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Hillary Clinton on Tuesday took some responsibility for her historic loss in the presidential election, but mostly blamed a conspiracy against her.
“If the election had been on Oct. 27, I would be your president,” Clinton said at the Women for Women event in New York. But she said FBI director James Comey’s letter to Congress announcing that he had reopened his investigation into Clinton’s email practices, combined with the damage Russian hackers inflicted through their disclosure of campaign emails, raised just enough doubt in the minds of voters to cost her the election.
Clinton’s refusal to take full responsibility for her loss comes after a flurry of post-election critiques concluded the campaign she ran was deeply flawed, neglecting key groups of voters and failing to project a compelling message. Critics, including some Democrats, also charge Clinton brought the e-mail troubles on herself by setting up a private server in her home on which to conduct confidential government business.
“It wasn’t a perfect campaign, there is no such thing,” Clinton said, promising to reflect on her mistakes in an upcoming book she joked will be a “confession” and “request for absolution.”
“But I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28th and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off,” Clinton said. “There was a lot of funny business going on.”
She noted that it was only hours after the disclosure of an Access Hollywood videotape, in which Trump was caught on mic boasting about sexually accosting women, that the stolen emails of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, hit WikiLeaks, creating a distraction from Trump’s troubles.
“What a coincidence," Clinton said. “You can’t make this stuff up.”