Hillary Clinton sat down for an interview with CNN's Brianna Keilar on Tuesday. For other candidates, such a thing wouldn't be newsworthy in and of itself — but this was the first nationally televised interview of Clinton's campaign, which was launched nearly three months ago. It's an approach that has minimized Clinton's exposure to pesky questions about topics like her deleted emails and voters' declining trust in her — but she was faced with some from Keilar today.
Clinton on her emails: "Everything I did was permitted"
Regarding her handling of her email, Clinton said, "Everything I did was permitted. There was no law, there was no regulation, there was nothing that did not give me the full authority to decide how I was going to communicate." She went on to stress that Colin Powell handled his email similarly when he was secretary of state, and claimed she went "above and beyond" to turn over 55,000 pages of emails after the fact.
But despite the similarity with Powell, Clinton's decision to use a personal email for all her work-related business was a highly unusual one for a modern major government official. And her decision to decide for herself which of her emails were work-related and which were personal — and to delete all those in the latter category — ensured that she controlled what the government, and voters, get to see.
Clinton: People don't trust me because of attacks from the right
Asked why polls showed voters becoming less trusting of her, Clinton argued that it was because of "constant attacks coming from the right." She complained that "people write books filled with unsubstantiated attacks against us and even admit they have no evidence" — an apparent reference to Peter Schweizer's book Clinton Cash. But she seemed to blame the mainstream media, too: "I cannot decide what the attacks on me will be, no matter how unfounded. And I'm well aware of the fact that it's your job to raise those, and we'll do our best to respond to them."
Clinton said it was "understandable" that people are thinking about "questions that are raised," but said she trusted the American voter to cut through the fog. Ordinary people, she said, "want to know what I'm going to do for the economy, what I'm going to do for education, what I'm going do for health care."
Clinton: Letting a woman share the $10 bill with a man would be "second-class"
Toward the end of the interview, Keilar quizzed Clinton on a lighter topic — whether she supported the Obama administration's plan to add a woman to the $10 bill, alongside Alexander Hamilton. Clinton chose to break with the administration's plan, saying, "I don't like the idea that as a compromise — you would basically have two people on the same bill, one would be a woman, that seems pretty second-class to me."
Furthermore, Clinton added that she didn't see why the $10 bill was being changed rather than the $20, which features Andrew Jackson. It would be "more appropriate to look at the $20," Clinton said. There, she sided with critics, including Jillian Keenan and Vox's Matt Yglesias, who have argued that Jackson should be dropped, due to his administration's brutal mistreatment of American Indians and, as Matt put it, "crank monetary policies," which included an opposition to paper money.