Center for American Progress

RELEASE: In First Public Comments Since Las Vegas Mass Shooting, Secretary Hillary Clinton tells “Thinking CAP” Podcast the GOP Lawmakers and the NRA Are Complicit in Epidemic of American Gun Violence
Press Release

RELEASE: In First Public Comments Since Las Vegas Mass Shooting, Secretary Hillary Clinton tells “Thinking CAP” Podcast the GOP Lawmakers and the NRA Are Complicit in Epidemic of American Gun Violence

To request a transcript, please contact Sally Tucker at [email protected] 

Washington D.C. — Following the tragic news this morning out of Las Vegas—where reportedly more than 58 people were killed and 500 people were injured in the deadliest mass shooting yet in the United States— Michele Jawando and Igor Volsky, co-hosts of Center for American Progress’ Thinking CAP podcast sat down with former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to ask her about the tragedy, the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico, and the future of progressive politics. Said Secretary Clinton on the Thinking CAP podcast:

Until we change the political calculation for a lot of elected officials, and get a much more vigorous campaign undertaken by Moms Demand Action and the Brady folks and everybody else, we’re still just going to be fighting rear-guard actions. I obviously feel strongly about this and what we saw happen in Las Vegas was just another horrible example of, you know, people with too many guns and too few restraints being able to now kill … by shooting from a high-rise hotel into a concert, an outdoor venue concert. […] I just find it terrible and sickening.

Secretary Clinton added,

There’s a lot of things I’d like to see done, but unless we have people who will take this vote as a single issue as important to them to vote against the NRA, as it is for the NRA to promote people who will only vote on the gun issue, we cannot succeed.

When asked by Igor Volsky if congressional Republicans and the NRA are complicit in the epidemic of gun violence in this country, Clinton replied, “Of course they are.” She further expressed her frustration at the inability of elected leaders to pass sensible gun reform.

One of the first things that Trump did when he became president was to undo the regulation from the Obama era so, you know, mental health records no longer prevent you from buying a gun. In fact, being blind does not any longer prevent you from buying a gun. I mean, this is beyond absurd; this is evil. This is nothing but pure, unadulterated greed motivated by people who want to sell as many guns as they can. To engage in a falsity of fear and rhetoric about why everybody has to have guns and, you know, the evidence is just so clear that more guns do not keep you safer and more guns in the wrong hands lead to terrible incidents. But, you know, we’ve had 200 and, what, 73 events in this past year of mass shootings, which means four or more killed. So, yes, we see the horrors of Las Vegas; it happens every day. It’s part of the 91 people who get killed every single day by guns.

Jawando and Volsky also asked Secretary Clinton about President Donald Trump’s response to the humanitarian crisis in Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria.

I think that we’ve seen it for months now and I think Puerto Rico is the latest and most tragic example of having a president who is only the president for people who agree with him, who he spends his time fomenting their fears and their anger, resentment, grievance, whatever motivates them so that they stay in his corner. There is not any real attempt to reach out beyond that, you know, that base that he has cultivated. I was particularly, just gobsmacked—I love that word—just gobsmacked, over his attacking the mayor of San Juan. I saw a video of her wading through the flood waters. I saw her comforting people who had lost everything and were scared. I saw her pleading for help from her, you know, her government.

[…] This is the grossest kind of indifference and incompetence and we are losing lives and it’s beyond wrong. You know, look, whatever he is going to do when he goes down there, I hope will help, but the problem is so massive because the entire island is affected, roads are flooded out, they need more helicopters, they need more boots on the ground, they need more naval assets to deliver supplies.

[…] There is just so much more that could be done. […] It’s another example of, as I say, indifference and incompetence and a lot of it is what he cares about, who he cares about, his belief that what he has to do is keep his base loyal and keep the Republicans and Congress in line and that’s what I think he prioritizes.

Hosts Jawando and Volsky also spoke with Secretary Clinton about whether there is a need to regulate Facebook and Twitter, given new revelations about Russian operatives’ use of the social media platforms. They discussed the 2016 presidential election, the start of the U.S. Supreme Court term, and how her faith has supported her since November 8, 2016.

The full interview with Secretary Clinton will be released on Thursday on iTunes. If you are interested in receiving a transcript of the interview, please contact Sally Tucker at [email protected] or 202.481.8103.