Sunday 18 March 2018

Hillary Clinton blames herself - and misogyny, FBI and Russia - for defeat

Hillary Clinton has spoken about her defeat in the US presidential election (Kevin Hagen/AP)
Hillary Clinton has spoken about her defeat in the US presidential election (Kevin Hagen/AP)

Hillary Clinton has said she takes responsibility for her 2016 election loss to Donald Trump - but she believes misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI also played roles.

The former Democratic presidential nominee discussed the presidential contest during the Women for Women International's annual luncheon in New York.

Mrs Clinton said she was "on the way to winning" until a combination of events in the final days.

She cited the FBI director's letter to Congress resurrecting questions about her email practices and WikiLeaks' repeated release of her campaign's internal emails that "scared off" people.

She also said misogyny "played a role in this election".

She conceded she made mistakes, but added: "The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days."

Mrs Clinton said she has been going through the "painful" process of reliving the 2016 contest while writing a book.

"It wasn't a perfect campaign. There is no such thing," she said.

"But I was on the way to winning until a combination of (FBI director) Jim Comey's letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off."

She reminded the enthusiastic audience packed with women that she ultimately earned three million more votes than Mr Trump.

"If the election were on October 27, I would be your president," she said.

She also highlighted Russia's role in hacking into her campaign's internal emails and subsequently co-ordinating their release on WikiLeaks. US intelligence agencies are investigating whether Russia co-ordinated with Trump associates to influence the election.

"He (Russian President Vladimir Putin) certainly interfered in our election," Mrs Clinton said. "And it's clear he interfered to hurt me and help his opponent."

Asked whether she felt she was a victim of misogyny, Mrs Clinton said: "Yes, I do think it played a role," adding that misogyny is "very much a part of the landscape politically, socially and economically".

After two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, Mrs Clinton is not expected to run for public office again.

"I'm now back to being an active citizen," she said.


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