Clinton Blames Comey for 2016 Loss Ahead of His Book Tour

April 4, 2018

Two-time failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton on Tuesday castigated former FBI director James Comey ahead of his book tour by once again blaming him for her election loss in 2016.

Clinton participated in a panel at an event hosted by The Wing, a club for millennial women, in New York. Her shots at Comey were conveniently timed ahead of the April 17 release of his new book, A Higher Loyalty: Truth, Lies, and Leadership.

One of the event hosts mentioned Comey's book was coming out soon before joking, "We may or may not read it." She then asked Clinton what questions people should still be asking about Comey's role in her election loss.

"I've never spoken to him. I've never met him. I've never kissed him," said Clinton, prompting the crowd to laugh.

She referenced Nate Silver, the editor-in-chief of the data website FiveThirtyEight, and used his analysis to support her argument. Clinton said she believes she would have won the election if Comey hadn't sent a letter to Congress in late October 2016 announcing the bureau was reopening the investigation into her use of a private email server while secretary of state.

Clinton also cited the recently published book by Lanny Davis, her longtime friend and supporter, and said the polling data from the campaign indicated she was ahead in key states before the FBI letter was sent to Congress. She talked about the polling results in Pennsylvania, where she said she won the Philadelphia suburbs by 13 points, 5 percentage points less than what she needed.

"When Nate Silver and others went back and looked at all of the polling, the single event that changed people's votes–and you have anecdotal evidence of that, and you have survey evidence of that ... –They had never seen a bigger drop than they saw in sentiment toward me until the Comey letter on October 28 happened," Clinton said.

Clinton and some former campaign aides have spent the last 18 months rehashing the election and blaming several factors for their loss to Trump. Clinton released her 2016 campaign book, What Happened, last September, where she blamed Russia's election meddling, Comey, and numerous other external factors for her defeat.