FIRST INTERVIEW:CNN exclusive: Hillary Clinton: ‘People should and do trust me’

Story highlights

  • Hillary Clinton blamed trust issues on the “barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the right”
  • “People should and do trust me,” she told CNN’s Brianna Keilar

Iowa City, Iowa (CNN)In her first national interview of the 2016 race, Hillary Clinton dismissed the suggestion that the American people have a problem trusting her.

She blamed the “barrage of attacks that are largely fomented by and coming from the right.”

“People should and do trust me,” she told CNN’s Brianna Keilar.

Clinton said she faced “the same kind of onslaught” in her two New York Senate campaigns and her confirmation as secretary of state, and said Republicans have sought to turn controversies like her use of a private email address and the Clinton Foundation’s actions against her.

And that, Clinton said, is why national polls and swing-state surveys have found that a majority of voters say they don’t see her as honest and trustworthy.

“I think it’s understandable that when questions are raised, people maybe are thinking about them and wondering about them,” Clinton said.

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“But I have every confidence that during the course of this campaign, people are going to know who will fight for them, who will be there when they need them, and that’s the kind of person I am and that’s what I will do, not only in a campaign but as president,” she said.

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Asked whether she played a role in the sentiment reflected in polls that she’s not trustworthy, Clinton said: “This has been a theme that has been used against me and my husband for many, many years. And at the end of the day, I think voters sort it all out.”

She similarly dismissed questions about her use of a personal email address on a private server while serving as secretary of state.

Clinton said she turned over all the emails — including some which show her using a secured fax machine, or asking for iced tea during meetings — that had anything to do with public business, and that she broke no laws in sticking with one device because she’s not technically savvy.

“This is being blown up with no basis in law or in fact. That’s fine, I get it — this is being, in effect, used by the Republicans in the Congress. OK,” Clinton said. “But I want people to understand what the truth is, and the truth is, everything I did was permitted and I went above and beyond what was expected.”

The full interview aired Tuesday on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer” and will re-air at 8 p.m. on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

In the interview, Clinton said she is “very disappointed” in Donald Trump for his comments about immigrants and in the Republican Party for not condemning his remarks more quickly.

Hillary Clinton on Immigration and the GOP race

Hillary Clinton on Immigration and the GOP race 02:09
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RELATED: Clinton campaign corrals media

She quickly pivoted to skewering the entire GOP field for their immigration stance, saying they are on the same “spectrum of hostility.”

Clinton then took direct aim at GOP frontrunner Jeb Bush.

“He doesn’t believe in a path to citizenship. If he did at one time, he no longer does,” she said.

Clinton also blamed the city of San Francisco for mishandling the case of an undocumented immigrant who had been deported five times before killing a woman in San Francisco — a sanctuary city where local law enforcement do not enforce federal immigration laws.

“The city made a mistake, not to deport someone that the federal government strongly felt should be deported,” she said. “I have absolutely no support for a city that ignores the strong evidence that should be acted on.”

If elected president, Clinton said she doesn’t have any plans to push for the closure of the Clinton Foundation — which has faced criticism for accepting foreign contributions during her tenure as America’s top diplomat — if she’s elected president.

“I have no plans to say or do anything about the Clinton foundation other than to say I am proud of it and I think for the good of the world, its work should continue,” she said.

Hillary Clinton on which woman should be on the 10 dollar bill

Hillary Clinton on which woman should be on the 10 dollar bill 00:46
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She wouldn’t weigh in on what woman should go on the $10 bill — but suggested a woman should instead go on a $20.

“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 sounds pretty second class to me,” Clinton said. “So I think a woman should have her own bill.”

Nor would she pick which Saturday Night Live actress, Amy Poehler or Kate McKinnon, plays the best Hillary Clinton.

“Amy’s a friend of mine and Kate’s doing a great job. You’re not going to get me to pick one or the other,” she said. “I think I’m the best Hillary Clinton.”

Clinton’s interview is likely to be the first of several she gives to national reporters, after only talking one-on-one with local news outlets in her campaign’s early weeks.

It signals a recognition on the campaign’s part that Clinton has a real challenge on her hands from Sanders, who drew another 7,500 supporters to an event in Maine on Monday night.

“We are worried about him, sure. He will be a serious force for the campaign, and I don’t think that will diminish,” Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri said Monday in an interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.

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