In a series of tweets on May 2, President Donald Trump responded to comments made by former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton earlier in the day at an event promoting her forthcoming book.
Clinton, who was speaking at a Women for Women International event, repeated her assertions that she lost to Trump because of Russian meddling in the election, FBI Director James Comey's involvement toward the end of the race, WikiLeaks' theft of emails from her campaign chairman, and misogyny. "If the election had been on October 27 I'd be your president," she said.
Trump replied: "FBI Director Comey was the best thing that ever happened to Hillary Clinton in that he gave her a free pass for many bad deeds! The phony ... Trump/Russia story was an excuse used by the Democrats as justification for losing the election. Perhaps Trump just ran a great campaign?"
Referring to the "Trump/Russia story" in an April interview with Nicholas Kristof of The New York Times, Clinton said "a foreign power meddled with our election," which she deemed "an act of aggression" and the "weaponization of information." She called for an independent, bipartisan investigation into alleged Russian involvement, including possible collusion with the Trump campaign.
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Regarding the WikiLeaks disclosure of stolen emails from the personal account of her campaign chairman, John Podesta, she said it "played a much bigger role than ... many people yet understand."
That, combined with Comey's decision only a few days before the election to reopen the FBI's investigation into her use of an unsecured email account as secretary of state, "had the determinative effect."
"I didn't fully understand how impactful that was and so it created doubts in people," Clinton admitted. "But then the Comey letter coming as it did -- just 10 days before the election -- really raised questions in a lot of people."
Two days before the election, Comey closed the reopened investigation.
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At the Women for Women International event, Clinton told CNN reporter Christiane Amanpour that "it would have been a really big deal" had she been elected the first woman president.
"I'm writing a book and it's a painful process reliving the campaign," she said. "But I think that partly here at home there were important messages that that could have sent our own daughters, granddaughters, grandsons and sons."
She added that her victory would have been progress for women's rights internationally. "Part of what I really believe is that women's rights is the unfinished business of the 20th century. There is no more important, larger issue, that has to be addressed."
In closing, Amanpour joked that Clinton should anticipate a tweet in response from the president. "Well, better than interfering in foreign affairs," Clinton responded in kind. "If he wants to tweet about me, I'm happy to be the diversion because we have lots of other things to worry about."