‘Honest Abe never lied’: Trump mocks Clinton for citing Lincoln at debate

Liz Goodwin
Senior National Affairs Reporter

ST. LOUIS — Hillary Clinton defended saying in a paid speech that politicians need both “a public and a private” position on certain issues, claiming she was talking about President Abraham Lincoln.

“As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called ‘Lincoln,’” Clinton said. “It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment.”

Hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign chair, John Podesta, recently showed up on the WikiLeaks site on Friday, revealing apparent excerpts from speeches Clinton gave to Wall Street firms and other private groups. (The Clinton campaign has declined to authenticate the emails, and the debate is the first time she has responded to them.)

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“If everybody’s watching, you know, all of the backroom discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous, to say the least,” Clinton said in 2013 to the National Multifamily Housing Council, according to the email dump. “So you need both a public and a private position.”

ABC’s Martha Raddatz asked Clinton whether it was “OK for politicians to be two-faced.”

Clinton said Lincoln used different arguments with different members of Congress to get them to abolish slavery, calling his tactics “principled and strategic.” She then condemned the hack, saying she believed it was evidence that Russia was interfering in the U.S. election to favor Trump.

Trump hit back, making fun of Clinton for comparing her comments to the actions of Lincoln.

“She lied. Now she’s blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln,” Trump said. “Honest Abe never lied. That’s the big difference between Abraham Lincoln and you. That’s a big, big difference. We’re talking about some difference.”

Trump added he didn’t believe that the hacks came from Russia and that he has no special ties to the country. “I know nothing about Russia,” he said.

His campaign also piled on via Twitter: