Clinton Spreads Blame for Her Defeat: Russians, Comey, Fake News, DNC, Misogyny…

By Susan Jones | June 1, 2017 | 8:24am EDT
The founders of Recode, Walt Mossberg and Kara Swisher, interviewed Hillary Clinton at their Code Conference in Rancho Palos Verdes, Calif., on Wednesday, May 31, 2017. The invitation-only Code Conference brings together the biggest names in business and startups "for networking and in-depth conversations about the current and future impact of digital technology."

( - Why did Hillary Clinton lose the 2016 election? Watch her count the reasons.

At a Code conference on Wednesday she blamed at least 18 factors for her loss, only one one of which was under her control.

Blame emails: "The overriding issue that affected the election that I had any control over... was the way that the use of my email account was turned into the biggest scandal since lord knows when," Clinton said. She said she never broke any rule or law in setting up her own private email server: "Nobody said don't do this, and I was very responsible and not at all careless. So you end up with a situation that is then exploited, and very effectively, for adverse political reasons. And it was maddening."

Blame the New York Times for its reporting on her emails. "They covered it like it was Pearl Harbor."

Blame FBI Director James Comey for reopening the email investigation days before the election. The investigation was over in July, Clinton noted: "And then it was reignited, and it became the major reason, toward the end, based on the best analysis that I can find, that I lost ground and ended up losing."

Blame the Russians: "Read the declassified report by the intelligence community that came out in early January," Clinton said. "They concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign to influence voters in the election."

Blame Putin: "Putin wants to bring us down," Clinton said. She said her "run-ins" with the former KGB agent "prompted his animus toward me and his desire to help Trump." Clinton said her campaign saw evidence of the Russian conspiracy early on: "We went and told everybody we could find in the middle of the summer that the Russians were messing with the election, and we were basically shooed away...and we could not get the press to follow it..."

Blame whichever Americans helped the Russians: "How did they (the Russians) know what messages to deliver?" Clinton asked. "Who told them? Who were they coordinating with or colluding with?" Clinton said the Russians "could not have known how best to weaponize information unless they had been guided...guided by Americans." She said the best example is that within one hour of the Access Hollywood tapes being released, "the Russians -- let's say WikiLeaks, same thing -- dumped the John Podesta emails." The Podesta emails were boring, she said, but pieces were taken out of context and lied about, "and we know it hurt us."

Blame WikiLeaks: Clinton described the Podesta email leak "as the biggest nothing-burger ever," just "run-of-the-mill" campaign communications. She suggested that someone was instructing WikiLeaks to "dump it now," to take attention away from the Access Hollywood tape that was hurting the Trump campaign.

Blame Trump: "We're getting more information about all of the contacts between Trump campaign officials and Trump associates with Russians, before, during and after the election. So I hope that we'll get enough information to be able to answer that question (about collusion). I'm leaning Trump," Clinton said. "I think it's pretty hard not to."

Blame "weaponized" technology/fake news: The Internet used to be a way to reach voters and collect funds. "That changed this time," Clinton said. The Trump campaign, "through content farms, through an enormous investment in falsehoods -- fake news, call it what you will -- the other side was using content that was just flat-out false and delivering it in a very personalized way. That really influenced the information people were relying on." Clinton said the vast majority of items posted on Facebook "were fake." "We did not engage in false content," she said.

Blame the Supreme Court's Citizens United decision: “You had Citizens United come to its full fruition, so unaccountable money flowing in against me, against other Democrats in a way that we haven't seen, and then attached to this weaponized information war."

Blame a double standard on who gives speeches to Goldman Sachs: "You know, men got paid for the speeches they made. I got paid for the speeches I made. And it was used, and I thought it was unfairly used, and all of that, but it was part of the background music."

Blame right-wingers: "There are forces in our country...who have been fighting rear-guard actions for as long as I've been alive," Clinton said. She mentioned the Mercers by name, conservative donors "who did not invest all that money (in the Trump campaign) just for their own amusement."

Blame voter suppression. "You had effective suppression of votes," Clinton said. "Republican governors and legislators began doing everything they could to suppress the vote."

Blame misogyny. "At some point, it sort of bleeds over into misogyny," Clinton said. "And let's just be honest. You know, People have a set of expectations about who should be president and what a president looks like. You know, they're going to be much more skeptical and critical of somebody who doesn't look like and talk like and sound like everybody else who's been president."

Blame societal constraints on women who show anger: "I have been on many speaking platforms with many men who are in office or running for office. And the crowd gets you going, and you get up there, and I watch my male counterparts, and they beat the podium and they yell and the crowd loves it. And a few times I've tried that and it's been less than successful -- let me just say that."

Blame an ineffective DNC: "I set up my campaign, and we have our own data operation. I get the nomination, so I'm now the nominee of the Democratic Party. I inherit nothing from the Democratic Party. I mean, it was bankrupt; it was on the verge of insolvency; its data was mediocre to poor, nonexistent, wrong. I had to inject money into it, the DNC, to keep it going."

Blame history: "I was swimming against a historic tide," Clinton said. "It’s very difficult historically to succeed a two-term president of your own party, because you know, we're itchy people. We like change in America."

Blame voters’ assumptions: "I also think I was a victim of a very broad assumption that I was going to win," Clinton said. She said she always thought it would be a close election.

On Wednesday night, President Trump tweeted, "Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC."


To which Clinton replied via Twitter: "People in covfefe houses shouldn't throw covfefe."

MRC Store