Clinton clear on Trump: 'We were not friends': People magazine

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton wants to set the record straight on Donald Trump: "We were not friends."

"We knew each other, obviously, in New York," Clinton, a former U.S. senator from New York, said in excerpts of a People magazine interview released on Wednesday. "I knew a lot of people."


Trump, the real estate billionaire whose standing as Republican front-runner was dented by a second-place finish in the Iowa caucuses on Monday, had long touted his friendship with Bill and Hillary Clinton. People cited a 2014 Fox News interview in which Trump said he liked both Clintons "a lot."

But the Clintons, who attended Trump's 2005 wedding, were fair game on the campaign trail. In November Trump said Hillary Clinton did not have strength or stamina to be president and he called her the worst U.S. secretary of state, a post she held from 2009 to 2013.

When Clinton denounced Trump last month as using inflammatory rhetoric, saying he has "demonstrated a penchant for sexism," Trump turned the phrase against her, using it to refer to Bill Clinton's sexual scandals as president.

Click below for Hillary and Bill Clinton through the years:

Through the years: Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Al Gore
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Clinton clear on Trump: 'We were not friends': People magazine
First lady Hillary Rodham Clinton shares a laugh with Vice President Al Gore in the Old Executive Office Building in Washington, July 11, 1995 where they announced Medicare regulatory reforms to reduce paperwork. (AP Photo/Denis Paquin)
Hillary Rodham Clinton sits on the lap of her husband, democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton left, as she jokes with vice presidential candidate Al Gore and his wife, Tipper, during a brief rest on their bus in Durham, N.C., Monday, Oct. 26, 1992. The democratic ticket has spent the last two days touring the state. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore and Senate hopeful first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton talk during the Black and Puerto Rican and Hispanic Association Church Service at the Wilborn Temple Church of God in Christ Sunday, Feb. 20, 2000, in Albany, NY. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer)
WASHINGTON - 1998: (NO U.S. TABLOID SALES) President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton and Vice President Al Gore (R) sit in the Rose Garden at the White House in 1998 in Washington, D.C. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
A $2-million gala for the Democratic National Committee in New York City, Monday evening, April 24, 2000, marks the first time this year that President Clinton, Vice President Al Gore and first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton have all campaigned together. Gore, left, with wife Tipper, is the Democrats' presumptive presidential nominee, while Hillary Clinton is running against New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani for the state's open U.S. Senate seat. (AP Photo/J. Scott Applewhite)
Democratic presidential candidate Vice President Al Gore sits next to Senate candidate first lady Hillary Rodham Clinton during a campaign rally at the 92nd Street YMHA in New York on Sunday, March 5, 2000. (AP Photo/Doug Mills)
Vice President Al Gore and his wife Tipper, left, wave to the crowd along with President Clinton and his wife Hillary Rodham Clinton, as they prepare to start their post-convention bus tour Friday, Aug. 30, 1996, in Cape Girardeau, Mo. (AP Photo/Tom Gannam)
Pres. Bill Clinton, center, waves as Vice Pres. Al Gore talks to him during the congressional dinner, Wednesday, Jan. 20, 1993, Washington, D.C. First Lady Hillary Clinton applauds at left. (AP Photo/Greg Gibson)
Democratic presidential candidate Bill Clinton, left, applauds as Sen. Al Gore (D-Tenn.), speaks at the Arkansas governor’s mansion, July 9, 1992 in Little Rock, Arkansas. Clinton had named Gore as his choice for running mate for the presidential race just four days before the start of the Democratic National Convention. Hillary Clinton peers over the gentlemen’s shoulders. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
From left: Democratic Presidential nominee Bill Clinton, his wife Hillary, running mate Al Gore and his wife, Tipper arrive in Nashville Wednesday afternoon. The group is to take part in several fundraisers and a rally at the Grand Ole Opry House. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 03: SENATE SWEARING IN--Freshman Senator Hillary Clinton, D-N.Y., and Vice President Al Gore pose for photos in the Old Senate Chamber after an official photo. The Senate was sworn in earlier for the 107th Congress in the Senate Chamber. (Photo by Scott J. Ferrell/Congressional Quarterly/Getty Images)
WASHINGTON, DC - APRIL 23: U.S. President Bill Clinton (R) laughs 23 April 1993 as Vice President Al Gore (C) jokes with White House volunteers attending a reception in their honor. Peeking out (L) from behind Vice President Gore is First Lady Hillary Clinton. (Photo credit should read PAUL RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)

Trump's blunt and sometime outrageous style and comments about Hispanics, women, Muslims and his rivals for the nomination have set much of the tone for the Republican race.

Clinton has accused him of being divisive and a bully.

"I really care about what he says about other people, who don't have the voice and the platform," Clinton said, referring to immigrants and American Muslims.

"You know, what is he talking about? Why is he doing this?" Clinton said. "So I'm more concerned about the tone that is being set in the political debate this year because the last thing our country needs right now is more divisiveness, more mean-spiritedness."

It was not clear when the People interview, which included Clinton's daughter, Chelsea, was conducted.

Chelsea Clinton said she has never had a relationship with Donald Trump but remains friends with his daughter, Ivanka.

"I do believe that friendship is more important than politics," she told People. "I would never hold anyone accountable for what their parents or anyone else in their family said or did."

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