Hillary Clinton, the two-time failed presidential candidate, told NBC Wednesday that she didn't know whether then-candidate Donald Trump colluded with Russia in 2016.
"You say there are so many coincidences, so many connections between people in [the] Trump campaign and Russia, but you stop short of saying this and I'm asking you if you will, " NBC host Matt Lauer said. "Do you think that the Trump campaign, with the knowledge of the now-president, colluded with Russia and stole the election?"
"Matt, I can't say that," Clinton said. "That's what this investigation is to determine. What I try to do in the book is to put forth all the information that I think should trouble Americans, whether you are Republicans or Democrats or anything else."
Clinton continued by saying that she turned her book's manuscript in at the end of June or early July and that a lot has happened in recent months pertaining to the Russia collusion investigation, prompting Lauer to ask her whether the investigation has led her "more in the direction of collusion."
"It has suggested to me that there was certainly we know a plan from Putin and the highest levels of the Kremlin to influence our election," Clinton said. "We now know that it was everything from Facebook ads and phony people acting like Americans who were Russians. We know so much more than we did even when I turned the manuscript in and we know that there was communication."
Clinton went to say there were "a lot of interesting coincidences" between what was associated with Trump and "what later came to pass."
Clinton's claim that she "can't say" whether there was collusion contradicts what she said in her interview with USA Today on Monday, when she said there "certainly was an understanding of some sort" between the Trump campaign and the Russians:
"There certainly was communication and there certainly was an understanding of some sort," Clinton told USA Today in an interview published Monday night on her new book, What Happened. "Because there's no doubt in my mind that Putin wanted me to lose and wanted Trump to win."
"And there's no doubt in my mind that there are a tangle of financial relationships between Trump and his operation with Russian money," she continued. "And there's no doubt in my mind that the Trump campaign and other associates have worked really hard to hide their connections with Russians."