Hillary Clinton said on Tuesday she was on the path to victory in the 2016 presidential election until late interference by Russian hackers and FBI Director James Comey scared off some potential supporters.
In her most extensive public comments on the Nov. 8 election, Clinton told a New York conference she was derailed by Comey's Oct. 28 letter informing Congress the Federal Bureau of Investigation had reopened a probe of her use of a private email server and by the WikiLeaks release of campaign chairman John Podesta's emails, allegedly stolen by Russian hackers.
"If the election had been on October 27, I would be your president," she told a women's conference moderated by CNN's Christiane Amanpour.
"It wasn't a perfect campaign, but I was on the way to winning until a combination of Comey's letter and Russian WikiLeaks," the Democrat said of the loss to Republican Donald Trump. "The reason why I believe we lost were the intervening events in the last 10 days."
Clinton, who said she is going through the "painful process" of writing a book dealing in part with the election, also said misogyny played a role in her defeat. Becoming the first woman U.S. president would have been "a really big deal," she said.
Clinton took personal responsibility for the campaign's mistakes, but did not question her strategy or her staff. "I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot. I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had," Clinton said.