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After spending the last five weeks out of the public eye, former Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, spoke to a group of campaign donors yesterday. In her speech to a room that donated over $1 billion to her campaign, she revealed the two “unprecedented” events that led to her loss. The first reason was FBI director James Comey’s careless handling of her email scandal. And the second was Russian President Vladimir Putin’s intrusion into the election.


In July, FBI director James Comey announced the bureau had concluded its probe into Clinton’s use of a private email server and recommended no criminal charges be filed against the former Secretary of State. However, just eleven days before the election, Comey sent a cryptic message to Congress saying the FBI was analyzing additional emails obtained in an unrelated case. Then just two days before the election, Comey announced the new emails hadn’t changed the FBI’s previous conclusion. “Swing-state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the FBI letter from Director Comey,” Clinton explained to donors.

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The second event that played a large role in her loss was Russia’s hacking of Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign staff email accounts. The emails revealed that former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz favored Clinton over Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders in the the Democratic primaries. Recently, both the CIA and the FBI have concluded that Russia was behind the hacks and that its President, Vladimir Putin, help direct the attacks.

In her speech, Clinton said that Russian hackers were enacting vengeance against her for claiming its 2011 parliamentary elections were rigged. “Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” Clinton said. But Clinton sees Russia’s tampering with the election as a far greater problem than how it affected her campaign. “This is an attack against our country,” Clinton said. “We are well beyond normal political concerns here. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation.”

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