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Hillary Clinton didn't hold back in her first live appearance on The View since former President Trump lost the presidential election. The former secretary of state told the co-hosts that we're "still in" the constitutional crisis that Trump ignited nearly a year ago, and she indicted his "cult" of supporters for keeping the Big Lie going long after his departure from office. "We're at a very dangerous, continuing high-level attack on the legitimacy of our government and the election of our president," said Clinton. "Obviously, our former president is not only behind it; he incited it, he encouraged it, and he continues to do so."
When Sara Haines asked Clinton "how close... we came to a full constitutional crisis" in the wake of the January 6 insurrection at the Capitol, The View's marquee guest reframed the question in the present tense. "We not only came close to a full constitutional crisis; I think we're still in it," she said. "That gives me absolutely no satisfaction in saying this."
Clinton put the blame for this crisis solely on Trump's shoulders, but she did acknowledge the GOP's role in perpetuating the Big Lie. "You have leaders of the Republican Party who have willingly gone along as though they're members of a cult. Not a political party, but a cult," she said. "Their continuing attacks on the election, their refusal to say, 'You know what, we've counted these votes, it's over, we're going to move on,' has sown so much doubt."
.@HillaryClinton to @TheView: “We’re at a very dangerous, continuing high-level attack on the legitimacy of our government and the election of our president. And obviously, [former Pres. Trump] is not only behind it, he incited it, he encouraged it, and he continues to do so.” pic.twitter.com/8pERcKCG7H— The View (@TheView) October 11, 2021
"And then you combine it with the disinformation network known as Facebook, and you've got a volatile mix," continued Clinton. "We are still in the midst of a concerted, well-funded effort to undermine American democracy."
As for Trump's future, Clinton is confident that the former president will remain relevant in his party, one way or another. "If he wants to be the nominee, he will be the nominee. I don't think there's any doubt about that," she said. "Everybody else who is talking about it or considering it understands that. So, what they are doing is trying to placate and play up to him. Because if he decides to run, they want to be the second or the other alternative choice."
.@HillaryClinton: “If [Trump] wants to be the nominee he will be the nominee.”— The View (@TheView) October 11, 2021
“It says volumes about the Republican party today. That someone who has the record of attacking our own government… is considered the leader because they’re all afraid of the mob that he has created.” pic.twitter.com/6uEGgtSmNn
"I think it says volumes about the Republican Party today that someone who has the record of attacking our own government, of lying to people about the biggest health crisis we've had in over 100 years — namely, COVID — and the list goes on, is considered the leader because they're all afraid of the mob that he has created and that he keeps energized."
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Claire Spellberg Lustig is the TV Editor at Primetimer and a scholar of The View. Follow her on Twitter at @c_spellberg.