During her first interview following her stunning general election loss last November, the former Democratic presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton, cited four factors as being responsible for her “devastating” loss to the Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. In the interview with the New York Times’ Nicholas Kristof at Tina Brown’s eighth annual Women in the World Summit in New York City, Clinton listed four major factors for her defeat; Russia’s meddling, misogyny, FBI Director James Comey and WikiLeaks, according to NBC News.
Clinton claimed that Russia’s meddling in the general election was a primary factor for her loss. She described the meddling as “an act of aggression” by a foreign power and called for an independent and bipartisan investigation into the alleged interference in the U.S. presidential election. She also said that a congressional probe should investigate allegations of collusion between Trump and Russian operatives who worked to tilt the election in Trump’s favor.
The second factor that Clinton blamed for her loss at the general election was “misogyny.” The former secretary of state insisted that “misogyny played a role” in her loss.
“That has to be admitted,” she said.
Clinton argued that “some people — women included — were hostile to the idea “of a female president.
“It was the memes on Facebook,” said Clinton. “Those goddamn memes.” pic.twitter.com/iV7Myi7chG— Bucky Isotope (@BuckyIsotope) April 7, 2017
She identified FBI Director Comey as the third factor for her loss, saying that Comey’s unprecedented step of releasing a letter to Congress on October 28, less than two weeks before Election Day, was damaging to her campaign.
Comey announced about 10 days before Election Day that he had sent a letter informing Congress that the FBI was looking at new emails relating to previous FBI investigation of Clinton’s use of a private email server when she was secretary of state.
The Clinton campaign protested the timing of the announcement, saying that it amounted to meddling in the election because it would raise doubts in the minds of some voters.
But Comey later announced, two days before Election Day, that FBI investigators had looked at the emails and found that most of them were duplicates of previous emails they had seen, and there was no chance that they could lead to any charges against Clinton.
Clinton also identified WikiLeaks’s release of emails stolen from her campaign and from the personal email account of her campaign chairman John Podesta as having had a damaging impact on her campaign.
"We should've, and still should, take out [Assad's] airfields..." - Hillary Clinton last night prior to U.S. airstrike on Syria. pic.twitter.com/VVbzMUARk2— Good Morning America (@GMA) April 7, 2017
Clinton said the leaked emails played “a much bigger role than I think many people understand.”
She said that her loss was largely the combined effect of WikiLeaks’ release of stolen emails and Comey’s announcement close to Election Day. She described Russia’s interference in the general election as “weaponization of information.”
“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.”
Responding to a question about her own role in her election loss, Clinton admitted that “there were things she could have done better.”
Asked for her opinion about Trump’s administration, Clinton expressed concern about what she described as Trump’s “commitment to hurt to so many people.” She cited Trump’s immigration policy and his slashing of funding for the UN Population Fund as having a negative impact on many.
“I don’t understand the commitment to hurt so many people that this administration, this White House, seems to be pursuing,” She said.
She also cited the administration’s failure to repeal and replace the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act (ACA) with a Republican alternative.
“What they did or tried to do on the health care bill, which I will confess to this — having listened to them talking about repeal and replace for 8 years, or 7 years now, and they had not a clue what that meant,” she said. “They had no idea. I don’t know that any of them had ever even read the bill.”
She described the personal impact of her loss as “devastating.” She said she was writing a book about it and expressed doubt that she would ever seek public office again.
[Featured Image by Michael Loccisano/Getty Images]