Hillary Clinton: Russian interference 'certainly had an impact' on the 2016 election

NEW YORK — Hillary Clinton said Tuesday that Russian meddling “certainly had an impact” on the outcome of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

“It's pretty hard to argue against that,” Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, said at the Time 100 Summit in Manhattan. “Because it was such a full-throated attack that was aimed at propagandizing people, dividing our country, creating all kinds of disruptions, from phony protests and demonstrations to all kinds of agents and bots acting as though they were Americans debating politics.”

Clinton specifically noted the polling information shared with a Russian associate by former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s servers by the Kremlin.

“It certainly had an impact,” she said. “To what extent, it’s hard to tell because we haven’t really investigated that.”

Special counsel Robert Mueller’s two-year investigation concluded that the Russian government interfered in the 2016 election “in sweeping and systemic fashion” in an effort to boost Donald Trump’s presidential campaign — and to disparage Clinton. A redacted version of Mueller's report was released last week that detailed the two-year investigation of attacks by the Russian government on the 2016 election, but found no conspiracy with Trump’s campaign, and drew no conclusions about charging Trump with obstruction.

Clinton said Congress needs to see the full, unredacted version.

“What I want is for the country and the Congress and the press is to come to grips with what did happen,” she said, “not get distracted by an effort to either move on or diminish the impact of this attack.”

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Hillary Clinton and Joe Biden together through the years
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) attend a ceremony to unveil a portrait honoring retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (L) is joined by her husband former US President Bill Clinton (R) and US Vice President Joe Biden as she is ceremonially sworn in at the State Department in Washington, February 2, 2009. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst (UNITED STATES)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton welcomes Vice President Joe Biden as he disembarks from Air Force Two for a joint campaign event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
PORTSMOUTH, NH - MAY 11: Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) greets fellow presidential candidate Joe Biden (D-DE) in the lobby of the Sheraton Harborside Portsmouth after addressing the International Association of Fire Fighters Convention (IAFF) Conference May 11, 2007 in Portsmouth, New Hampshire. The IAFF is a labor union of fire fighters from the United States and Canada, formed in 1918, consisting of 280,000 members. (Photo by Darren McCollester/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden wave to neighbors as they stopped to visit Biden's childhood home in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (L) and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) attend a ceremony to unveil a portrait honoring retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid (D-NV) on Capitol Hill in Washington, U.S. December 8, 2016. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton and Vice-President Joe Biden campaign together during an event in Scranton, Pennsylvania, August 15, 2016. REUTERS/Charles Mostoller
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (C) addresses a luncheon held in honor of German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L), as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden looks on at the State Department in Washington, June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stelios Varias (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
UNITED STATES - AUGUST 15: Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and Vice President Joe Biden conduct a campaign rally at Riverfront Sports in Scranton, Pa., August 15, 2016. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Scranton, PA - AUGUST 15: Democratic Presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and US Vice President Joe Biden acknowledge the crowd at Riverfront Sports athletic facility on August 15, 2016 in Scranton, Pennsylvania. Hillary Clinton focused her speech on the economy and bringing jobs to the key swing state of Pennsylvania. (Photo by Mark Makela/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama delivers a statement on the Afghanistan-Pakistan Annual Review from the White House Briefing Room with Vice President Joe Biden (L) and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton looking on in Washington December 16, 2010. The review said "notable operational gains" had been made and Taliban momentum had been "arrested" in much of the country and reversed in some areas, but any gains were fragile and reversible. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST CONFLICT)
Combination images show U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (R) sharing a laugh during the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act signing ceremony in the East Room of the White House in Washington, January 29, 2009. REUTERS/Jason Reed (UNITED STATES)
Orangeburg, UNITED STATES: Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator Joe Biden, US Senator Barack Obama and US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Washington, UNITED STATES: US Democratic Senator from Nedw York Hillary Clinton (R) greets a member of Congress next to Democratic Senator from Delaware Joe Biden (C) as they arrives for US President George W. Bush's annual State of the Union address to a joint session of Congress at the Capitol in Washington 23 January 2007. AFP PHOTO/Larry Downing/Pool (Photo credit should read LARRY DOWNING/AFP/Getty Images)
U.S. President Barack Obama (2nd L) and Vice President Joe Biden (L), along with members of the national security team, receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room of the White House, May 1, 2011. Also pictured are Secretary of State Hillary Clinton (2nd R) and Defense Secretary Robert Gates (R). Please note: A classified document seen in this photograph has been obscured at source. Picture taken May 1, 2011. A pivotal moment in the long, tortuous quest to find Osama bin Laden came years before U.S. spy agencies discovered his hermetic compound in Abbottabad, Pakistan. REUTERS/White House/Pete Souza/Handout (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS CIVIL UNREST MILITARY IMAGES OF THE DAY) FOR EDITORIAL USE ONLY. NOT FOR SALE FOR MARKETING OR ADVERTISING CAMPAIGNS. THIS IMAGE HAS BEEN SUPPLIED BY A THIRD PARTY. IT IS DISTRIBUTED, EXACTLY AS RECEIVED BY REUTERS, AS A SERVICE TO CLIENTS To match special report BINLADEN/KILL (SPECIAL REPORT)
Orangeburg, UNITED STATES: Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Orangeburg, UNITED STATES: Democratic presidential hopefuls (L-R) US Senator Joe Biden, New Mexico Governor Bill Richardson, US Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton arrive at the Democratic Party Presidential Primary Debate, 26 April 2007, at South Carolina State University in Orangeburg, South Carolina. AFP PHOTO/Stan HONDA (Photo credit should read STAN HONDA/AFP/Getty Images)
Democratic presidential candidate U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY)(L) and U.S. Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) speak after their debate at Howard University in Washington, June 28, 2007. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES)
U.S. Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (R) is greeted by U.S. Senator Joseph Biden (D-De) at a Democratic Presidential Candidates Forum sponsored by AFSCME in Carson City, Nevada, February 21, 2007. REUTERS/Kimberly White (UNITED STATES)
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton (D-NY) (L) and Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) listen as U.S. President George W. Bush delivers the final State of the Union address of his presidency in Washington January 28, 2008. REUTERS/Larry Downing (UNITED STATES)
U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Senator Hillary Clinton (D-NY) speaks while Senator Joe Biden (D-DE) listens during the AFL-CIO Presidential Forum at Soldier Field in Chicago, August 7, 2007. REUTERS/John Gress (UNITED STATES)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel (L) presents a gift to U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, as U.S. Vice President Joe Biden watches, during a luncheon held in Merkel's honor at the State Department in Washington June 7, 2011. REUTERS/Stelios Varias (UNITED STATES - Tags: POLITICS)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton talk during a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Prime Minister Recep Tayyip Erdogan of Turkey in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington December 7, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C) speaks at the third annual U.S.-China Strategic and Economic Dialogue (S&ED) at the Department of the Interior in Washington May 9, 2011. Flanking Biden are Chinese Vice Premier Wang Qishan (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES - Tags: BUSINESS POLITICS)
U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks to Vice President Joe Biden as U.S. Middle East envoy George Mitchell (R) looks on during a meeting between U.S. President Barack Obama and Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington May 28, 2009. REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
U.S. Vice President Joe Biden (C), Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh (L) and U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton toast during a luncheon at the State Department in Washington November 24, 2009. REUTERS/Yuri Gripas (UNITED STATES POLITICS)
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Clinton's comments come amid a debate among Democrats whether Trump's repeated attempts to obstruct justice — chronicled in the Mueller report — justify pursuing his impeachment.

“So I have a kind of weird personal history about impeachment — and not what you're thinking,” Clinton said.

Her husband, President Bill Clinton, was impeached for lying during a deposition about his affair with Monica Lewinsky, a White House intern. Hillary Clinton served as a staff attorney for the House Judiciary Committee in the impeachment of President Richard Nixon during Watergate.

“It took several years for the slow acquisition and then publication of information to show the level of corruption that was existing in that White House,” Clinton said. “By the end of it, the evidence was overwhelming that the president had committed high crimes and misdemeanors.” The Judiciary Committee subsequently voted out articles of impeachment. But Nixon resigned before he could be impeached.

“I know what it looks like and I know what is required to do it in a way that wins the trust and the confidence, not only of the Congress but of the American people,” Clinton said. “But I certainly think that the roadmap, as some call it, of the Mueller report raises so many serious questions.”

Clinton also cautioned that impeachment “shouldn't be a preordained conclusion.”

“It shouldn't be what you do for partisan political purposes almost outside the framework of the Constitution,” she said. “It should be something undertaken in a really serious, diligent way, based on evidence, not on partisan advantage.”

At the same time, Clinton said that additional public hearings are necessary to determine whether there's an impeachment case to be made against Trump. Earlier this week, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., issued a subpoena to former White House counsel Don McGahn, who is prominent in the Mueller report.

“It's fully appropriate for this Congress to call Don McGahn,” she said.

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