Former Hillary Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said Tuesday that he takes the former secretary of state at her word that she does not intend to run for president in 2020.
“I take her at her word,” Podesta told CNN’s Erin Burnett on “Erin Burnett OutFront.”
“She’s not running for president – we’ve got a lot of great candidates out there right now, and I think the Democratic primary is going to be a spirited one with a lot of great ideas coming forward.”
“I think she would have been a great president but that’s in the past and she said she’s not running,” he added.
CNN’s Jeff Zeleny reported Sunday that Clinton is telling people she’s not closing the doors to the idea of a 2020 campaign.
“I’m told by three people that as recently as this week, she was telling people that, look, given all this news from the indictments, particularly the Roger Stone indictment, she talked to several people, saying, ‘Look, I’m not closing the doors to this,’” Zeleny said.
He added that another friend of Clinton’s told him, “it would surprise me greatly if she actually did it.”
Clinton made a historic run for the White House in 2016, becoming the first woman to receive the presidential nomination from one of the two major American political parties.
Since her defeat in November 2016, she has remained in the news cycle. She wrote a book about her defeat, titled “What Happened,” and embarked on a lengthy tour in support of that book. She’s recently also embarked on a speaking tour with her husband, former President Bill Clinton.
Podesta said Tuesday that while he wished Clinton had become president 2016, another Clinton run was not in store.
“I love her, I wish she was president – she got 3 million more votes than Donald Trump, she would have been a great president,” he said. “But she says she’s not running for president, and I think this is media catnip.”
Podesta added that Clinton is currently “in Puerto Rico trying to help the people that Donald Trump has abandoned – through the Clinton foundation, trying to bring some relief.”
Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren visited Puerto Rico earlier this month, saying that Trump treated Puerto Rico with “extraordinary disrespect” in managing disaster aid following Hurricane Maria.