Clinton leaves question mark over 2016 election legitimacy

Hillary Clinton says she would not “rule out” questioning the legitimacy of the US presidential election if Russia is found to have deeply meddled.

The former secretary of state told NPR’s Fresh Air programme, however, she did not believe there was a “mechanism” in place to challenge the outcome.

US intelligence agencies believe Russia tried to tip the election in favour of President Donald Trump.

Mrs Clinton spoke just before her top aide testified to Congress.

John Podesta, the former chairman of her Democratic presidential campaign, appeared on Monday before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is leading one of several investigations on Russia’s alleged role in the 2016 election.

Mr Podesta was one of several Democratic figures whose email account was breached by suspected Russia-backed hackers.

His emails were subsequently released to the public by Wikileaks during the election campaign.

NPR’s Terry Gross pressed Mrs Clinton on Monday about whether she would “completely rule out questioning the legitimacy of this election if we learn that the Russian interference in the election is even deeper than we know now”.

“No, I wouldn’t rule it out,” Mrs Clinton said in the interview, which was to promote her new book about how she lost, What Happened.

But she emphasised that she did not believe there was a legal option to challenge the validity of the election.

“There are scholars, academics, who have arguments that it would be, but I don’t think they’re on strong ground. But people are making those arguments. I just don’t think we have a mechanism,” she said.

Republican Senator Cory Gardner fired back at Mrs Clinton on Monday, saying he is aware she has a book to plug but “she should be ashamed” for her “wildly irresponsible” comments.

Last week, Mrs Clinton called for the abolishing of the US electoral college as she sought to explain why she lost the election.

“I think it needs to be eliminated,” Mrs Clinton told CNN of the institution. “I’d like to see us move beyond it, yes.” (Courtesy BBC)

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