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Hillary Clinton says she won't run for president again, urges GOP to 'grow a backbone'

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Hillary Clinton attending the Opening Gala and premiere of "White Noise" at the Venice Film Festival on August 31. Clinton said she will never again run for president during an interview with CBS News. Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI
Hillary Clinton attending the Opening Gala and premiere of "White Noise" at the Venice Film Festival on August 31. Clinton said she will never again run for president during an interview with CBS News. Photo by Rune Hellestad/ UPI | License Photo

Sept. 7 (UPI) -- Former first lady and Secretary of State and onetime Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton says her chance to become president has passed.

In an interview with CBS News on Tuesday night, Clinton said she will never again run for the White House.

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"No, no," she said when asked if her future plans include another presidential run. But she indicated that she will remain active in politics.

"I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that we have a president who respects our democracy and the rule of law and upholds our institutions," she added.

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Clinton also underscored a hope that Donald Trump -- who beat her for the White House in 2016 -- will be "soundly defeated" if he runs again on the Republican ticket in 2024.

"It should start in the Republican Party," she added. "Grow a backbone. Stand up to this guy ... And heaven forbid if he gets the nomination, he needs to be defeatedly roundly and sent back to Mar-a-Lago."

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Clinton made her remarks amid a federal investigation of documents that Trump took with him from the White House to Mar-a-Lago -- including many that were marked "classified." The FBI came up with the documents during a search of his Florida home last month.

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During her campaign for president six years ago, Trump assailed Clinton for sensitive materials that she sent over a private, non-secure email server. She was ultimately cleared of criminal wrongdoing, but the FBI said she had acted carelessly with the materials.

Clinton said the two situations are completely different.

"I was cleared and [then-FBI Director James Comey] just kept talking and talking," she said. "And then [he] came up with a new reason to talk some more 10 days before the election.

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"So I think it's a really different comparison to what's going on here when it appears that the Justice Department and the FBI have been incredibly patient, quiet, careful, until they finally apparently thought that national security was at stake."

Clinton also revealed that she watched the public hearings of the House Jan. 6 committee this summer and gained a new respect for GOP Rep. Liz Cheney, who's been a top critic of Trump. She will be leaving Congress, however, after losing her primary race in Wyoming last month and said she may even run for president.

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The former first lady also commended Cassidy Hutchinson, a former aide in Trump's White House who gave perhaps the most dramatic testimony of all the hearings.

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"That goes to a point about being a gutsy woman," Clinton said. "The couple of young women who have come forward out of the Trump White House, they have been vilified. They had to have known that they were going to be criticized.

"But I give them enormous credit for speaking the truth and doing the right thing."

Clinton, 74, was widely expected to win the presidency in 2016 and become the first female U.S. president. Since then, there has been speculation about whether she might ever run again.

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