Hillary Clinton: Putin Was Getting Revenge on Me
She says grudge after she criticized Russia's 2011 elections led to hacking
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2016 12:32 PM CST
In this 2012 photo, Russian President Vladimir Putin, left, meets US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on her arrival at the APEC summit in Vladivostok, Russia.   (AP Photo/Mikhail Metzel,Pool)

(Newser) – Hillary Clinton spoke at a "thank you" party for donors Thursday night in New York—complete with attendees who cried as she spoke, per ABC News—and she says two "unprecedented" events led to her stunning defeat in the election, the New York Times reports. Clinton first addressed the 11th-hour letter released by FBI Director James Comey before the election that dredged up her email scandal. "Swing-state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the FBI letter from Director Comey," she told the crowd. Clinton also blamed the hacking of Democratic emails on Vladimir Putin because of a "personal beef" between the two, stemming from her claims that Russia's parliamentary elections in 2011 were fixed.

"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election," she said. (CNN notes Putin pointed the finger at then-Secretary of State Clinton for protests that broke out after his country's 2011 election.) "This is an attack against our country," she said. "We are well beyond normal political concerns here. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation." Clinton also told the supporters in the room—Vogue editor Anna Wintour and film producer Harvey Weinstein among them—to stay involved in the Democratic Party and not give up hope. (John Podesta's latest take on the FBI.)

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