Maggie Hassan clarifies: 'Yes,' Hillary Clinton is trustworthy

Story highlights

  • Earlier, Hassan ducked the question in CNN interview
  • The NH gov is challenging Kelly Ayotte for Senate

(CNN)New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan said Tuesday that "yes," she thinks Hillary Clinton is honest and trustworthy -- the day after the New Hampshire senate candidate declined to say so in a CNN interview.

Earlier this week, Hassan spoke to CNN's Manu Raju, who asked Hassan whether she considered Clinton honest and trustworthy -- an issue that has plagued the Democratic presidential nominee. Hassan declined to answer the question three times, dodging and instead praising Clinton's other qualities.
    Speaking to WMUR in New Hampshire on Tuesday, Hassan was more direct in her response when asked if she thought Clinton was trustworthy. "Yes, as do military and national security experts from both political parties," Hassan answered.
    The exchange for Hassan is symptomatic of the difficulties down-ticket candidates have had running for reelection in a cycle shaped by deeply unpopular presidential nominees.
    Both Hassan and her Senate rival in New Hampshire, incumbent Kelly Ayotte, at times have been forced to grapple with the unpopularity at the top of their party's ticket -- in Hassan's case, answering questions about Clinton's trustworthiness and public record; for Ayotte, answering questions about Donald Trump's divisive rhetoric and controversial policy positions. Ayotte has notably declined to offer Trump her full endorsement, though she has said she intends to vote for her party's nominee.
    A recent WBUR poll of the senate race in New Hampshire found Hassan leading Ayotte 50% to 40%.