Addressing her alma mater for the first time after her election loss, former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton did not hold back the barbs against her former rival.
Donald Trump has repeatedly come under fire for firing his former FBI director, James Comey, who was leading an investigation into his campaign’s possible ties to Russia – and Ms Clinton was quick to invoke another president who faced a similar national scandal.
When she graduated Wellesley College in 1969, Ms Clinton told graduates, “we were furious about the past presidential 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”.
At the glaring comparison between President Donald Trump and former President Richard Nixon, the Wellesley class of 2017 erupted in cheers.
It wasn’t the first time a Democrat had mentioned the “i-word” in reference to Mr Trump. The suggestion that the current president could be impeached has been circulating on Capitol Hill.
Republican Senator John McCain even suggested the Trump administration scandal was reaching “Watergate size and scale”.
It was however, Ms Clinton’s most stinging rebuke of her former rival since her November loss.
Besides comparing Donald Trump to a disgraced former president, she also took issue with his policies and rhetoric.
“You are graduating at a time when there is a full fledged assault on truth and reason,” she told graduates. “…Some are even denying things we see with our own eyes, like the size of crowds. And then defending themselves by talking about ‘alternative facts’.”
The comment was a dig at White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer’s disproved claim that Mr Trump had the “largest audience to ever witness an inauguration — period,” and presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway’s excuse that Mr Spicer was using “alternative facts”.
Later in her speech, Ms Clinton attacked Mr Trump’s recently released budget proposal, which calls for deep cuts to education and Medicaid, among other things.
Ms Clinton called the budget a “con” and an “attack of unimaginable cruelty on the most vulnerable among us”. She also pointed to the budget’s lack of funding for climate change, mental health initiatives, and treatment for the opioid epidemic.
But Ms Clinton ended her address of a lighter note, telling graduates that while they did not create the current political climate, they have the power to change it.
In the face of dire political circumstances, she said, “there’s only one answer: Keep going”.
It was Ms Clinton’s third Wellesley commencement address in nearly 50 years. The former presidential contender spoke at her own graduation in 1969, and again in 1992.
Source: The Independent