Hillary Clinton on Iran, Abortion and the 2022 Midterms

Hillary Clinton spoke at The Texas Tribune Festival with Kara Swisher on Sept. 23. (Roxy Szal)

On Friday, Sept. 23, Hillary Clinton—former U.S. secretary of state and the first woman to win a presidential nomination by a major U.S. political party—spoke at The Texas Tribune Festival in Austin, Texas. She was joined by Kara Swisher, renowned journalist and host of the new podcast On With Kara Swisher. Clinton’s and Swisher’s wide-ranging conversation covered several issues affecting women—from the feminist uprisings in Iran, to Trump and the classified documents at Mar-a-Lago, to the upcoming midterm elections.

Check out some of the best video highlights from their conversation here, or read on for some of our favorite moments.

On the DOJ’s Criminal Investigation Into Trump:

“You load documents that have on their cover big red lines and ‘Top Secret’ stamped on them—and they end up stored in the storage room under the pool of your country club. … What he did was clearly intentional. Whether he broke the law, that’s for others to decide.”

“[Trump] will run [in 2024] if it’s at all possible for him to run, meaning that he will run because of his ego and narcissism. … He will also have the belief that the only way he can escape legal accountability, both civil and criminal, is to be elected president again.”

“We are in this big fight for democracy and the rule of law, and he is still out there making all kinds of dangerous statements, so it’s not over yet. … I still believe in the rule of law. … The rule of law means that no one is above the law.”

“I have answered these questions a million times. I have testified for 11 hours. I would love to see Donald Trump testify for 30 minutes in public about any of this.”

On the 2022 Midterms:

“Registration is going up dramatically among Democrats and women and young people. That suggests to me there is motivation on that side. I assume Republicans are motivated by whatever they’re being told on social media or from people they listen to. That’s why this midterm is so critically important because … it all comes down to who turns out.”

“With just two or three more Democrats in the Senate, we could do so much more.”

On the Feminist Uprising in Iran:

“A [regime change] will be very difficult but it’s possible. … Right now there is a heavy suppression effort, but the reason [Mahsa Amini] was arrested is because too much of her hair was showing. And the women who are ripping up their hijabs, burning them, cutting off their hair, it appears this is a much deeper reaction we saw even in the Green Revolution, [the 2009 movement in which protesters demanded the removal of Mahmoud Ahmadinejad from office].”

On the Importance of Women Running for Office:

“I really really encourage women of all ages, but particularly young women, to run for office. … We need you in the arena and we need you not to be deterred by how difficult it has become. It’s always been harder, there’s always been a double standard. But now it’s even more so because what has unfortunately happened on social media is an almost runaway level of sexism and misogyny directed at any woman in the public arena.”

On Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.):

“We don’t agree on policy, but we certainly agree on democracy.”

Clinton’s Advice for Journalists:

“In electronic media and to some extent social media, it’s hard for people to find the facts because we are bombarded with *opinions* about facts we may not even know. And so, let’s get back to telling people what actually happened, what the sequence of events and facts were before we put on a bunch of people who are opining about things that have not been adequately described.”

On the Future of U.S. Democracy:

“The future is going to happen, whether we do anything or not so let’s take responsibility, to try to shape it for your kids and my grandkids. … Get up and do something for our democracy. … We are going to make it.”

U.S. democracy is at a dangerous inflection point—from the demise of abortion rights, to a lack of pay equity and parental leave, to skyrocketing maternal mortality, and attacks on trans health. Left unchecked, these crises will lead to wider gaps in political participation and representation. For 50 years, Ms. has been forging feminist journalism—reporting, rebelling and truth-telling from the front-lines, championing the Equal Rights Amendment, and centering the stories of those most impacted. With all that’s at stake for equality, we are redoubling our commitment for the next 50 years. In turn, we need your help, Support Ms. today with a donation—any amount that is meaningful to you. For as little as $5 each month, you’ll receive the print magazine along with our e-newsletters, action alerts, and invitations to Ms. Studios events and podcasts. We are grateful for your loyalty and ferocity.

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About and

Roxanne Szal (or Roxy) is the managing digital editor at Ms. and a producer on the Ms. podcast On the Issues With Michele Goodwin. She is also a mentor editor for The OpEd Project. Before becoming a journalist, she was a Texas public school English teacher. She is based in Austin, Texas. Find her on Twitter @roxyszal.
Michelle Moulton (she/they) is a former editorial intern with Ms. and a graduate of Smith College, where she majored in the study of women & gender and sociology. Her beats include reproductive justice, LGBTQ rights, domestic violence intervention and pop culture.