- Head of Clinton’s opinion research arm says race was lost in the last week – and that FBI Director James Comey’s letter made the difference
- The letter reduced Democratic turnout and dominated newspaper headlines
- Clinton was ‘poised for a historic win’ two weeks
- Shell-shocked Clinton campaign aides held a conference call Thursday to assess the election results
- Campaign chair John Podesda reportedly said on the call that FBI Director James Comey ‘may have cost us the election
- Comey announced 11 days before Election Day that the FBI was taking another look at Clinton emails, then announced two days before the election that she was off the hook
- Neither post-mortem mentioned Clinton’s private email, questionable paid speeches or fundraising, or decisions to hammer gender-themed attacks on Trump rather than stressing economy issues in Midwest battlegrounds
Advisors to Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign who believe victory was snatched away from the former secretary of state have begun airing their grievances, pointing the finger at FBI Director James Comey for releasing a bombshell letter about Clinton’s emails just 11 days before the election.
‘We know that in the midst of the heartbreak and sadness everyone feels, we’re starting to look for some answers as to what happened,’ wrote Navin Nayak, head of Clinton’s opinion research division in the first insider printed analysis to see daylight.
‘We believe that we lost this election in the last week. Comey’s letter in the last 11 days of the election both helped depress our turnout and also drove away some of our critical support among college-educated white voters—particularly in the suburbs,’ he wrote in a letter obtained by Politico.
The head of Hillary Clinton’s campaign research devision believes the election was lost in the last week, and blames FBI Director James Comey
‘We also think Comey’s 2nd letter, which was intended to absolve Sec. Clinton, actually helped to bolster Trump’s turnout,’ he wrote. That helps explain why when Comey released the second letter effectively letting Clinton off the hook, the campaign didn’t want to talk about it, and instead dropped news of an upcoming Bruce Springsteen performance at a final campaign event.
Nayak observed: ‘It will certainly take more time to unpack everything but we do have some early signals as to what happened and wanted to share this initial thinking with everyone.’
He noted some of Clinton’s challenges – running for a third Democratic term, the ‘unprecedented task’ of electing a woman as president, and anger at institutions.
The memo also points the finger at third-party candidate Jill Stein of the Green Party.
‘There is no question that a week from Election Day, Sec. Clinton was poised for a historic win. In the end, less than 110K votes out of tens of millions cast on Election Day made the difference in this race,’ Nayak wrote.
‘It is worth noting that Jill Stein alone got 130K votes in those three states—and though her votes don’t distribute perfectly to cover the margin across the three states, it is an important reminder of the influence of 3rd party votes. In the end, late breaking developments in the race proved one hurdle too many for us to overcome.’
The memo had mentioned a drop in election day turnout in Pennsylvania, Michigan, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.
Clinton campaign chair John Podesta referred to Comey as someone ‘who we think may have cost us the election’ with his last-minute bombshell announcement about Clinton’s emails
Navin Nayak also singled out Green Party candidate Jill Stein
Clinton and her team showed little evidence they thought they could lose at one of her final campaign events in North Carolina, where young supporters cheered and got a performance from Lady Gaga
Clinton spoke in New York after her stunning loss to Donald Trump
In a Thursday private conference call other campaign members, Clinton campaign chair John Podesta also fingered Comey as a culprit of the surprise loss, identifying him as someone ‘who we think may have cost us the election,’ a Clinton surrogate told The Hill newspaper.
An unidentified aide said: ‘We saw turnout down and didn’t do nearly as well as we thought. Something happened and it happened in a pretty steady way late in the race,’ according to the campaign surrogate who quoted the aide.
‘The media always covered her as the person who would be president and therefore tried to eviscerate her before the election, but covered Trump who was someone who was entertaining and sort of gave him a pass,’ said Podesta. He added: ‘We need to reflect and analyze that and put our voices forward.’
Added Clinton communications director Jennifer Palmieri: ‘That last week, it was just one too many things.’
Podesta vented about ‘the dominance of the way [the media] covered the email.’ He made the case there was a false equivalency between email and the “the conflicts of Trump’s businesses, the Russian contacts we are now learning to be true, the failure of the press following the 3-page leak to the New York Times to really dig into the income tax question.”
‘We need to be mindful of the fact that they’re going to continue, they won’t quit, they’re going to continue to throw mud.’
Whether or not Clinton got a raw deal on the email – as well as on emails hacked from Podesta’s personal account – there was extensive media reporting on Trump business conflicts, suggested Russian interference, Trump charity promises that didn’t materialize, not to mention his infamous ‘p****’ tape.
Neither post-mortem mentioned issues that were under Clinton’s control, such as her decision to set up and use a private email server, her decision to give paid speeches up until she announced her candidacy, or her involvement with the Clinton foundation while serving as secretary of state.
Nor did they address pressures within the party early in the campaign to put forward Clinton as the Democratic nominee and try to clear away opposition to avoid a heavily contested primary. It was only in the last days of the campaign that Clinton traveled to Michigan, following movement in the polls, and she didn’t visit Wisconsin after the convention despite appeals to go. Although she made frequent visits to Pennsylvania, it was generally assumed she would carry the state, although she lost it.
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In a “60 Minutes” interview scheduled to air Sunday, President-elect Donald Trump shifted his position on Obamacare, saying he would try to preserve key parts of the healthcare act, and also praised Hillary Clinton as “very strong and very smart.”
Seated with his wife, Melania, and his four children, Trump spoke to 60 Minutes correspondent Lesley Stahl in his first televised interview since winning the election this week.
Trump told Stahl that Clinton’s phone call conceding the election was “lovely” and acknowledged that making the phone call was likely “tougher for her than it would have been for me,” according to previews of the interview released by CBS.
“She couldn’t have been nicer. She just said, ‘Congratulations, Donald, well done,'” Trump told Stahl. “And I said, ‘I want to thank you very much. You were a great competitor.’ She is very strong and very smart.”
Trump’s tone in the interview was in sharp contrast to his bitter attacks on the campaign trail, in which he nicknamed Clinton “Crooked Hillary” and encouraged chants of “Lock her up!” at his rallies. Among other insults, Trump also referred to his competitor as “the devil,” “a bigot” and — at the tail end of the final presidential debate — “such a nasty woman.”
Trump also told Stahl that former president Bill Clinton called him the following day and “couldn’t have been more gracious.”
“He said it was an amazing run — one of the most amazing he’s ever seen,” Trump said. “He was very, very, really, very nice.”
During the campaign, Trump had tried to use Bill Clinton’s infidelities as a way to attack and embarrass Hillary Clinton. For the second presidential debate, Trump had sought to intimidate his competitor by inviting women who had accused the former president of sexual abuse to sit in the Trump family box. Debate officials quashed the idea.
In the interview with Stahl, Trump did not rule out calling both of the Clintons for advice during his term.
“I mean, this is a very talented family,” he said. “Certainly, I would certainly think about that.”
Trump also reiterated on “60 Minutes” that he may keep portions of the Affordable Care Act, something he had mentioned he might do after meeting with President Obama in the White House on Thursday.
When Stahl asked whether people with pre-existing conditions would still be covered after Trump repealed and replaced Obamacare, Trump said they would “because it happens to be one of the strongest assets.”
“Also, with the children living with their parents for an extended period, we’re going to… very much try and keep that,” Trump added, referring to portions of the healthcare act that cover children under their parents’ insurance through age 26. “It adds cost, but it’s very much something we’re going to try and keep.”
When Stahl questioned whether there would be a gap between the repeal of Obamacare and the implementation of a new plan that could leave millions of people uninsured, Trump interrupted her.
“Nope. We’re going to do it simultaneously. It’ll be just fine. It’s what I do. I do a good job. You know, I mean, I know how to do this stuff,” Trump said. “We’re going to repeal and replace it. And we’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced. I mean, you’ll know. And it will be great healthcare for much less money.”
Trump’s campaign promises included fully repealing the Affordable Care Act, forcing Mexico to pay for a border wall and banning Muslims from entering the U.S.
Since winning the election, Trump and his key advisers have been backing away from some of those promises.
The “60 Minutes” interview will be broadcast on CBS at 7 p.m. Eastern time on Sunday, Nov. 13.
From The Telegraph
“She couldn’t have been nicer. She just said, ‘Congratulations, Donald, well done.’
“And I said, ‘I want to thank you very much, you were a great competitor.’
“She is very strong and very smart. ”
Mr Trump then said that he spoke to Bill Clinton the following day.
“He couldn’t have been more gracious. He said it was an amazing run. One of the most amazing he’s ever seen. He was very, very, really, very nice.”
Continuing his remarkable reinvention, Mr Trump described Mr Clinton – a man he so despised he summoned his former mistresses to appear seated before him, in public, at a presidential debate – as “a very talented guy.”
He said he may seek out his advice in the future, adding: “I mean, this is a very talented family. Certainly, I would certainly think about that.”
The future leader of the nation has, since Wednesday, been at great pains to present himself as “presidential” – striking a deferential, conciliatory tone when meeting President Barack Obama, who he savaged on the campaign trail.
And he further explained his evolving position on Obamacare – one of Mr Obama’s most prized achievements.
He campaigned on a platform of immediately ripping up Obamacare.
Yet on Friday he indicated that Mr Obama explained the system to him during their White House meeting on Thursday, and there were elements of his system he wished to preserve.
In the 60 Minutes interview, he said he now favours keeping two elements: the prohibition against insurers denying coverage because of patients’ existing conditions, and a provision that allows parents to provide years of additional coverage for children on their insurance policies.
“We’re going to do it simultaneously,” he said.
“It’ll be just fine. That’s what I do. I do a good job.
“You know, I mean, I know how to do this stuff.
“We’re going to repeal it and replace it.
“And we’re not going to have, like, a two-day period and we’re not going to have a two-year period where there’s nothing. It will be repealed and replaced.
“I mean, you’ll know. And it’ll be great health care for much less money.”
Tags: 60 Minutes, Affordable Care Act, banning Muslims, Clinton's emails, Comey’s letter, Donald Trump says Hillary Could Not Have Been Nicer, economy issues, FBI, FBI Director James Comey, Hillary Clinton, Hillary Clinton's election loss, Jennifer Palmieri, John Podesta, Lesley Stahl, Navin Nayak, New York Times, Obama Legacy, obamacare, paid speeches, The Media, U.S. economy