Hillary Clinton told donors that the FBI delivered a double whammy to her presidential candidacy in the final days of the campaign by taking another look at emails related to her private server before abruptly saying he found no wrongdoing.
A member of her national finance committee who was on the call on Saturday told CNN that Clinton placed at least some of the blame on Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey for her shocking defeat to Republican rival Donald Trump.
She said the first letter from Comey, sent to Congress on October 28, stopped the momentum she had built after three debates and the release of Trump’s “locker room talk” tape.
She said the second letter, which came nine days later and exonerated Clinton, simply fired up Trump supporters and did not put any on-the-fence voters who had been leaning her way at ease.
She said the FBI development was too much to “overcome” the donor on the call told CNN, but she acknowledged that there were other headwinds facing her campaign that they did not adequately combat.
But several Democrats interviewed in the aftermath of the election said Clinton was hardly blameless, pointing to her original decision in 2009 while she was Secretary of State to create a private email server outside of government systems.
On the call, Clinton urged supporters to move forward and keep fighting for their beliefs.
However, the conversation, which lasted about 30 minutes, was not open to the media.
Another Democrat on the call said Clinton described the loss as “heartbreaking”.
She was not overtly critical of Trump, two participants on the call told CNN, but she did urge those to rise up and continue fighting against divisive rhetoric targeting immigrants and others.