Democratic presidential hopeful Hillary Rodham Clinton visited “The Tonight Show” on Wednesday, making her first late-night appearance since declaring her presidential candidacy in April.
In a sit-down with host Jimmy Fallon, she addressed the controversy surrounding her use of a private email account while she was secretary of State, encouraged Fallon to feel her very real hair and, of course, discussed Donald Trump’s unlikely status as Republican front-runner.
Compared to her Republican rivals Trump, former Gov. Jeb Bush, Gov. Chris Christie and Sen. Ted Cruz, Clinton has been slow to hit the late-night circuit in support of her campaign. Since kicking off her 2016 campaign, Clinton has granted interviews to just a handful of national media outlets, including MSNBC and CNN.
But the former first lady, facing a surprisingly strong challenge from fiery Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders, may be feeling the pressure to get her message out to a broader portion of the electorate and steal back some of the thunder from her rivals.
Fallon opened the conversation by asking Clinton -- who awkwardly referred to the show’s house band the Roots as “Roots,” like the 1977 miniseries, in a moment that was cut from the broadcast -- how long she thought Trump might last in the race.
“I think that he’s going to go as long as he wants to go and more power to him,” said the ever-cautious Clinton, who was also making her first visit to “Tonight” since Fallon took over from Jay Leno last year. “He’s making the most out of it and I’m having a good time watching it.” (Pssst, Hillary, you’re not the only one.)
Asked by Fallon, who likened Clinton to “if [mixed martial arts fighter] Ronda Rousey shopped at Ann Taylor Loft,” whether she was tough enough to be president, she responded with what appeared to be a veiled dig at the famously volatile Trump.
“There are problems in the world and there are, believe it or not, some people who don’t agree with us and might want to cause some mischief. You have to be prepared to do it in a sensible, smart way, not bullying, but with a little more diplomacy.”
Then, not to be outdone by Trump, Clinton offered to let Fallon touch her hair, just to prove how real it is.
“You can’t say the same thing about the color,” she said, “but the hair is real.”
Fallon then brought up the pesky email situation, wondering if Clinton wanted to keep her account under wraps because, like his mother, she writes her entire message in the subject line and was embarrassed for the world to find out.
Clinton said, “Nothing that was sent at the time, or received, was secret. This was all retroactive. It’s a little hard to explain but sometimes different government agencies argue about what should or shouldn’t be what’s called classified.”
She also clarified the now infamous gefilte fish email, explaining that she’d been asked to help get the delicacy into Israel in time for Passover -- clearly an international emergency.
“The headline should be, ‘Grandma knows how to use email,’” Fallon joked.
Elsewhere in the broadcast, the host and Clinton also had a bit of fun at the Donald’s expense. In a sketch that imagined a phone call between the two candidates, “Trump” -- a.k.a. Fallon in bronzer and a yellow wig -- offered up unsolicited campaign advice as Clinton took generous swigs from a glass of wine and rolled her eyes.
The former New York senator also asked her rival, who has been widely criticized for sexist remarks, about his stance on women’s issues.
“Look, I know a lot of women,” Fallon as Trump replied, “and they all have issues."
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