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Hillary Clinton says she blames Russian interference, Comey letter for 2016 loss

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at length about what went wrong during her 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, touching on Russian interference, FBI Director James Comey.
Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at length about what went wrong during her 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, touching on Russian interference, FBI Director James Comey.

Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton spoke at length about what went wrong during her 2016 presidential campaign on Tuesday afternoon in an interview with Christiane Amanpour, touching on Russian interference, FBI Director James Comey, and sexism.

‘‘It wasn’t a perfect campaign. There is no such thing,’’ Clinton said. ‘‘But I was on the way to winning until a combination of Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.’’

She also took a few hits at Trump.

“Remember, I did win more than 3 million votes than my opponent. So, it’s like, really?” Clinton said.

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Amanpour added: “I see a tweet coming!”

“Fine — you know, better that than interfering in foreign affairs,” Clinton said. “If he wants to tweet about me, I’m happy to be the diversion, because we’ve got lots of other things to worry about, and he should worry less about the election and my winning the popular vote than doing some other things that would be important to the country.”

Asked whether she was targeted by Vladimir Putin, she said the Russian leader “certainly interfered in our election, and it was clear he interfered to hurt me and help my opponent.”

Clinton also said she had been very critical of the Russian leader during her time as secretary of state. She said after criticizing him, Russians protested in the streets, leading Putin to blame her.

“It kind of went downhill from there,” Clinton said, as the audience laughed.

She expanded on that thought, highlighting the apparent policy shift between previous administrations and the current one.

“We do speak out against rigged elections — it goes with the territory. At least, it did prior to this administration,” Clinton said.

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She also reserved some implicit criticism for Comey.

“If the election had been on October 27th, I’d be your president,” she said, referring to the day before Comey’s letter to Congress about the investigation of Clinton’s private e-mail server.

Asked whether she believes sexism is still prevalent in the United States — and in particular whether it was present during the 2016 campaign — Clinton laughed.

“Yes, I do think it played a role,” she said. “It is real. It is very much a part of the landscape politically and socially and economically.”