Hillary Clinton has admitted that she didn't want to go to Donald Trump's inauguration - and even tried to get out of it - in an interview at a UK book festival on Sunday.

Clinton told an audience at the Cheltenham Literature Festival that she had called George W Bush - a fellow critic of Trump in the run-up to the election - in the hopes that he wouldn't go, giving her an excuse to follow suit.

Bush Jr had agreed to attend in his position as a former President, along with wife Laura, she said - and so she and Bill had to "suck it up" and go too, according to Daily Mail.

She also slammed WikiLeaks for turning into "an arm of Russian intelligence" by hosting Democrats' hacked emails on its site, and blamed that leak - and James Comey's reopened investigation into her emails - for losing her the election.


Clinton, who was promoting her memoir, What Happened, told interviewer Mariella Frostrup that she had attended the inauguration not as a political opponent but as a former First Lady.

"I did not want to go, Mariella. I looked for every reason not to go - we called the [younger] Bushes and said are you going?" she said, to laughter.

"The other Bushes were hospitalised - I think for real," she added, to more chortles, "but the younger Bushes came and the Carters came, so Bill and I sucked it up did it.

"I wrote in the book that George W Bush, who I was sitting next to, was reported to have said, 'That was some weird s**t,'" she added.

Former President George W. Bush (right) with Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton (left) at Trump's inauguration.
Former President George W. Bush (right) with Hillary Clinton and former President Bill Clinton (left) at Trump's inauguration.

Of course, that only occurred because she lost the election, despite having, as the reminded the audience, three million more individual votes than Trump.

That was because of a lot of factors, she said - though she didn't number herself among them.

"The way that Trump as a candidate played on bigotry prejudice and paranoia was a very important motivator," she said, but saved harsher words for WikiLeaks.

The website hosted hundreds of emails taken from the DNC and Clinton's campaign chair, John Podesta, and which are believed to have been first obtained by Russians.


"[WikiLeaks,] I will say has become almost an arm of Russian intelligence, rather than an effort at at radical transparency," Clinton fumed.

"You don't see them ever dropping anything negative about Putin and the Russians -just keep watching."

She also blamed the Pizzagate conspiracy that rose out of the leaks, when a remark by John Podesta about going for pizza was turned into a conspiracy theory about a pedophilic sex trafficking ring under a DC pizzeria.

And she complained that "in the Republican party, a very significant percentage of both make and female voters do not want a female president".

But at the top of the list was James Comey's decision to reopen the investigation into her private email server, which she claims lost her the election 10 days before the vote was called.

"I don't think [Pizzagate] would have been enough, despite the Russians and the Trump's best efforts, and, who knows [Trump data firm Cambridge Analytica], and all those who were involved.

"But the Comey letter sealed it, and the cumulative impact - we still have anecdotal evidence of people saying, 'Well I couldn't vote for her after what she did at that pizzeria.'"

She did not blame herself for losing the election at any point.

Clinton complained that since coming to power, Trump has destabilised the world and America, particularly by opening up "two nuclear confrontations at the same time" by demanding an end to the Iran deal while North Korea continues to fume.

Frostrup also brought up claims - first reported by Page Six - that Bill Clinton had told Hillary not to publish her book because she would sound "angry" and "bewildered".

"My husband read every page of the book, gave me great editorial suggestions, said it was critically important to get it out," she said.

"He was surprised that I wanted to get it out as quickly as I did, but he fully supported that." She added that he was "very proud" of the finished book.

In the wake of the recent claims of rape, sexual assault and harassment leveled at film producer Harvey Weinstein, Frostrup also brought up similar historical claims made against Bill Clinton.

Frostrup said that even as an admirer of Hillary Clinton's, she felt "let down" by her because she was not "sympathetic to the women who talked about having been hit on by your husband".

Hillary Clinton attempted to evade the topic, saying "that was a very difficult time during which my husband was held accountable, both personally and politically," and that "I'm not going to revisit it and re-litigate it."

Frostrup pointed out that she was talking about her response, not the original charges, and Clinton evaded again, trying to focus on the wider issue.

"The stories of the women coming forward now are reminders that this is not limited to one person in one walk of life," she said, saying that such cases are "common" and that more support needs to be given to "the women coming forwards."

Frostrup pushed again, and got a similar response, with Clinton telling her to "leave [the case] to history" and that while individual cases should judged on their own, it was more important to "shine a bright spotlight" on the "pattern" of abusive men.

This time, Frostrup let her go.

Clinton concluded her talk with words of support for gun control and birth control, and supporting NFL players who kneel before the anthem.

The athletes are not protesting the flag or anthem, she pointed out, but police violence against black people - and that they are kneeling, rather than turning away from the flag.

Their protest is "perfectly legitimate," she said. "Nobody should be offended by it unless they are choosing to be offended by it and their president is telling them to be offended by it."