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Clinton Book Excerpt: I Wonder If I Should Have Called Trump a ‘Creep’ During Debate

Wednesday’s edition of MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” broadcast exclusive excerpts of former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton’s forthcoming book, “What Happened.” In the excerpts, Clinton states that she wonders whether she should have called President Trump a “creep” for standing behind her during one of the debates. She also says that she “couldn’t get the job done” in the election.

In one excerpt, Clinton writes of Trump standing behind her during the October 9, 2016 debate, “‘This is not okay,’ I thought. It was the second presidential debate, and Donald Trump was looming behind me. Two days before, the world heard him brag about groping women. Now we were on a small stage, and no matter where I walked, he followed me closely, staring at me, making faces. It was incredibly uncomfortable. He was literally breathing down my neck. My skin crawled. It was one of those moments where you wish you could hit pause and ask everyone watching, ‘Well, what would you do?’ Do you stay calm, keep smiling, and carry on as if he weren’t repeatedly invading your space? Or do you turn, look him in the eye, and say loudly and clearly, ‘Back up you creep. Get away from me. I know you love to intimidate women, but you can’t intimidate me. So back up.’ I chose option A. I kept my cool, aided by a lifetime of dealing with difficult men trying to throw me off. I did, however, grip the microphone extra hard. I wonder, though, whether I should have chosen option B. It certainly would have been better TV. Maybe I have overlearned the lesson of staying calm, biting my tongue, digging my fingernails into a clenched fist, smiling all the while, determined to present a composed face to the world.”

In another, Clinton states that she’s not writing a comprehensive review of the election, but is telling her story. She also says, “Writing this wasn’t easy. Every day that I was a candidate for president, I knew that millions of people were counting on me, and I couldn’t bare the idea of letting them down, but I did. I couldn’t get the job done, and I’ll have to live with that for the rest of my life.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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