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Getty/The Independent

Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton spoke out about her 2016 presidential rival Donald Trump, calling his time in office a “failure” and questioning how anyone could continue to support him.

Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, Ms Clinton lashed out at President Donald Trump, criticising his leadership and characterising him as uncaring and incompetent.

“What has been so surprising to me is how he can barely make an effort to rise to the occasion. I truly don’t think he can get out of his own way. Everything always has to be about him,” Ms Clinton said.

She said Mr Trump tried to ignore the coronavirus pandemic until he was forced to address it, after which she claims he tried to turn the pandemic response into a “daily rally.”

Regarding the murder of George Floyd and the subsequent protests against police brutality and systemic racism in the US, Ms Clinton suggested she had initially hoped that Mr Trump was going to respond with empathy, but that it quickly became clear that wasn’t going to be the case.

“He doesn’t have even the minor amount of empathy to fake it, to look like he is concerned, and he reverts to the belligerence and the threat-making and the photo-opping, all the tried and true tactics that feed his need for control and dominance and attention,” Ms Clinton said.

Of Mr Trump’s “photo-opping,” his appearance at St John’s Church near the White House – and the tear gassing of protesters to clear the path for the president – has become one of the many flashpoints in the George Floyd protests.

“It was beyond my comprehension. We have never seen anything like this,” she said. “He is without shame. It is a mystery why anybody with a beating heart and a working mind still supports him.”

She said that despite the fact that Mr Trump’s character was apparent during the election, even she wasn’t prepared for the degree to which the president would shuck norms.

“So much of what we’re seeing now, sadly, was known about Trump and the kind of people who were loyal to him. But it turned out to be even worse than what I thought it would be,” she said. “Despite having my own front-row seat and being concerned about his character and behaviour, he has gone further and broken more norms and undermined our institutions more deeply than I thought would have been possible in such a short period of time.”

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Ms Clinton said that heading into the 2020 US election in November, she will be working with an organisation she began called “Onward Together” which will support the effort to implement vote by mail throughout the US.

“The goal of the Trump campaign and the Republican National Committee, which has been stated explicitly, is to stop vote by mail because they believe – and I think rightly – that the more people who vote, the less likely they are to win the White House again, to keep the Senate and also be able to dominate in state legislatures and statewide offices,” she said.

Ms Clinton said the fight for nationwide vote by mail will be a difficult battle for Democrats heading into November.

“If we can fight them, which is what I’m doing everything I can to support, to expand vote by mail, our chances of winning go up,” Ms Clinton said.

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