send me somewhere really nice … I might consider it.”
“Obama’s on David Geffen’s yacht a lot,” Colbert offered. “You could go with him.” But Clinton confirmed she will not be leaving the public eye, and Colbert was relieved to hear it.
“At first, I could understand some of those calls, people saying, like, ‘The Republicans are tearing themselves apart. Don’t give them someone to rally around in opposition to,’ because you were a convenient figure for them to unite against. But I actually do not think that’s how what is happening to our government is going to be stopped,” Colbert said. “I think it’s people who are willing to be civically engaged and believe in the promises of the progress of the last 50 years that will save this country.”
2) Clinton sees herself as a “Paula Revere” ringing warning bells about the Russians.
Clinton wrote in her book about the Russians and the election: “I believe so strongly that they think they succeeded in messing with our democracy, and I just can’t abide that,” she said.
“Do you think they succeeded in messing with our democracy?” Colbert asked.
“Yes, I do, I do, I do,” Clinton said.
“To what degree? Influencing the vote or influencing opinion?” he clarified.
“Influencing voters, and, therefore, influencing opinion,” Clinton said. “I don’t know what the special counsel investigation [is] going to find. I’m going to wait for that. But I don’t think anybody can, with a straight face, say that the Russians did not set out to influence our election …. I feel like I’m a bit of a, you know, Paula Revere. I’m trying to sound the alarm about this.”
3) Clinton doesn’t take it personally that Russian President Vladimir Putin isn’t a fan of hers.
As Clinton talked about how Putin doesn’t like democracy or America, Colbert pointed out that part of the speculation is that Putin also doesn’t like Clinton, specifically. Clinton said she thinks (and intelligence communities have said) that Putin does hold a grudge against her from when she was secretary of state, when she would say things like “The Russian people deserve free and fair elections. They deserve to have a democracy.”
“I don’t take it personally. I think it’s part of his worldview, which is all tied up with his anger, his disappointment in the collapse of the Soviet Union, and his feeling that we’re his No. 1 rival,” she said, adding, “And partly because I’m a woman, which does seem to get him a bit agitated.”
4) Clinton had thoughts about President Trump’s speech at the U.N. on Tuesday. (Trump: “The United States has great strength and patience, but if it is forced to defend itself or its allies, we will have no choice but to totally destroy North Korea.”)
Clinton saw a few parts of the speech, and wasn’t impressed. “I thought it was very dark, dangerous, not the kind of message that the leader of the greatest nation in the world should be delivering,” she said, as the audience applauded. “You are both required to stand up for the values of what we believe in — democracy and opportunity — as a way to demonstrate clearly the United States remains the beacon that we want it to be. While, of course, when you face dangerous situations, like what is happening in North Korea, to make it clear your first approach should always be diplomatic.”
She added that she wished that Trump hadn’t called Kim Jong Un “Rocket Man” and instead said something like, “We view this as dangerous to our allies, to the region, and even to our country. We call on all nations to work with us to try to end the threat posed by Kim Jong Un.”
5) Clinton did indeed consume wine after the election.
“One of the things that you say in the book is that in recovering from this and while writing the book, you leaned heavily on chardonnay,” Colbert said, taking the opportunity to pour them both glasses of wine.
“There were a few other things, but this helped,” Clinton agreed.
“How did you get out of bed in the morning? Because I did not run for president, and I could barely do it,” Colbert said.
“Yeah,” Clinton said, smiling. “That wasn’t an option for me.”