Washington: Former Democratic Presidential candidate Hillary Clinton said her defeat in the November 8 election was due to a series of "unprecedented" events -- Russian cyberattacks and new FBI accusations about her handling of e-mails containing classified government information.
According to an audio reported on Friday by The New York Times, Clinton, who lost the election to Republican Donald Trump by not winning the necessary minimum of 270 Electoral College votes, said her defeat was in part due to Putin's "personal beef against me".
In that statement, made Thursday at a private fundraiser in New York, the Democrat blamed her loss on last-minute changes among undecided voters in America's swing states, due to "some unprecedented factors that I don't think we can ignore", EFE news reported.
Clinton said the letter from FBI Director James Comey just a week before the election, which revived the controversy over her supposedly improper use of her personal server for classified government communications, was one of the factors that switched the vote against her in key states like Florida, North Carolina, and those in the Midwestern rust belt.
"Swing-state voters made their decisions in the final days breaking against me because of the FBI letter from Director Comey," Clinton said in the audio obtained by the The New York Times.
The former Democratic candidate recalled that she got some three million votes more than Trump nationwide, a number insufficient to win her the necessary number of electoral votes in swing states.
The other factor that inclined the balance in favour of the magnate, according to the ex-Secretary of State, was "the unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election", which is, she said, "something every American should be worried about".
The former First Lady repeated the news indicating that Putin knew all about what was going on and personally directed "the covert cyberattacks against our electoral system, against our democracy, apparently because he has a personal beef against me".
The United States has strong indications that Russian hackers infiltrated e-mails of Clinton campaign personnel and Republican campaign staff members.
Clinton said that Putin directed the attacks because he was enraged about the massive protests against him years before he returned to power, protests that he blames on the then-US Secretary of State.