Clin­ton blames FBI di­rec­tor for de­feat

> Comey’s let­ter dam­aged cam­paign, donors told

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS -

WASH­ING­TON: Hil­lary Clin­ton blamed FBI di­rec­tor James Comey ( pix) for her stun­ning de­feat in last week’s pres­i­den­tial elec­tion in a con­fer­ence call with her top cam­paign fun­ders yes­ter­day, ac­cord­ing to two par­tic­i­pants who were on the call.

Clin­ton was pro­jected by nearly ev­ery na­tional pub­lic opin­ion poll as the heavy favourite go­ing into last week’s race.

In­stead, Repub­li­can Don­ald Trump won the elec­tion, shock­ing many through­out the na­tion and prompt­ing protests.

Clin­ton has kept a low pro­file since her de­feat af­ter de­liv­er­ing her con­ces­sion speech on Wed­nes­day morn­ing.

Clin­ton told her sup­port­ers yes­ter­day that her team had drafted a memo that looked at the chang­ing opin­ion polls lead­ing up to the elec­tion and that the let­ter from Comey proved to be a turn­ing point.

She said Comey’s de­ci­sion to go pub­lic with the re­newed ex­am­i­na­tion of her email server had caused an ero­sion of sup­port in the up­per Mid­west, ac­cord­ing to three peo­ple fa­mil­iar with the call.

Clin­ton lost in Wis­con­sin, the first time since 1984 that the state favoured the Repub­li­can can­di­date in a pres­i­den­tial elec­tion.

Al­though the fi­nal re­sult in Michi­gan has still not been tal­lied, it is lean­ing Repub­li­can, in a state that last favoured the Repub­li­can nom­i­nee in 1988.

Comey sent a let­ter to Congress only days be­fore the elec­tion an­nounc­ing that he was re­in­stat­ing an in­ves­ti­ga­tion into whether Clin­ton mis­han­dled clas­si­fied in­for­ma­tion when she used a pri­vate email server while sec­re­tary of state from 2009 to 2012.

Comey an­nounced a week later that he had re­viewed emails and con­tin­ued to be­lieve she should not be pros­e­cuted, but the po­lit­i­cal dam­age was al­ready done.

Clin­ton told donors that Trump was able to seize on both of Comey’s an­nounce­ments and use them to at­tack her, ac­cord­ing to two par­tic­i­pants on the call.

While the sec­ond let­ter cleared her of wrong­do­ing, Clin­ton said that it re­in­forced to Trump’s sup­port­ers that the sys­tem was rigged in her favour and mo­ti­vated them to mo­bilise on Elec­tion Day.

The memo pre­pared by Clin­ton’s cam­paign, a copy of which was seen by Reuters, said vot­ers who de­cided which can­di­date to sup­port in the last week were more likely to sup­port Trump than Clin­ton.

“In the end, late break­ing de­vel­op­ments in the race proved one hur­dle too many for us to over­come,” the memo con­cludes.

A spokesman for the FBI could not im­me­di­ately be reached for com­ment.

Den­nis Chang, who served as Clin­ton’s fi­nance chair, said dur­ing the phone call that her cam­paign and the na­tional party had raised more than US$900 mil­lion (RM3.9 bil­lion) from more than three mil­lion in­di­vid­ual donors, ac­cord­ing to the two par­tic­i­pants. – Reuters

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Malaysia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.