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Clinton says it meant 'great deal' to hold inauguration weeks after riot

Clinton says it meant 'great deal' to hold inauguration weeks after riot
© AP/pool

Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonHillary Clinton brings up 'Freedom Fries' to mock 'cancel culture' Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series White House defends Biden's 'Neanderthal thinking' remark on masks MORE said in a Tuesday interview that it “meant a great deal” to see President Biden inaugurated without incident two weeks after the deadly riot at the U.S. Capitol.

“I was so relieved and grateful that we are able to celebrate the transfer of power in a peaceful way,” Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee for president, told The Associated Press’s Andy Taylor.

Clinton attended the inauguration with her husband, former President Bill ClintonWilliam (Bill) Jefferson ClintonSenators introduce bill creating technology partnerships to compete with China Edie Falco to play Hillary Clinton in Clinton impeachment series Website shows 3D models of every Oval Office design since 1909 MORE.

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“It meant a great deal, I think, to so many Americans, to see the ceremony conducted on a platform where just a week ago marauders and terrorists had attempted to step democracy,” said Hillary Clinton, who served as secretary of State in the Obama administration when Biden was vice president. 

Clinton said Biden’s inaugural address “should lift the hearts of many Americans,” and contrasted it with former President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump State Department appointee arrested in connection with Capitol riot Intelligence community investigating links between lawmakers, Capitol rioters Michelle Obama slams 'partisan actions' to 'curtail access to ballot box' MORE’s 2017 inaugural address, which she said invoked “American carnage.”

“We all owe a new president a chance to lead our country … but when I heard then-President Trump’s speech, I was really heartsick, because it appeared to me he was not reaching out, he didn’t seem to want to be the president for all Americans at all,” she said.

Clinton, like Vice President Harris, wore purple to the ceremony, and told Taylor she chose the color for symbolic reasons because it derives from the combination of red and blue.

“I knew the theme President Biden was striking was unity [and] I wanted just to send a bit of a symbolic message that we need to come together,” she said.

Clinton went on to hail Biden’s personal qualities, saying, “It’s a clear part of his character to listen to people, reach out to people, lift people up … our country right now needs a caring, compassionate, empathetic leader.”

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Clinton also tweeted a photo of herself with National Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman, who performed her poem “The Hill We Climb” at the ceremony, which Clinton praised as “stunning.”

"She's promised to run for president in 2036 and I for one can't wait," Clinton added.