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Hillary Clinton Said Putin's "Personal Beef" Against Her Contributed To Election Loss

She also tied her defeat to the release of FBI Director James Comey's letter before the election.

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Hillary Clinton blamed her defeat on Russia's interference in the US elections and on FBI director James Comey's letter on reviewing new emails related to the investigation into Clinton's use of her private email server.

Clinton made the comments while speaking to her campaign donors in New York City on Tuesday, the New York Times reported. She addressed reports that the Russian government interfered in the US elections by hacking the emails of the Democratic National Committee and her top aides to help Donald Trump win.

She said the Russians sought to "undermine our democracy" and that their attacks were due to Russian president Vladimir Putin's "personal beef" against her for her accusations that Russia's 2011 parliamentary elections were rigged, the Times reported.

"Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election," Clinton said.

She also said that Russia's interference was "an attack against our country."

"Make no mistake, as the press is finally catching up to the facts, which we desperately tried to present to them during the last months of the campaign," Clinton told her donors. "This is not just an attack on me and my campaign, although that may have added fuel to it. This is an attack against our country. We are well beyond normal political concerns here. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation."

Clinton also attributed her defeat in swing states to the letter FBI Director James Comey released shortly before the elections which announced an inquiry into a new batch of emails related to the probe into her use of a private email server.

"Swing-state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the FBI letter from Director Comey,” Clinton said.

Tasneem Nashrulla is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.

Contact Tasneem Nashrulla at tasneem.nashrulla@buzzfeed.com.

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