Asked point-blank if she has always told the truth, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said she’s “always tried to” and that she’ll do the best she can to level with the American people.
“Well, I have to tell you I have tried in every way I know how literally from my years as a young lawyer all the way through my time as secretary of state to level with the American people,” Mrs. Clinton, a 2016 Democratic presidential candidate, said in an interview with CBS News.
Anchor Scott Pelley had brought up former President Jimmy Carter’s pledge during the 1976 campaign that he would not lie to the American people.
He asked if Mrs. Clinton has always told the truth.
“I’ve always tried to. Always. Always,” Mrs. Clinton said.
Mr. Pelley said some people would call that “wiggle room” she gave herself.
“You’re asking me to say, ‘Have I ever?’ ” she said. “I don’t believe I ever have. I don’t believe I ever will. I’m going to do the best I can to level with the American people.”
Mrs. Clinton has struggled throughout her presidential campaign to answer questions about the private email system and server she set up to use exclusively as secretary of state. She says she never sent or received anything marked classified at the time, though many messages have been retroactively labeled that way.
A Quinnipiac University poll released this week showed that 67 percent of U.S. voters said they don’t think Mrs. Clinton is honest and trustworthy, compared to 30 percent who said she is.
“The fact Hillary Clinton felt the need to waffle on a question about whether she is a liar is precisely why two-thirds of the American people think she’s dishonest and untrustworthy,” said Republican National Committee spokesman Michael Short.
• David Sherfinski can be reached at email@example.com.
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