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Hillary Clinton brings back 2016 insult to roast Donald Trump

‘It’s pretty clear you won’t admit the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin-line,’ Clinton said in 2016

Gustaf Kilander
Washington, DC
Monday 18 December 2023 14:59 GMT
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Trump v Clinton: Highlights from the third and final presidential debate in 2016

Hillary Clinton mocked Donald Trump for his deference to Russian President Vladimir Putin, using the same word she used to get under his skin in their final presidential debate in 2016.

Mr Trump quoted Mr Putin criticizing the prosecutions of the former president during a rally in Durham, New Hampshire on Saturday.

“It shows the rottenness of the American political system, which cannot pretend to teach others about democracy,” Mr Trump said, quoting the Russian autocrat.

“They’re all laughing at us,” Mr Trump added.

Democracy and rhetoric researcher at Texas A&M University Jennifer Mercieca told The Washington Post “Donald Trump sees American democracy as a sham and he wants to convince his followers to see it that way too”.

“Putin hates Western values like democracy and the rule of law, so does Trump,” she added.

Meanwhile, Trump spokesperson Steven Cheung said the former president “gave a great speech and knocked it out of the park”.

In 2016, during the final presidential debate between Mr Trump and the former secretary of state and Democratic nominee, he said “Putin, from everything I see, has no respect for this person,” pointing at Ms Clinton.

“Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States,” she shot back, seemingly getting under Mr Trump’s skin.

“No puppet,” he said repeatedly. “You’re the puppet.”

“It’s pretty clear you won’t admit the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin-line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him because he has a very clear favourite in this race,” Ms Clinton said at the time. “So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyber attacks come from the highest levels of the Kremlin, and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.”

Ms Clinton shared The Washington Post article on Sunday night on X, simply writing “puppet”.

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