Schumer Takes Shot at Clinton: You Don't Blame Russia or Comey When You Lose to Someone Like Trump

Chuck Schumer / Getty Images
Chuck Schumer / Getty Images
July 23, 2017

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer (D., N.Y.) took a veiled shot at Hillary Clinton's excuses for losing the 2016 election to Donald Trump, saying that "you blame yourself" when you "lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity," not Russia or James Comey.

Clinton has blamed a variety of factors for her loss to Trump, including then-FBI Director Comey's decision-making during the investigation into her private email server use, Russian meddling in the election and the Democratic National Committee.

"When you lose to somebody who has 40 percent popularity, you don’t blame other things—Comey, Russia—you blame yourself," Schumer told the Washington Post. "So what did we do wrong? People didn’t know what we stood for, just that we were against Trump. And still believe that."

Schumer and Clinton formerly served together in New York's U.S. Senate delegation. Trump's polling was historically poor throughout the 2016 campaign but he managed to defeat Clinton, who also had low ratings with the public.

Schumer made the remarks as Democrats roll out an economic platform called "A Better Deal" and begin charting a path back into power in Washington. For the first time in more than a decade, the Democrats find themselves both out of the White House and in the minority in both chambers of Congress.

"Republicans talk in headlines; Democrats speak in fine print," Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D., N.Y.) said. "That ends this week. We’re going to make sure that we’re able to reach the American people in a clear and compelling fashion.

Recent polling showed Democrats are viewed by a majority of the public as simply standing against Trump rather than "for something."

Clinton has taken other criticism from her own party for assigning blame for her defeat to outside elements.

"It takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump," former Barack Obama adviser David Axelrod said in May.