Hillary Clinton on Wednesday continued blaming James Comey for her election loss, saying the former FBI director should have asked her permission back in October to look at her emails.
“I think the determining factor was the intervention by Comey on October 28,” Clinton said in an interview on NBC’s “Today,” referring to Comey’s decision to re-open the email investigation after finding emails on a laptop shared by Clinton aide Huma Abedin and her husband, Anthony Weiner.
“I think that in terms of my personal defeat was the most important factor,” added the former secretary of state.
Comey had closed the email investigation of Clinton on July 5, saying that there was not enough evidence to prosecute her for mishandling classified information on her private server. Comey decided to open the investigation after FBI agents investigating sexual misdeeds by Weiner discovered some of Clinton’s emails on his laptop.
Investigators were not sure at the time whether the emails were a new tranche of Clinton documents or whether she had already provided them to the State Department. It later turned out that the emails were not new.
Asked what she thought after Comey re-opened the probe, Clinton said she was “dumbfounded” and that she wished Comey had asked her for permission to review her records.
“I thought what is he doing? The investigation was closed. I know there’s no new information. I certainly have given anything of any relevance to them, and then it became clear this was not necessary.”
“He could have called me up. He could have called others involved up and said, ‘hey, can we look at this new stuff just to make sure it’s stuff we’ve seen before,'” she added.
“‘Absolutely, have at it,'” Clinton says she would have replied. “But no, he had to write letters to Congress which immediately were leaked. So I feel very strongly that he went way beyond his role in doing what he did.”