Podesta: Comey Helped Swing the Election, He ‘Was a Significant Factor’

During an interview with the Global Politico podcast released on Monday, former Clinton campaign Chairman John Podesta argued that FBI Director James Comey helped swing the 2016 election and “was a significant factor.”

Podesta was asked, [relevant remarks begin around 12:30] “[J]ust to be clear on your actual view about this Comey intervention in the election and what happened, Hillary Clinton said recently she believed that that was one of–a significant reason for her defeat in the end. Do you agree with that? Do you think that it did help to swing the election?”

He answered, “Oh, yeah. Absolutely. Look, we bear responsibility, and it’s a great burden, and I feel it every day. I mean, we lost this election. We won the popular vote by 3 million votes, but we lost the Electoral College and lost the election to Donald Trump. So, we have a burden of his having the keys to the White House, and codes to the nuclear football. But, I think this was a significant factor. We felt like we had a lead that we took away from the three debates, in which, I believe, that Hillary won all those debates. The race was tight. We weren’t overconfident, but we were–we had a lead, and that lead really substantially narrowed after Comey’s letter, and the last week of coverage, which was all about, if nothing else, is this thing going to ever end? You know, what he opened–he closed, as I said, just a week later. But he could have done that quietly, and consistently with long-standing precedent, of both Democratic and Republican Justice Departments.”

Podesta later added, “I think we threw everything we could at Pennsylvania, and ultimately came up short. … I mean, I think you can look at each individual state, my own personal view is we probably should have done more in Wisconsin. We didn’t advertise there until the very end. But, you know, at the end of the day, we lost Pennsylvania anyway, and we had thrown everything we could at Pennsylvania. So, you know, it is what it is.”

He continued, “I think that there was a solid swing to him by that group of voters. I think it was a combination of people feeling like, you know, it was just OK to blow up the system because the system wasn’t working for them, and they would take a flyer on someone they viewed as unfit to be president, you know, when we set out to prove that he was temperamentally unfit, and unqualified to be president.”

(h/t Mediaite)

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett

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