Hillary Clinton has said that in reopening a probe into her controversial email practices, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) director James Comey had eroded the momentum her campaign had gained in the weeks leading up to the November 8 election, US media said on Sunday.
Clinton, the Democratic presidential candidate, had been ahead in all major polls leading up to last Tuesday’s vote, which ushered in a surprise victory for Donald Trump and the Republicans.
She has kept a low profile since her defeat after delivering her concession speech on Wednesday morning.
Clinton told top donors in a conference call that “there are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful,” according to a person on the call, Quartz and CNN reported.
“But our analysis is that Jim Comey’s letter raising doubts that were
groundless [and] baseless – and proven to be – stopped our momentum.”
On October 28, Comey jolted the presidential race when he told Congress that the FBI was once again examining Clinton’s use of a private server while secretary of state after new emails were discovered in another investigation into former congressman Anthony Weiner, the estranged husband of close Clinton aide Huma Abedin, a US-born Muslim-American.
On November 6, two days before the vote, Comey sent another letter to Congress stating that a review of Weiner’s emails had revealed no wrongdoing, and that the FBI was sticking with its July recommendation not to charge Clinton. In July, Comey had said that while the FBI would not charge Clinton her email practices were “extremely careless.”
Trump had made a major issue of Clinton’s email practices during the campaign, famously threatening to throw her in prison during one of the presidential debates.
While the first Comey letter reopened voter concerns over the email issue, Clinton said the second letter clearing her of wrongdoing allowed Trump to reinforce his message that the system was rigged.
The FBI director’s letters to Congress days before the election led to accusations that the bureau was politicized and interfering in the election, an accusation President Barack Obama said he believed was not true.
Meanwhile, thousands of protesters across the United States continued to rally against Trump on Saturday, accusing the
president-elect of bigotry and racism.
The largest rallies were in New York, Los Angeles and Chicago, where protesters chanted “Not my president!” In New York, thousands marched to Trump Tower, the president-elect’s skyscraper home where the transition team is headquartered.
The protests have further polarized the nation as Trump supporters, some of whom said they would not accept a Clinton win before the election, are now accusing those on the streets of not respecting the outcome of the vote.