On Tuesday, while speaking with CNN’s Christiane Amanpour, Hillary Clinton spoke to what she believes caused her 2016 presidential election loss.
Clinton, while giving lip service to the flaws inherent in her as a candidate and in her presidential campaign, placed a lot of blame on the notorious government transparency organization Wikileaks.
She also blamed FBI Director James Comey’s letter to Congress in late October making what turned out to be a premature announcement that the investigation into the former Secretary of State’s usage of a private email server had been reopened.
Wikileaks, for their part, has now fired back.
With Clinton having been, of course, the actual candidate who lost, and with her loss coming after she was widely seen as pretty much assured of victory, Clinton is in at least a bit more of a reasonable position to be talking about the election than Donald Trump is, even though he rehashes it regularly.
Clinton told Amanpour:
‘It wasn’t a perfect campaign; there is no such thing. But I was on the way to winning until the combination of Jim Comey’s letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me, but got scared off… and the evidence for that is, I think, compelling [and] persuasive.’
It’s true; analysts have by now well documented the effect that Comey’s letter had on Clinton’s electoral chances, as showcased in the FiveThirtyEight tweet below.
— FiveThirtyEight (@FiveThirtyEight) May 3, 2017
The other issue that Clinton mentions — Wikileaks — also had a quite obvious effect on the election outcome.
Wikileaks helped distribute the tens of thousands of private emails worth of information that was stolen from leaders in the Democratic Party and in the Clinton campaign. Whereas there was some accurate and damning information in these emails, internet propagandists also made up lots of things — think, Pizzagate — that simply weren’t actually in the emails.
Another good example of this is a Wikileaks highlight of an email that discussed Clinton’s apparent usage of an “earpiece.” Taken by itself, that obviously sounds very suspicious. However, Clinton had a good reason for using that earpiece — she was at the United Nations and it was supplying translations of what was being said.
Nonetheless, Wikileaks’s embattled founder and head Julian Assange fired back at Clinton’s criticism in an unsurprising Wednesday tweet, writing, “You can’t blame WikiLeaks when what we leaked was your words and positions. Blame yourself.”
Check out the tweet — and a video of some of Clinton’s remarks — below.
You can't blame WikiLeaks when what we leaked was your words and positions. Blame yourself. https://t.co/Alr8xx626B
— Defend Assange Campaign (@DefendAssange) May 3, 2017
Featured Image via Carl Court/Getty Images