Former Secretary of State and 2016 Democratic candidate for president Hillary Clinton said there is "no doubt in my mind" that rival Donald Trump had communication with Russia during the campaign.
During an interview with USA Today to discuss her new book "What Happened," an examination of her 2016 loss, Clinton explained that Russian President Vladimir Putin was clearly in her opponent's camp. The financial ties between Trump and Russia complicated things as well, she said.
"And there's no doubt in my mind that there are a tangle of financial relationships between Trump and his operation with Russian money," Clinton explained. "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."
Clinton was "convinced" that the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government to ensure a Trump victory, saying that due process of the investigation would bring any evidence to light.
"I happen to believe in the rule of law and believe in evidence, so I'm not going to go off and make all kinds of outrageous claims," she said. "But if you look at what we've learned since [the election], it's pretty troubling."
Leading Democrats hold similar suspicions to Clinton's, although few have offered explicit accusations. Rep. Adam Schiff has asserted that there is "circumstantial evidence" of communications between Trump and the Russians but clarified he isn't prepared to say there was proof that could be used in court, according to the Washington Post.
According to Real Clear Politics, Sen. Mark Warner put it a similar way to CNN's Jake Tapper: "We have no smoking gun at this point, but there is a lot of smoke."
As for Clinton, "What Happened" contains 469 pages of explanations, descriptions and catharsis for a candidate who lost an election that appeared to be a sure win. Clinton lays blame on several people throughout her campaign and occasionally on herself, but remains "exacting" in her accounts of who-did-what, according to NPR.
"I regret handing Trump a political gift with my 'deplorables' comment," she explains, but later defends the sentiment itself: "Too many of Trump's core supporters do hold views that I find -- there's no other word for it -- deplorable."
"I do think it's fair to say there was a fundamental mismatch between how I approach politics and what a lot of the country wanted to hear in 2016," Clinton wrote, responding to the claim that she was "doomed from the start."
The memoir is due out Sept. 12.