Hillary Clinton on Trump’s Lack of Empathy, the Steele Dossier, and Misogyny in America

"The American people didn't even know that the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign," she told Trevor Noah

Michael Loccisano/Getty Images for The Daily Show

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday night defended her campaign's funding of the Steele dossier that alleged ties between Donald Trump and the Kremlin, and also said the American people should have known the FBI was investigating the Trump campaign before the presidential election. 

Clinton appeared on "The Daily Show" to promote her book, "What Happened," and she was asked by host Trevor Noah if she thinks there is a difference between the Democratic National Committee and her campaign lawyer's funding of the research that led to the dossier and members of Trump's campaign working with the Russians to influence the election.

"Of course there is, and I think most serious people understand that," Clinton said. 

"This was research started by a Republican donor during the Republican primary and then when Trump got the nomination for the Republican party the people doing it came to my campaign lawyer and said, 'Would you like us to continue it?' And he said yes," Clinton said. "He's an experienced lawyer, he knows what the law is, he knows what opposition research is."

The Washington Free Beacon, a conservative website, first paid political research firm Fusion GPS for opposition research into Trump in 2015 and ended its relationship after Trump secured the GOP nomination the following year, The Associated Press reported. Clinton campaign lawyer Marc Elias then retained the firm, which later hired former British spy Christopher Steele for its research. 

Trump has called it a "disgrace" that Democrats paid for the research.

The bigger problem according to Clinton, which she writes about in her book, is that the American people were not aware of the FBI's investigation of ties between the Trump campaign and Russia until after the election.

"I know that voters should have had that information, that's something that may have influenced some people. And it’s part of what happens in a campaign, where you get information that may or may not be useful and you try to make sure anything you put out into the public arena is accurate. So this thing didn’t come out until after the election and it’s still being evaluated. But the fact of the FBI investigation into the Trump campaign and Russia should have come out.”

Clinton also criticized how Trump responds in difficult situations, the latest being the New York City terror attack on Tuesday that left eight people dead and a dozen injured.

"He just doesn't have any empathy," she said of Trump, adding, "You can disagree with someone over all kinds of partisan issues but you want a president who can try to put himself into the shoes, the feelings of someone else, and he has not been able to do that."

Clinton's appearance comes nearly one month after news broke about sexual assault allegations against film producer Harvey Weinstein. Noah lamented that misogyny and sexism undoubtedly cost Clinton some votes. Clinton agreed.

"Sexism and misogyny are endemic in our society, not just politics," she said. "The only way to get sexism out of politics is to get more women into politics." 

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