Former advisor to the Clinton campaign John Podesta acknowledged that the campaign is directly responsible for losing the election to President Donald Trump in November in an interview published early Monday.
The admission is a drastic change from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s remarks, in which she blames former FBI Director James Comey’s decision to re-open the investigation into her private email server in the final days of the election for her loss, according to the interview in Politico.
“We bear responsibility and it’s a great burden and I feel it every day,” Podesta said about his role in the race. “I mean, we lost this election; we won the popular vote by 3 million votes, but we lost the Electoral College and lost the election to Donald Trump. So, we have a burden of his having the keys to the White House, and you know, codes to the nuclear football.”
Clinton asserted multiple times that the outcome of the election would have been different had Comey not made the announcement when he did.
“I was on the way to winning until a combination of Jim Comey’s letter on October 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but were scared off,” Clinton said at the Women for Women International Conference in May. “If the election were on October 27, I’d be your president.”
Podesta indicated that Comey could have had an affect on the outcome of the race, but voters considered a wide range of factors during the election.
“When we set out to prove that he was temperamentally unfit, and unqualified to be president, we convinced 60 percent of the American public of that. Unfortunately, 20 percent of his voters believed that and still voted for him, and I think that was part of it,” Podesta concluded.
Political statistician Nate Silver asserted that Comey’s announcement “probably” cost Clinton the election in November on May 3. Silver argued that since Trump won the states of Pennsylvania and Wisconsin by 1 percentage point, it’s entirely possible for a late-breaking news story to have an effect that would tip the scales toward Trump.
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