Thursday 14 December 2017

Misogyny, FBI decisions and Russian interference cost me election - Clinton

Hillary Clinton. Photo: Reuters
Hillary Clinton. Photo: Reuters

Ruth Sherlock

Hillary Clinton has said she believes misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI all caused her to lose the 2016 presidential election.

The former Democratic nominee reflected on her crushing loss to Donald Trump at the Women for Women International's annual luncheon in New York.

Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands during a joint news conference yesterday. Photo: Reuters
Russian President Vladimir Putin and German Chancellor Angela Merkel shake hands during a joint news conference yesterday. Photo: Reuters

"It wasn't a perfect campaign, there is no such thing, but I was on the way to winning," she said.

But then Jim Comey, the FBI director, submitted a letter to the US Congress, in late October - just over a week before the election - announcing he had reopened an investigation into Ms Clinton's use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.

She said this and a decision by WikiLeaks to periodically release dumps of copies of her campaign's internal emails that were taken from hacked servers had "scared off" voters at a crucial part in the campaign.

Ms Clinton believes she would have won until this combination of events in the final days.

"If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president," she told CNN's Christiane Amanpour. She conceded she made mistakes but said: "The reason I believe we lost was the intervening events in the last 10 days."

She also placed much of the blame on "unprecedented interference, including from a foreign power whose leader is not a member of my fan club".

Ms Clinton was referring to Russian president Vladimir Putin. "It is real, it is very much a part of the landscape, politically and socially and economically."

The former First Lady pointed out that despite these obstacles, she won the popular vote, even if not the Electoral College.

Ms Clinton said she believed that misogyny was a factor that prevented her becoming the first female US president.

She appealed to the Trump administration "not [to] end our efforts making women's rights and opportunities" central to policy.

Meanwhile, during a tense appearance with German Chancellor Angela Merkel, Mr Putin denied yesterday that Moscow ever interferes in elections in other countries.

Speaking during a joint news conference following talks at his Black Sea residence, Mr Putin said accusations of meddling in the 2016 US presidential election were "simply rumours" that were being used as part of the political fight in Washington. He also denied interfering in European elections.

US intelligence agencies say they have definitive evidence that Russia was behind the hacking of Democratic email accounts, with the aim of benefiting Mr Trump's campaign and harming Ms Clinton.

Ms Merkel said she was confident that Germany can weather any disinformation campaign targeting its upcoming election.

Ms Merkel said Germany would take "decisive measures" if it believed there was foreign meddling in the election, adding it was well-known that "hybrid warfare plays a role in Russia's military doctrine". (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Telegraph.co.uk

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