Hillary Clinton has named Donald Trump as a chief threat to democracy in the United States.
The former presidential candidate said the United States is in a “moment of peril, like none we’ve seen since the end of the Cold War” – and that “democratic institutions were under threat” on several fronts.
“The president is degrading the rule of law, delegitimising our elections, spreading corruption, undermining the national unity that makes democracy possible, and discrediting truth, facts and reason itself,” she said in a keynote address at Oxford University.
Criticising the Muslim travel ban and the barring of transgender Americans from military service, Mrs Clinton reserved special condemnation for the “unspeakable cruelty” of separating families of undocumented migrants at the southern US border.
Her condemnation extended beyond her own country, however, with blame for the attack on democracy also directed at Russia.
Mrs Clinton accused the Kremlin of “waging cyber warfare and manipulating social media” to influence democratic processes and “cripple democracies” by influencing elections and referenda.
Explicitly extending claims of meddling to Brexit, she expressed support for calls by MPs Tom Watson and Damian Collins for a public enquiry into illegal activity in the referendum.
“I don’t understand why the press, the political establishment and the public are so reluctant to call out what the Russians have been doing,” she said.
“What they did in Brexit, what they did in the United States.”
At a time when the British government is in negotiation its departure and future relation from the EU, the former first lady criticised its relationship with Victor Orban – the far right, anti-migrant Hungarian prime minister.
“It’s disheartening to watch conservatives in Brussels vote to shield Victor Orban from censure – including British Tories,” Ms Clinton said. “They’ve come a long way from the party of Churchill and Thatcher.”
She made the speech at the Bonavero Institute of Human Rights, an Oxford University institute holding a conference on illiberalism to mark the 70th anniversary of the universal declaration of human rights.
The wide-ranging comments also took aim at China – and particularly a “social credit system” being developed by the government as a means to rate citizens based on their behaviour and control what they can access accordingly.
Ms Clinton called the system “an experiment in constructing a terrifying new gulag where big brother is everywhere and privacy and dignity are obsolete”.