OPINION: This article may contain commentary which reflects the author’s opinion.
Florida Republican Rep. Byron Donalds, whose name has reportedly been mentioned as a potential running mate for leading 2024 GOP presidential contender Donald Trump, tore into the former president’s 2016 opponent, then-Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, during an on-air segment with CNN recently.
The GOP lawmaker was asked about comments the former first lady made in which she compared members of the Republican Party and their voters to being in a “cult.”
“How do you feel about being told you’re in a cult?” Donalds was asked during a recent appearance on CNN.
“I stopped caring about what Hillary Clinton had to say long ago because she lost a long, long time ago,” Donalds replied. “And she’s largely irrelevant as far as I’m concerned. But to a broader level, since Hillary wants to engage, allow me to engage.
“You lied multiple times, you destroyed emails, you destroyed evidence, and then you laundered phony information that you knew was phony into the intelligence community because you were scared you were going to lose,” Donalds continued. “You did all this, and you still lost, so I’m not going to listen to Hillary Clinton about who I should and should not support.”
“She has lied to the American people repeatedly. She used our government to spy on the campaign of one of her opponents. Yes, America, she did that. So if people like talking about Watergate and Nixon, look no further than Hillary Clinton and the Crossfire Hurricane,” he said, alluding to the code name of the FBI’s ‘Russia collusion’ investigation into Trump and his 2016 campaign that was launched during the final months of Barack Obama’s administration.
Clinton served as Obama’s secretary of state until 2013, when she left to prepare to run for president.
The FBI never found any evidence that Trump worked with Russian President Vladimir Putin to steal the election from Clinton, as she and most Democrats at the time claimed. Multiple congressional probes and a special counsel investigation headed by former FBI Director Robert Mueller also found no evidence to support the accusation.
Clinton called Trump an “illegitimate president” for years after his victory.
“I tried really hard, but then literally from his inauguration on, it was nothing but, you know, accusing people of things, making up facts,” she told the co-hosts of “The View” earlier this fall. “Everything that I worried about I saw unfolding, and so I think that he’d be even worse now because he was somewhat restrained—believe it or not—in the first term by people who he hired because he thought they would go along with him and they stood up to him.”
In November, Clinton claimed that another Trump term in the Oval Office would mean the “end of our country as we know it” during an appearance on ABC’s “The View.”
Sunny Hostin, a co-host, asked Clinton what she thought a second Trump term would look like.
“I can’t even think that. Because I think it would be the end of our country as we know it,” Clinton began. “And I don’t say that lightly.”
The former first lady and secretary of state then claimed that she advocated for giving Trump a chance after losing to him in 2016.
“You know, I hated losing. And I especially hated losing to him because I had seen some of the warning signals during the campaign,” Clinton continued. “But I immediately said, ‘Look, we have to give him a chance, we’ve got to support, you know, the president we have,’ and I meant it.”
“I tried really hard, but then literally from his inauguration on, it was nothing but, you know, accusing people of things, making up facts,” she added. “Everything that I worried about I saw unfolding, and so I think that he’d be even worse now because he was somewhat restrained — believe it or not — in the first term by people who he hired because he thought they would go along with him and they stood up to him.”