Hillary Clinton said Wednesday night that President Donald Trump keeps attacking her to distract the country from his own problems and to fire up his Republican base of supporters.
Appearing on "The Rachel Maddow Show," Clinton discussed the findings of special counsel Robert Mueller's report that the president had pressed his then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions to investigate Clinton.
"I'm living rent free inside of Donald Trump's brain, and it's not a very nice place to be, I can tell you that," the former Secretary of State told Maddow in her first television interview this year, calling the president's ongoing fixation on her a "diversion attack."
"I guess it is one of their tools to fire up their hard-core base," Clinton said.
"When in doubt, go after me...They know better. But this is part of their whole technique to divert attention from what the real story is. The real story is the Russians interfered in our election. And Trump committed obstruction of justice. That's the real story."
On Attorney General William Barr's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday, Clinton said calling for his resignation "makes perfect sense," although she did not excplicitly do so herself, as some Democrats have, and she cautioned that his conduct should not draw attention away from the Mueller report's findings.
She criticized Barr for behaving as "the president's defense lawyer."
"He is not the attorney general of the United States in the way he has conducted himself," Clinton added.
Clinton also did not call for launching impeachment proceedings against Trump, but urged Congress first to continue to investigate the president and see where it goes.
"There's a lot of important material to be explored, so you have to do it in a way that creates a narrative," Clinton told Maddow. "What is it you're finding out? Where does it lead? But, if it leads to the conclusion that this president has committed high crimes and misdemeanors, that's what should motivate the Congress to act."
Clinton said she was speaking out because of her concerns about continuing Russian efforts to interfere in U.S. elections, as Moscow did in 2016.
"I don't want it to happen again," she said.