While the country is reeling from Donald Trump’s surprise win in Tuesday’s presidential election, Hillary Clinton has an explanation.
According to the New York Times, Clinton blamed F.B.I. Director James Comey for her loss in a conference call with campaign donors on Saturday. Comey’s “groundless, baseless” letter to Congress days before the election “stopped our momentum,” said Clinton.
Clinton’s comments on the call mark her first statements since conceding the election on Wednesday morning.
“We dropped [in the polls], and we had to keep really pushing to regain our advantage, which going into last weekend, we had,” Clinton said. “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 to put it back together.”
The Democratic nominee said that Comey’s second letter, which cleared her of any wrongdoing, proved to be even more damaging. It simply reinforced the idea put forth by Trump that the political system is “rigged,” and turned out his base in even greater numbers.
Clinton was widely expected to win Tuesday’s election, but ended up losing a number of states won by Barack Obama in 2012, including Pennsylvania, Florida and Ohio, ultimately costing her the race.
In her emotional concession speech delivered the next morning, Clinton thanked and apologized to her supporters while also reminding them that the country owes Trump “a chance to lead.”
“We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought but I still believe in America and I always will,” she said. “We must accept this result and look to the future.”