World

Clinton: FBI director's letter, Russian hackers cost me presidency

USA: Mrs Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she was on the path to victory in the 2016 US presidential election until late interference by Russian hackers and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey scared off some potential supporters.

In her most extensive public comments on the Nov 8 election, Mrs Clinton told a New York conference she was derailed by Mr Comey's Oct 28 letter informing Congress that the FBI had re-opened a probe of her use of a private e-mail server and by WikiLeaks' release of campaign chairman John Podesta's e-mails, allegedly stolen by Russian hackers.

"If the election had been on Oct 27, I would be your president," she told a women's conference moderated by CNN's Christiane Amanpour.

"It wasn't a perfect campaign, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Comey's letter and Russian WikiLeaks," the Democrat said of her loss to Mr Donald Trump.

"The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days."

Mrs Clinton, who said she is going through the "painful process" of writing a book dealing in part with the election, also said misogyny played a role in her defeat.

Becoming the first woman US president would have been "a really big deal," she said.

Mrs Clinton took personal responsibility for the campaign's mistakes, but did not question her strategy or staff.

"I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had," she said.

The 69-year-old said she had no doubt that Russian President Vladimir Putin tried to influence the election for Mr Trump, and bluntly criticised the US President for some of his foreign policy views and for tweeting too much. "I'm back to being an activist citizen - and part of the resistance," she said.

She questioned Mr Trump's suggestion he would be willing to meet North Korean leader Kim Jong Un under the right circumstances. - REUTERS

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