In a new cover interview with Variety, the daughter of Bill and Hillary Clinton urges the 66 million people who voted for her mother in the 2016 presidential election to use their voices to resist Trump.
“Everything that took you to the polls that day, hopefully takes you to the streets, takes you to social media, takes you into conversations at work, at home, wherever you may be — to talk about what’s really at risk in this moment. Because I think everything is at risk,” says Clinton, 37. “Our fundamental rights, our fundamental security, are at risk. If you also believe that, raise your voice and help others raise their voices. If we don’t, we’re going to have a country that doesn’t look like the country that we live in today. This is not the time to be silent or stay on the sidelines.”
“We know the majority of our country doesn’t support what’s happening,” adds Clinton, who confirmed to Variety that she has no plans to run for public office. “We need to make it clear that we’re not the silent majority.”
For her part, the former first daughter says she’s “deeply committed” to making a difference not just by “raising my voice in opposition,” but also through her teaching at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health and through her work as vice chair of the Clinton Foundation, the nonprofit charitable organization founded by her father in 1997.
The foundation’s mission, she says, is “to make a positive, impactful, empowering difference in whatever ways we can,” including in areas like women’s rights, global health and climate change.
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That description is a far cry from the accusations the organization faced during the 2016 election. The Clinton Foundation was under heavy scrutiny as some Republicans alleged that the organization was corrupt and dishonest, and Trump himself called for a special prosecutor to investigate Hillary Clinton’s involvement with the foundation during her time as secretary of state.
Chelsea Clinton says she’s frustrated with the way the organization was covered during the campaign and that she hopes to revive the foundation now that the race is over.
“The strangest part has been the cognitive dissonance that seems to exist between the perception around the foundation for people who don’t know our work, and the actual work,” she says. “I wish that most of the coverage had been factual, and had paid attention to what GuideStar, Charity Watch, or our tax filings said. I hope now that we’re out of the political season, there will be more focus on the work.”
“The lies were absolutely frustrating because the facts didn’t seem sufficient to put them to rest,” she adds. “I think that was so odd about the whole experience — either the truth was insufficient or people just didn’t care. And, really, I am so grateful to everyone who works at the foundation, who just kept doing their work.”
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Clinton, who has two young kids, Charlotte, 2, and Aidan, 10 months, with husband Marc Mezvinsky, says that when it comes to balancing her career and motherhood, she learned from the best.
“I think the best advice I ever received was from my mom,” she says. “Maybe it isn’t so much advice, as just the example that she set for me growing up, where I certainly saw her work hard, but I never doubted I was the most important person in her life. She talked to me about what she was doing, how her work connected to our life. And so now, even though my kids are super young, I talk to them about the work I’m doing.”