According to a new Clinton campaign tell-all book, Hillary Clinton personally placed blame for her stunning defeat on Russian interference “within twenty-four hours of her concession speech.”
“Shattered: Inside Hillary Clinton’s Doomed Campaign,” by Jonathan Allen and Amie Parnes, reveals how Clinton also assigned blame to the FBI for its investigation into her emails and to “white nationalists’” supposed support of Trump.
On a phone call with a longtime friend a couple of days after the election, Hillary was much less accepting of her defeat. She put a fine point on the factors she believed cost her the presidency: the FBI (Comey), the KGB (the old name for Russia’s intelligence service), and the KKK (the support Trump got from white nationalists).
“I’m angry,” Hillary told her friend. And exhausted. After two brutal campaigns against Sanders and Trump, Hillary now had to explain the failure to friends in a seemingly endless round of phone calls. That was taking a toll on her already weary and grief-stricken soul. But mostly, she was mad— mad that she’d lost and that the country would have to endure a Trump presidency.
The book illustrates how Clinton hammered the narrative that “Comey and Russia” were to blame for her loss.
“She wants to make sure all these narratives get spun the right way,” claims a quote by a Clinton confidant.
According to the book, blaming Clinton’s loss on Russia was initiated by senior campaign staffers John Podesta and Robby Mook “within twenty-four hours” after she conceded:
That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn’t entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument.
The Clinton camp devised a duel-phase plan — pushing the press to cover how “Russian hacking was the major unreported story of the campaign, overshadowed by the contents of stolen e-mails and Hillary’s own private-server imbroglio,” while “hammering the media for focusing so intently on the investigation into her e-mail, which had created a cloud over her candidacy,” the authors wrote.
“The press botched the e-mail story for eighteen months,” contends one person who supported the strategy. “Comey obviously screwed us, but the press created the story.”
The book also reveals how President Obama confused and frustrated Clinton, who claimed that he did not do enough “to apprise the public that the Russians had gone way beyond what had been reported.”
In Shattered, Allen and Parnes provide polling numbers and other raw data that identify the true reason why Clinton lost—and it was not because of Russia. The authors attribute Trump’s victory to men and working class Democrats in Pennsylvania who voted for him, and to his performance among white voters in Florida.
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