Hillary Clinton opens up about the moment she realized she lost

Clinton's new book, "What Happened," was released this week.

ByABC News
September 13, 2017, 11:54 PM

— -- Hillary Clinton was “sure” that she was going to win the 2016 presidential election, saying she didn’t realize it wasn’t going her way until election night, she told “The View” this morning.

The former secretary of state and Democratic presidential candidate said she thought that the race “was going to be a close, hard-fought campaign” but that she would come out on top.

Asked if she cried the night of the election, Clinton said no.

“No, we didn’t cry that night,” she said, referring to her husband, former President Bill Clinton.

Hillary Clinton explained her reaction stemmed from a need to “be strong for my family and my friends and my supporters.”

She said that an Oct. 29 letter from then–FBI Director James Comey to congressional committee chairs about reopening an investigation into her emails cost her the election.

“I would’ve won but for Jim Comey’s letter,” Clinton said.

“That stopped my momentum, and it really caused enough people to move away from me. Some moved to Trump. Some moved to third parties. Some didn’t vote. The net effect was pretty clear,” she said.

Clinton’s appearance on “The View” comes a day after her latest book, “What Happened,” went on sale.

Taking on the Trump administration

Responding to remarks about the book that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders made during Tuesday’s press briefing, Clinton said, “I honestly don’t pay much attention to what she says.”

“Unfortunately — and I don’t say this with any glee — I’m sad about it. We’re not getting the kind of information from this White House that we should,” she said.

PHOTO: Hillary Clinton appears on "The View," Sept. 13, 2017.
Hillary Clinton appears on "The View," Sept. 13, 2017.

Clinton added that she believes in continuing to give Donald Trump “a chance to lead,” as she said in her concession speech, but that didn’t stop her from criticizing his performance thus far.

“I’m very disappointed in what I’ve seen so far,” she said. “I also hope that there can be a greater understanding of what it means to be president for the entire country.”

She specifically criticized Trump’s handling of the threat from and rising tensions with North Korea, saying that it is “a very serious issue” and that the U.S. needs to be working with other countries in the region, such as South Korea, Japan and China.

“It doesn’t help for the president on Twitter to insult South Korea ... That’s not useful,” she said.

Trump did take to Twitter Wednesday night to slam Clinton, writing, "Crooked Hillary Clinton blames everybody (and every thing) but herself for her election loss. She lost the debates and lost her direction!"

A subsequent tweet read, "The "deplorables" came back to haunt Hillary.They expressed their feelings loud and clear. She spent big money but, in the end, had no game!"

Weighing in on the investigation into Russian meddling

Clinton said she adamantly supports the investigations into Russian interference in the election, saying, “There’s a lot to investigate.”

“There’s a lot of smoke, and whether or not there’s fire, we need to figure it out,” she said. “There is no denying that the Russians interfered in the election, whether or not they had willing or unwitting help from the Trump team.”

She dismissed criticism that her book is living in the past or reopening old wounds, making the point that some of the issues that came up in the 2016 election will resurface.

“It’s not just about the past. For example, the Russians are still messing with our democracy. They will be as aggressive as they can get away with,” she said. “Not a Republican or Democrat issue. They may have gone after me this last time. If they think they can destabilize us, which is Putin’s goal — he wants to undermine our democracy — if he succeeds in that, we’re all worse off.”

Answering questions on her marriage

Hillary Clinton said the book delves into some personal questions as well, including questions about her marriage and criticism she has faced for staying married to Bill Clinton.

“People will say, ‘Oh, they have an arrangement.’ Yeah — it’s called a marriage,” she said. “There have been a lot more happy days than sad or angry days.”

“I am proud and grateful I am married to my best friend,” she added. “He has been my biggest source of encouragement and support over all the years — many more than some of you have been alive — that we have been together.”

Related Topics