We haven’t heard much from Hillary Clinton since her defeat in the 2016 election, but she’s definitely made her moments in the spotlight count, like when she gave an inspirational speech at her first public event since her concession. Now, Clinton has made headlines again by crediting her loss to the release of FBI director James B. Comey’s letter about her emails discovered right before the election and Vladimir Putin’s hacking attacks, The New York Times reports. And she thinks it’s because Vladimir Putin has “personal beef” against her.
Comey’s letter to Congress only days before the election revealed that more emails tied back to Clinton’s private email scandal had surfaced through a completely different investigation involving Anthony Weiner, who’s married to Clinton’s aide Huma Abedin. The new emails didn’t change the outcome of the investigation, but the media made them out to be a huge deal. This last nail in the coffin before the election didn’t go unnoticed by Clinton—the New York Times reports that only a few days after the election, she told campaign donors, “Our analysis is that Comey’s letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum.”
Now, Clinton’s new belief is that the Russian hacks were key to her defeat, telling more campaign donors this week that the Russians, under Putin’s rule, aimed to “undermine our democracy” by hacking into the Democratic National Committee. This isn’t the first time she’s gone head to head with Putin either – according to Business Insider, the two’s history reaches back to 2011, when Clinton debated whether Russian parliamentary elections were fair. Politico reports that Putin then blamed protests that followed the elections on Clinton, saying, “We need to safeguard ourselves from this interference in our internal affairs.”
“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 announced this week to donors. “This is an attack against our country…This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation.”
President Barack Obama is even seeking retailation for these hacking attacks, saying in a recent interview that the country must take action after this foreign disturbance and that “we will—at a time and place of our own choosing.” White House officials even labeled the Russian attack contributing to Clinton’s loss as “fact.”
President-elect Donald Trump has, of course, denied that the Russian hackings played any role in his win.
Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2016