Hillary Clinton blames Comey, Wikileaks for 2016 election loss

Hillary Clinton appeared to offer up a mixed message about her loss in the 2016 presidential election to Donald Trump, saying she was personally responsible – while also blaming the FBI director and Wikileaks.

"I take absolute personal responsibility," Clinton told CNN's Christiane Amanpour at the Women for Women International event. "I was the candidate; I was the person on the ballot."

But just a couple minutes later, Clinton said she "had a very strong assessment" that she was on the path to winning, until FBI Director James Comey publicly announced he might reopen the investigation into her use of a personal email server when she was secretary of State.

"I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey's letter on Oct. 28 and Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off," she said. "And the evidence for that intervening event is compelling, persuasive."

During her long-ranging interview with Amanpour, Clinton also blamed misogyny and Russian President Vladimir Putin's interference for her loss.

The U.S. intelligence community has blamed Russia for orchestrating a campaign of cyberattacks on Democratic political organizations with the goal of undermining public confidence in the democratic process and denigrate Clinton. During the campaign, anti-secrecy website WikiLeaks released the emails of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta and other Democratic officials.

Clinton, whose answers were in line with what she has already said publicly about her loss, pointed out that she still won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes.

Expect to learn more about her thoughts on the campaign when she releases her book about the experience.

Had she won, and became the first female president of the United States, "it would have been a really big deal," she said. "I am writing a book and it’s a painful process reliving the campaign."

© 2017 USA TODAY


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