Hillary Clinton is understandably shattered after losing the presidency and not just because she missed out on the chance to return to the White House as the President of the United States, but also because she lost to a candidate many saw as the election “clown”. And now, Hillary has come out to blame the renewed FBI inquiry into her State Department email system for blunting her momentum in the presidential election and the closure of that inquiry two days before Election Day for energising voters for Donald Trump.
“There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” Clinton told top donors on a farewell conference call on Saturday local time.
“But our analysis is that (FBI Director James B) Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum,” said Clinton.
“We dropped, and we had to keep really pushing ahead to regain our advantage – which going into the last weekend, we had. We were once again up in all but two of the battleground states, and we were up considerably in some that we ended up losing. And we were feeling like we had put it back together,” she continued.
The surprise announcement of a revival of the shuttered FBI inquiry came at a time when the campaign was riding high, Clinton said.
“After the third debate we felt so good about where we were,” she said.
“We were up considerably in all but two of the battleground states where we were tied or one behind, according to our data,” Clinton said. “We were tied in Arizona. We just had a real wind at our back,” said Clinton.
When the inquiry was opened, Clinton’s campaign insisted nothing would turn up, and many Democrats accused Comey of an ulterior motive. After all, he was once a registered Republican. However, Clinton did not make that accusation on Saturday.
Clinton said what should have been good news essentially backfired and by the time Comey on Sunday issued another letter to Congress, concluding that the nine-day examination of newly discovered emails had turned up nothing to change his earlier conclusion that there had been no criminal conduct, it was already too late.
The mistake that cost her the presidency
Although many accused Clinton of using the private system for her government communication to keep her work secret, she has said the decision was a mistake. Ultimately, it may have cost her the presidency as the e-mail scandal had opened the door to the FBI inquiry in the midst of her second run for the White House.
“I am heartbroken,” she said on Saturday, with a sad laugh. “I’m not going to pretend otherwise. This is a very, very tough loss and especially because everyone worked so hard.”