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Clinton compares Trump to Nixon, says there is assault on truth and reason

world Updated: May 27, 2017 21:23 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Washington
Hillary Clinton,Donald Trump,Richard Nixon

Former US secretary of state Hillary Clinton delivers the commencement address at Wellesley College on Friday.(AP Photo)

Hillary Clinton waded into talk about “impeachment” in a commencement address at her alma mater on Friday in reference to former US President Richard Nixon, who had been elected around the time she was in college.

She did not name President Donald Trump even once in her speech, but took enough swipes at him to leave no one in doubt about the context. “When people in power invent their own facts and attack those who question them, it can mark the beginning of the end of a free society,” she said.

“That is not hyperbole; it is what authoritarian regimes throughout history have done. ... They attempt to control reality.”

She called Trump’s new budget proposal “an attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us” and called his administration “a con”, adding, “They don’t even try to hide it.”

Clinton was in the class of 1969 at Wellesley College and Nixon, a Republican, had been elected for his first term the year before. She said her class was furious about the election of “a man whose presidency would eventually end in disgrace with his impeachment for obstruction of justice … after firing the person running the investigation into him at the department of justice”.

The parallels were unmistakable — Nixon had fired Archibald Cox, the special prosecutor leading the investigation against him, and Trump fired FBI director James Comey, who was leading a probe into Russian meddling in the 2016 elections and alleged collusion of Trump campaign aides. There has been talk about impeaching Trump because of the Russia probe dogging his administration and close aides.

However, Nixon had resigned before the House of Representatives was scheduled to vote on his impeachment motion. The only American president impeached in recent history is Bill Clinton, Hillary’s husband. He was impeached by the House in 1999, but was acquitted by the Senate.

First Published: May 27, 2017 08:01 IST