Instead of blaming Russian hackers and FBI Director James Comey for Hillary Clinton’s election loss, some Clinton advisers are blaming Clinton aide Huma Abedin and those in Clinton’s inner circle for losing the election.
“The real anger is toward Hillary’s inner circle,” a Clinton insider told Vanity Fair for a Wednesday feature on Abedin. “They reinforced all the bad habits.”
Abedin, who has been by Clinton’s side ever since she served as an intern for President Bill Clinton, is one of the most prominent figures in Clinton’s inner circle.
The vice-chair of the Clinton campaign, Abedin offered guidance on Clinton’s probable thoughts on upcoming events, meetings, and calls before the requests ever made it to Clinton herself.
Clinton was known to keep her core group—made up of campaign manager Robbie Mook, communications director Jennifer Palmieri, adviser Cheryl Mills, John Podesta, and Abedin—small and close to her, and it never changed throughout the 2016 campaign.
A Clinton insider said the closeness of that group created problems because they shut out new ideas that originated outside the circle.
“Where in most presidential campaigns the circle grows broader and broader, hers grew smaller and smaller,” a source told Vanity Fair.
A spokesperson for the Clinton campaign denied that notion, saying that the campaign plane seated up to three times as many people during the runup to Election Day.
Abedin declined interview requests for the feature.
Some observers said she enjoyed the limelight too much.
“She was enjoying the red carpet and enjoying the photo spreads much too much, in my opinion,” one Clinton insider told Vanity Fair. “She enjoyed being a celebrity too much.”
Abedin was spotted at Clinton’s holiday party with top-tier donors and at the afterparty Thursday.
President Obama has also publicly blamed Clinton’s strategy for the election loss.