The White House might have had a hand, unwittingly or not, in why Hillary Clinton lost to Donald Trump.
The former first lady spoke publicly for the first time to address the Russian hacking controversy during a recent fund-raising event in New York. She accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of taking his own “personal beef” with her to another level.
“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 told the audience.
— Hollywood Reporter (@THR) December 16, 2016
“Make no mistake, as the press is finally catching up to the facts, which we desperately tried to present to them during the last months of the campaign,” she said. “This is not just an attack on me and my campaign, although that may have added fuel to it. This is an attack against our country. We are well beyond normal political concerns here. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation.”
But then again, she hinted that the White House is not without fault, too, for failing to control the scandal in relation to emails she sent while serving as the state secretary. When FBI Director James Comey released the letter on Oct. 28, just a few days before the elections, revealing a new probe into the emails, he unwittingly destroyed her chances in the swing states.
Hillary Clinton said during the fund-raiser that the two seemingly separate but “unprecedented” events created a perfect storm for her to lose the electoral votes despite being the consistent winner in popular votes.
For his part, President Obama vowed there would be a reckoning in the Russian hacking incident. He said the US needs to take action to make sure the attempt by Russia to influence the US elections will not go unanswered.
“And we will at a time and place of our own choosing,” he said. “Some of it may be explicit and publicized; some of it may not be.”
“There’s no doubt that it contributed to an atmosphere in which the only focus for weeks at a time, months at a time were Hillary’s emails, the Clinton Foundation, political gossip surrounding the DNC,” Obama added.
However, the President refused to directly correlate Hillary Clinton’s loss with the Russian hacks.
The Washington Times noted that the campaign team of the Democratic nominee had placed some of the blame for her loss to Trump on the laggard response of the White House against the Russian hacking incident.
John Podesta, who led Clinton’s campaign team, said Comey should be culpable to more than a slap on the wrist for his role in her loss. When the report about Russians trying to influence the electoral process came out, the FBI reportedly was late in informing them about it.
In fact, he said if not for WikiLeaks, they would not have known about the Russian hacking into his personal emails. That was on Oct. 7.
“Two days later, the FBI contacted me, and first thing the agent said to me was, ‘I don’t know if you’re aware, but your email account might have been hacked,'” Podesta recounted. “I said, ‘Yes, I was aware of that.'”
After that, the FBI did not talk to him again nor have they given any advice on how to deal with the hacking incident.
Meanwhile, the Sydney Morning Herald noted that that the Russian hacking incident into the former first lady’s campaign team has rallied both the Democrats and the Republicans to do something about the intervention.
[Featured Image by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images]