Hillary Clinton says she cannot understand why the press and political establishment are ‘so reluctant to call out what the Russians have been doing’.
The former US first lady, who lost the race for the White House to Donald Trump in 2016, said democracy was now ‘under siege’ and also said it is ‘troubling’ to her that history has been, in her view, either obscured or lost.
Clinton was marking the 70th anniversary of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights at the University of Oxford.
The former US secretary of state said: ‘As we learn more about the role that (Vladimir) Putin, oligarchs around him, the Russian government particularly, the intelligence forces have played, we see that it’s not just what they did in our election in the United States.
‘They have been actively supporting right wing political parties and politicians.’
Clinton added: ‘I don’t understand why the press, the political establishment and the public are so reluctant to call out what the Russians have been doing.
‘What they did in Brexit, what they did in the United States.’
The former first lady said: ‘You have to understand what Putin’s goal is.
‘He called the collapse of the Soviet Union the biggest catastrophe in history.
‘Now, that takes some doing to think that was the biggest catastrophe in history.’
Clinton urged people to ‘follow the money’, and said: ‘When the NRA spends more money against me than they’ve ever spent against any candidate, more than 30 million dollars, and they’ve been going to Russia?’
She also mentioned funding for the Leave campaign.
‘You just might think it came from one of the Oligarchs at Putin’s direction,’ she said.
Clinton said ‘the list is really long now’, adding: ‘The internet has given them a great advantage because they are able to sow discontent, divisiveness and false information incredibly easily.’
She added: ‘It’s only going to get worse, and this is something that I think everybody needs to pay attention to.
‘The technology has advanced so much that it’s not only the false stories that the phony news services are now directing at your Facebook feed, it will be taking the words you say out of many different contexts and putting it together to say something you never said.’