Clinton on Sanders comments: 'I wasn't thinking about the election'

Clinton on Sanders comments: 'I wasn't thinking about the election'
© Greg Nash

Former Secretary of State Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonClinton asked if she'd be Bloomberg's vice president: 'Oh no' Trump launches three-day campaign rally blitz Free Roger Stone MORE said Monday that she was not thinking about the 2020 Democratic primary or her effect on voters when she criticized Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersBiden leads Sanders by single digits in South Carolina: poll Pro-Trump super PAC hits Biden with new Spanish-language ad in Nevada Biden will go after Bloomberg, Sanders at Las Vegas debate, aides say MORE (I-Vt.), her 2016 primary rival, in a new documentary.

In an interview with Variety, Clinton said her comments about Sanders's likability and whether she would support him if he's the Democratic nominee, were made more than a year ago.

"I think we did that interview about a year-and-a-half ago. I wasn’t thinking about the election by any means," Clinton told Variety.

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"I’ve said I’m going to support the nominee," she added. "But I do think it’s important to look at somebody’s record and look at what they’ve gotten done and see whether you agree with that or not. I think that’s what every voter paying attention should do."

Her remarks come as a new Hulu docu-series about the 2016 campaign, set to premiere in March, was revealed last week to contain an interview in which Clinton was sharply critical of Sanders, her 2016 rival who is now a top contender for the 2020 Democratic nomination.

"In the doc, you're brutally honest on Sanders: 'He was in Congress for years. He had one senator support him. Nobody likes him, nobody wants to work with him, he got nothing done. He was a career politician. It's all just baloney and I feel so bad that people got sucked into it,'" an interviewer for The Hollywood Reporter told Clinton, quoting the 2016 Democratic presidential nominee. "That assessment still hold?"

"Yes, it does," Clinton responded.

Her remarks were pilloried by Sanders supporters and some Democrats. She later added to her comments by tweeting: “I thought everyone wanted my authentic, unvarnished views! But to be serious, the number one priority for our country and world is retiring Trump, and, as I always have, I will do whatever I can to support our nominee."