Former Secretary of State and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton has responded to Russian hacking allegations against her campaign and the Democratic National Committee, calling the alleged electoral interference an "attack against our country," according to The New York Times. This is the first time since the election that Clinton herself has spoken out about recent CIA findings which reportedly concluded with "high confidence" that the Russian government acted to help Trump win the presidency, not merely to sow confusion and chaos in the U.S. electoral process.
Her comments came in the context of an event she appeared at on Thursday, Dec. 15, a sort of thank you event for some of her top fundraisers ― many of whom, according to the Times' report, were still "despondent" over her loss. Despite winning the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, a full two percentage points more than President-elect Donald Trump, a series of close losses in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, and Michigan ultimately doomed her.
The narrowness of her defeat, which amounted to less than 100,000 votes across those three states, has left many people wondering whether alleged Russian interference could have proved the decisive blow, as well as whether the eleventh-hour letter by FBI director James Comey could have swayed things. Clinton addressed both on Thursday night.
In audio released by the Times, Clinton began by conceding that she "knows how the system works probably better than anybody else," noting that in 2008 she narrowly beat President Obama in the popular vote but came up short in the delegate race, and has now won the general election popular vote by millions, yet lost via the electoral map. She then addressed some of the "unprecedented factors" that impacted the outcome.
Clinton then segued to addressing what she called "the unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election," calling it something "every American should be worried about," and giving a light history lesson on the origins of Putin's animosity towards her.
Clinton then remarked, with a slightly icy edge, that "as the press is finally catching up to the facts which we desperately tried to present to them during the last weeks of the campaign," that the alleged interference was not simply an attack on her political career, but an "attack against our country." She went on to praise the emerging bipartisan effort to launch a proper investigation into the matter, saying she agreed with the effort, and suggesting it should be modeled on the 9/11 commission.
Clinton concluded by saying that while she doesn't know "what we will find awaits us" under the incoming Trump administration, she was "incredibly grateful" for the support she received, and signed off with a "happy holidays, everybody!"
All in all, it's extremely compelling audio, with Clinton both throwing her weight (albeit in a pseudo-private setting) behind the effort to fully and independently investigate Russia's role in the 2016 race, more or less directly accusing Comey of costing her the election, and reflecting on the origins of her personal conflict with Putin. It runs just a bit more than eight minutes in total, and if you've got the time, it's definitely worth taking a listen.