Clinton: FBI Letter and “Russian WikiLeaks” Cost Me Election

A last-minute intervention by FBI director James Comey and the leaking of Democratic Party officials’ private emails by “Russian WikiLeaks” scuppered Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign last year, the former secretary of state has claimed.

Clinton won the popular vote with a lead of nearly three million over her rival Donald Trump but failed to make it to the White House last November after failing to win the required electoral college votes.

In her first major interview since that shock loss, she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour: “The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days.”

These “events” were Comey’s decision to reopen the investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server for state business, four months after he recommended no criminal charges over the affair.

Such interference within 90-days of an election is almost unheard of in the US.

The second event was the leaking of damaging internal emails including those of her campaign chief John Podesta by WikiLeaks. It has since been concluded by the CIA and others that Kremlin-linked operatives were behind the leaks, ascribed to the “Guccifer 2.0” handle.

Speaking at a Women for Women International event in New York, Clinton claimed that the affair had “raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me and got scared off."

However, her campaign has been widely criticized for failing to connect with working class and younger voters, despite the widespread unpopularity of her opponent; something Clinton acknowledged during the interview.

“Did we make mistakes? Of course we did. Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes. You know, you’ll read my confession and my request for absolution”, she said.

Trump made great play out of both “events” on the campaign trail, declaring at one stage “I love WikiLeaks”, while Comey’s decision to very publicly reopen the email investigation played neatly into the “crooked Hillary” mantra Republicans had been touting for months.

However, despite promising a major cybersecurity shake-up once in power, Trump’s long-awaited executive order has so far failed to materialize, raising question marks about how big a priority it is for the administration.

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