Former Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton relived last year’s election loss, as she previewed her forthcoming book alongside CNN’s Christiane Amanpour at an event in New York City.
‘Had the election been on October 27 I’d be your president,’ Clinton said, pointing to James Comey’s letter to Congress on October 28, Wikileaked emails from Russia and misogyny as the trio of reasons for her loss.
Clinton, who was speaking at a Women for Women International event, said she definitely deserved some of the blame too.
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Hillary Clinton appeared Tuesday in New York and talked about how she lost last year’s presidential election
Clinton claimed that ‘had the election been on October 27 I’d be your president,’ citing statistics from Nate Silver’s website and pointing to the James Comey letter that she believed help derail her campaign
Hillary Clinton (right) sat opposite of CNN’s Christiane Amanpour (left) who asked her how she lost to President Donald Trump
‘Did I make mistakes? Oh my gosh, yes. You’ll read my confession and my request for absolution,’ she said, making several plugs for her next book throughout her appearance.
‘But the reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days,’ the former secretary of state said.
While the new best-selling book ‘Shattered,’ portrays Clinton’s campaign as a mess, the candidate didn’t throw her aides under the bus.
‘I’m very proud of the staff and the volunteers and the people who were out there day after day. It wasn’t a perfect campaign. There is no such thing,’ she said.
‘But I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28,’ she said, along with ‘Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for, but got scared off.’
Comey sent a letter to members of Congress informing them that more of Clinton’s emails had been discovered as part of a separate case.
It ignited a media firestorm.
Three days before the election, Comey wrote to Congress again, saying that the emails found had been looked through and didn’t change the FBI’s previous assessment that Clinton could not be charged with a crime for mishandling classified information due to her using a private email serve to conduct government business.
She pointed to numbers guru Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight and said it was his assessment that had the election been held on October 27, she would have won.
‘Oh, I think it would have been a really big deal,’ Clinton replied of what could have been.
Clinton would have been the first woman elected U.S. president.
‘I’m writing a book and it’s a painful process reliving the campaign,’ she said. ‘As you might guess,’ she added.
‘But I think that partly here at home there were important messages that that could have sent our own daughters, granddaughters, grandsons and sons,’ Clinton said of her winning the election.
Internationally, too, she believed it would have shown progress for women’s rights.
‘Part of what I really believe is that women’s rights is the unfinished business of the 20th century,’ she said. ‘There is no more important, larger issue, that has to be addressed.’
When Amanpour asked Clinton if misogyny still existed in the United States, the former secretary of state laughed.
‘The book is coming out in the fall,’ she said.
‘Just to give you a tiny little preview, yes, I do think it played a role. I think other things did as well,’ she added. ‘Every day that goes by we learn more about some of the unprecedented interference, including from a foreign power whose leader is not a member of my fan club.’
Through the course of the interview, Clinton explained the genesis of the beef Russian President Vladimir Putin had with her too.
During her tenure as secretary of state, Putin, who had been term limited as president and was serving a prime minister, decided to run for the presidency once again in 2012, in an election that Clinton described as ‘rigged.’
‘We do speak about rigged elections, that kind of goes with the territory,’ she said of her job as secretary of state. ‘At least, we did prior to this administration,’ she said, digging at team Trump.
‘So I did say it was an illegitimate election and it had been rigged,’ Clinton explained. ‘I wasn’t telling hundreds of thousands, even millions of Russian something they didn’t know.’
But Putin, she said, blamed her for the demonstrations.
‘So it kind of went downhill from there,’ she said.
In the audience, activist and actress Meryl Streep, who was in attendance of the Women for Women International Luncheon in New York City
In shielding her staff from criticism, Clinton also pointed to her popular vote win.
‘And remember I did win more than 3 million votes than my opponent,’ Clinton said.
Amanpour joked that Clinton should anticipate a tweet in response from the president.
‘Well, better than interfering in foreign affairs,’ the ex-secretary of state said. ‘If he wants to tweet about me, I’m happy to be the diversion because we have lots of other things to worry about.’
‘And he should worry less about the election and my winning the popular vote,’ she said defiantly.
Trump has made it a habit to bring up his election night win.
He’s also continued to tweet, which Clinton discouraged especially in light of the rising tensions with North Korea.
‘Now, the North Koreans are always interested, not just Kim Jong-un, but his father before him, were always interested in trying to get Americans to negotiate, to elevate their status and their position, and we should be very careful to give that away,’ Clinton pointed out.
She was asked to give her take on Trump saying he’d be ‘honored’ to sit down with the North Korean leader, at the right time and place.
‘So negotiations are critical, they have to be part of a broader strategy,’ Clinton advised. ‘Not just thrown up on a tweet some morning, “Hey, let’s get together and see if we can’t get along, maybe we can come up with some sort of deal,”‘ she said, imitating Trump.
Throughout the discussion, Clinton whacked Trump quite a bit on not having strategies to deal with both domestic and global problems, reminding Amanpour that during the debates he once made fun of her for being too well prepared.
She, on the other hand, said she was waiting through those three presidential debates for a moderator or a questioner to ask Trump how, exactly, he planned to create more jobs.
‘I thought that at some moment that would happen,’ she said. ‘And I was ready for that moment,’ Clinton said with a grin.
Clinton said she had been planning to implement policies that would help people in areas, even those who had voted for Trump, that would be impacted by robotics, artificial intelligence ‘and things that are really going to be upending the economy for the vast majority of Americans.’
But with her loss, went her policies and plans.
‘I’m now back to being an activist citizen and part of the resistance,’ she said.