Friday 27 April 2018

Trump hits back after Hillary blames sexism, the FBI and Russia for election loss

Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Photo: AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump and Hilary Clinton. Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Ruth Sherlock

Donald Trump has attacked Hillary Clinton on Twitter after she blamed misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI for her 2016 presidential election defeat.

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

"It wasn't a perfect campaign, there is no such thing, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey's letter," she said.

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

She said this, along with a decision by Wikileaks to periodically release dumps of stolen copies of her campaign's internal emails had "scared off" voters at a crucial part in the campaign.

Mrs Clinton said she was "on the way to winning" 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, who was interviewing her on stage at the New York event.

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

She also placed much of the blame on "unprecedented inference, including from a foreign power whose leader is not a member of my fan club". Mrs Clinton was referring to Russian President Vladimir Putin.

"It is real, it is very much a part of the landscape, political and socially and economically."

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

Mrs Clinton said she believed misogyny was a factor that prevented her becoming the first female US president. She appealed to the Trump administration "not end our efforts making women's rights and opportunities" central to US policy.

The US President later responded on social media.

"FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds!" he said.

"The phony Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?"

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