Former Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has once again blamed Russia for losing the 2016 US presidential vote to her Republican rival Donald Trump, saying Russian President Vladimir Putin helped Trump’s team win because of a “personal vendetta” against her.
“There certainly was communication and there certainly was an understanding of some sort,” Clinton told USA Today on Monday, during an interview about her new book on last year’s presidential face-off with Trump. “Because there's no doubt in my mind that [Russian President Vladimir] Putin wanted me to lose and wanted Trump to win.”
Clinton said she was “convinced” that Trump and his teams had “financial relationships” with Russia and made use of “Russian money.”
“And there's no doubt in my mind that the Trump campaign and other associates have worked really hard to hide their connections with Russians,” the former Democratic presidential nominee said.
Putin’s ‘personal vendetta’
Clinton insisted in her interview that Putin was personally involved in Moscow’s alleged vote meddling campaign because he had a “personal vendetta” against her.
"Yet I never imagined that he would have the audacity to launch a massive covert attack against our own democracy, right under our noses — and that he'd get away with it," she said.
Clinton argued that Putin was specifically mad at her because of NATO’s expansion towards the east under the presidency of Bill Clinton and the role she played as US secretary of state in encouraging protests against the Russian president in 2011.
The interview was carried out in the new house that Clinton and her husband, former President Bill Clinton, purchased in New York’s leafy Westchester suburb in August.
Clinton said she thought the new house would be a good place to visit her family and would also better suit her secret service entourage after she won the vote and became president.
Instead, she ended up taking refuge there for months after the surprising defeat.
The former first lady has admitted in recent interviews that she is not entirely done with the election and still wonders why she lost to Trump.
"I'll always feel terrible that it happened, that I couldn't figure out how to counter all of the stuff that was coming at me in good enough, fast enough real time," she said.