Hillary Clinton, in her first television interview since announcing her candidacy for president in 2016, addressed the various controversies that came to light before and since her campaign was launched, and offered insight into her plan moving forward.
In the interview with CNN’s Brianna Keilar on Tuesday, Clinton addressed the growing popularity of fellow Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont and his rise in the polls — by barely addressing it at all.
“I am happy to have a chance to get out and run my campaign as I see fit and let other candidates do exactly the same,” she said when asked about Sanders’ rise in polling in New Hampshire and Iowa, two important early voting states.
“I’m going to put out my policies and I’ll let other people speak to their policies,” she said when pressed about the possibility of including a raise in taxes in her campaign. “I think we have to both grow the economy faster and fairer, so we have to do what will actually work in the short-term, the medium-term and the long-term.”
Clinton also addressed Republican attempts to attack her on various issues and scandals, including the infamous email controversy, the scandal involving foreign donations to the Clinton Foundation, and the ongoing questions regarding her handling of the Benghazi attacks while serving as Secretary of State.
“This has been the theme that has been used against me and my husband for many, many years and, at the end of the day, I think voters sort it all out,” she said of the GOP’s attacks on her. “I trust the American voter 100 percent.”
Clinton also addressed the House Benghazi investigation and noted that she wasn't required by law to turn over any of the thousands of emails that she gave to the committee.
"Now, I didn't have to turn over anything," Clinton said. "I chose to turn over 55,000 pages because I wanted to go above and beyond what was expected of me because I knew the vast majority of everything that was official already was in the State Department system. Now I think it's kind of fun. People get to see a real-time, behind-the-scenes look at what I was emailing about and what I was communicating about."
A CNN/ORC poll conducted last month found Clinton’s credibility to have taken a significant hit in the wake of the various scandals, with 57 percent of Americans saying that they don’t consider her to be honest and trustworthy.
“It is understandable that when questions are raised, people are thinking about them and wondering about them,” she said in the interview. “But I have every confidence that during the course of this campaign, people are going to know who will fight for them, who will be there when they need them, and that’s the kind of person I am, and that’s what I will do, not only in a campaign but as president.”
Photo Credit: Wikimedia Commons, CNN Screenshot