Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's campaign has passed plenty of blame around for her surprising Election Day loss, blaming everyone from FBI Director James Comey to longtime confidante Huma Abedin. But now Clinton herself is shifting the responsibility to the Russian Bear.
In her first appearance since the leaked CIA report that Russia interfered in the U.S. presidential election, Clinton said Thursday that the Russians attempted to "undermine our democracy" through cyberattacks centered on Democratic targets.
But it was what she said next, according to the New York Times, that is perhaps most intriguing. The former secretary of state, speaking to a group of campaign donors in Manhattan, said the hacking into the Democratic National Committee and into the emails of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, were a result of Russian President Vladimir Putin's "personal beef" with her.
"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people," Clinton said, "and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election."
Clinton was referring to her accusation that Russia's 2011 parliamentary elections were rigged. At the time, the then-secretary of state said she had "serious concerns" about the integrity of the elections and called for a "full investigation" into the process.
"The Russian people, like people everywhere, deserve the right to have their voices heard and their votes counted," she said then. "And that means they deserve free, fair, transparent elections and leaders who are accountable to them."
Clinton's comments come after President Barack Obama vowed to "take action" against Russia and follows a report that the outgoing president held off from retaliating against Putin because believed President-elect Donald Trump was going to lose.