Hillary Clinton says she takes “absolute personal responsibility” for her loss to Donald Trump in the US presidential election, but believes misogyny, Russian interference and questionable decisions by the FBI also played roles.
The former Democratic presidential nominee told the Women for Women International’s annual luncheon in New York on Wednesday morning (AEST) she was “on the way to winning” until a combination of events in the final days.
Mrs Clinton cited the FBI director’s letter to Congress resurrecting questions about her email practices and WikiLeaks’ repeated release of her campaign’s internal emails that “scared off” people.
She also said misogyny “played a role in this election”, won by Republican Donald Trump.
She conceded she made mistakes but said: “The reason I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days.”
“It wasn’t a perfect campaign. There is no such thing,” Mrs Clinton said.
“But I was on the way to winning until a combination of [FBI director] Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off.”
Watch an excerpt of the Clinton interview
Asked whether misogyny played a role in her loss, Mrs Clinton smiled and said: “The book’s coming out in the fall.”
“Yes, I do think it played a role,” she said. “I think other things played a role, too.”
Mrs Clinton said case for concluding that Russia had a role in the election outcome was “compelling”.
“The evidence for that intervening event is, I think, compelling, persuasive,” she said. “And so we overcame a lot in the campaign. We overcame an enormous barrage of negativity, of false equivalency, and so much else.
“As [political analyst] Nate Silver has concluded: if the election had been on October 27, I would be your president.”
After two unsuccessful presidential campaigns, Mrs Clinton is not expected to run for public office again.
“I’m now back to being an active citizen,” she said.
– With agencies