'Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary': Trump responds to Clinton's blame game, claiming FBI director gave her a 'free pass for many bad deeds'
- Trump fired off a series of tweets on Tuesday in retaliation to an interview in which Clinton listed a number of reasons for her election loss
- Senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also had a dig at Clinton
- Clinton appeared alongside CNN's Christiane Amanpour for a conversation that looked back at last year's election
- Clinton listed the late-in-the-game James Comey letter, the Wikileaked emails from the Russia hack and misogyny as the reasons for why she lost
Donald Trump has hit out at Hillary Clinton saying FBI director James Comey was the 'best thing that ever happened to her' after the former Democratic presidential candidate listed him among the reasons for her election loss.
The president fired off a series of tweets on Tuesday night in retaliation to Clinton's blame game earlier in the day.
'FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony... Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?' he wrote.
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Donald Trump has hit out at Hillary Clinton saying FBI director James Comey was the 'best thing that ever happened to her' after the former Democratic presidential candidate listed him among the reasons for her election loss
Trump's senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also had a dig at Clinton.
'You Ignored WI (Wisconsin). Called us deplorable/irredeemable. Had oodles of $$ & no message. Lost to a better candidate. From: Woman in the White House,' Conway tweeted.
Clinton had earlier pointed to James Comey's letter to Congress on October 28, Wikileaks emails from Russia and misogyny as the trio of reasons for her loss.
Her comments came as she was speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour at an event in New York on Tuesday as she previewed her forthcoming book.
'If the election had been on October 27 I'd be your president,' Clinton said.
Clinton, who was speaking at a Women for Women International event, said she definitely deserved some of the blame too.
'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. And 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 and Russian Wikileaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me, but got scared off,' Clinton said.
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.
Trump's senior White House counselor Kellyanne Conway also had a dig at Clinton on Tuesday night saying she lost to a better candidate
Trump said James Comey was the 'best thing that ever happened to' Hillary, claiming the FBI director gave her a 'free pass for many bad deeds'
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.'
Hillary Clinton (right) sat opposite of CNN's Christiane Amanpour (left) who asked her how she lost to President Donald Trump
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.
Messing up the name of the television show, Clinton pointed out how within hours of the 'Hollywood Access' tape leaking, which showed Trump bragging that as a celebrity 'you can do anything' to women, including 'grab them by the p***y,' her campaign chairman John Podesta's hacked emails were published on Wikileaks, likely the work of the Russians.
'What a coincidence,' she muttered. 'So you just can't make this stuff up.'
Clinton also pointed out that it's a 'historical fact' that it's difficult to succeed a two-term president from your own party, noting how the Democrats haven't done it since 'Lord knows, the 1830s, a long time ago.'
The ex-first lady was likely referring to Martin Van Buren's successful run to replace two-term Democratic President Andrew Jackson in 1837.
She omitted the fact that Democrat Harry S. Truman pulled out a squeaker of a win in 1948, after ascending to the presidency after the death of nearly four-term President Franklin D. Roosevelt – thus preventing the White House from switching political parties' hands.
She rightly pointed out that the last time Republicans were able to hold onto the White House after a two-term president was in 1988, with President George H.W. Bush's win after eight years of Ronald Reagan.
'Others may not have realized it, but I always knew it was going to be a hard election,' Clinton said.
In the audience, activist and actress Meryl Streep, who was in attendance of the Women for Women International Luncheon in New York City
Clinton was speaking to CNN's Christiane Amanpour at an event in New York on Tuesday as she previewed her forthcoming book
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.
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