David Axelrod, who served as senior adviser to former President Barack Obama, said Hillary Clinton should stop blaming FBI Director Jim Comey and other factors for her unexpected loss to President Donald Trump during the 2016 presidential election.
"She has a legitimate beef because Comey's letter was instrumental I think in her defeat, so in a narrow sense she is right about it. But Jim Comey didn’t tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention. Jim Comey didn’t say not to put any resources in Michigan until the final week of the campaign," Axelrod told CNN.
He added: "It takes a lot of work to lose to Donald Trump. Let me tell you, he was the least popular presidential candidate to win in the history of polling."
At the Women for Women International's annual luncheon in New York, Clinton elaborated on her thoughts about why she lost the 2016 presidential election. In her answer, she took partial responsibility but also said blame was earned by FBI Director James Comey, who announced on Oct. 28 that, although the FBI had concluded its investigation into the case of Clinton's personal server in which she conducted government business as Secretary of State, there were additional emails found in an unrelated case that were "pertinent to the investigation."
"It wasn't a perfect campaign. There is no such thing," Clinton said, according to the Associated Press. "But I was on the way to winning until a combination of (FBI Director) Jim Comey's letter on Oct. 28 and Russian WikiLeaks raised doubts in the minds of people who were inclined to vote for me but got scared off."
Clinton won the popular vote by nearly 3 million votes, but lost the electoral vote after surrendering historically Democratic-leaning states, including Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, by a total of fewer than 100,000 votes.
The Clinton campaign headquarters in Brooklyn, New York, allegedly ignored continuous pleas from its Michigan staff to send more resources until less than two weeks before Election Day, around the time of Comey's announcement, according to Politico.
Clinton ended up losing Michigan by approximately 10,000 votes.
"When you don’t reach out to community folk and reach out to precinct campaigns and district organizations that know where the votes are, then you're going to have problems," said Virgie Rollins, a Democratic National Committee member and chair emeritus of the Michigan Democratic Women’s Caucus, who said her group was constantly ignored by the Clinton campaign headquarters.