Hillary Clinton still blames everyone else for her presidential defeat

Hillary Clinton still blames everyone else for her presidential defeat
In the months after the November presidential election, former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton still shifts blame for her surprising loss. When New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof asked her Thursday what led to her loss, she quipped, “How much time do we have?” (Mike Coppola/Getty Images)

Five months removed from the November election, former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton is still blaming everyone but herself for her electoral defeat.

Nearly every pollster expected Clinton — a former first lady, a onetime senator from New York, and the former secretary of state — to easily beat then-Republican nominee Donald Trump. But she didn’t, and now Trump is president.

Who’s to blame for her loss?

Clinton has a laundry list: Russia, the fact that she’s a woman, FBI Director James Comey, and the numerous WikiLeaks revelations. Clinton rattled off her explanation Thursday night, during an appearance at Tina Brown’s eighth annual Women in the World Summit in New York City.

According to the Observer, New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof, who was interviewing Clinton, said, “I’m looking for lessons learned, and in particular … to what extent do you assign blame to Bernie Sanders, to the media, for focusing on emails—”

The two-time presidential contender soon interjected: “How much time do we have?”

With regard to Russia and its potential interference in the United States’ political process, Clinton asserted that “a foreign power meddled with our election” in an “act of aggression.” She called for an independent and bipartisan investigation into what role the Kremlin might have played in the election and whether or not there was collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign.

Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, said last month that the committee is investigating whether the Trump campaign coordinated with Russian officials to spread “fake news” through online “bots” in hopes of swaying the election.

That investigation, however, has been plagued with controversy following House Intelligence Committee Chairman Devin Nunes’ (R-Calif.) visit to the White House hours before he announced that Trump and his associates may have been picked up in incidental surveillance collection during the 2016 election.

In a surprising move Thursday, Nunes announced that he has temporarily stepped aside while the House Ethics Committee investigates him for potential misconduct. He said any charges of wrongdoing are “entirely false and politically motivated.”

Clinton said there were “lots of contributing factors” that led to her demise, chief among them being Russia’s “weaponization of information.”

Clinton also pointed to Comey’s decision to wade into the election less than two weeks before Election Day, when he said on Oct. 28 that the FBI was looking into additional emails relating to its investigation into Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure at the State Department.

Ultimately, that review had no bearing on the bureau’s decision to recommend no charges against Clinton.

The former candidate also took issue with the weeks-long WikiLeaks disclosures of stolen emails from John Podesta, who was then serving as Clinton’s campaign chairman. She said those hacks “played a much bigger role than I think many people yet understand.”

Together, Clinton claimed Comey’s statement and the WikiLeaks revelations “had the determinative effect” on the electoral process.

“I didn’t fully understand how impactful that was and so it created doubts in people,” she said. “But then the Comey letter coming as it did — just 10 days before the election — really raised questions in a lot of people.”

Lastly, Clinton blamed misogyny for her loss — an unexpected end to a long journey and one she described as “devastating.”

“Certainly, misogyny played a role. That has to be admitted,” Clinton told eventgoers. “Some people — women included — had real problems” with a woman in the Oval Office.

Clinton, who is now writing a book examining her defeat against Trump, said it is unlikely she will ever seek political office again.

“I have no plans at all, other than, you know, trying to find some interesting things to do, trying to support other people to pursue their interests, spending time with my grandchildren, which is a great joy, so I’m just not making any plans to do anything,” Clinton said.

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