Hillary Clinton is blaming her election loss to Donald Trump on FBI Director James Comey.
During a 30-minute conference call with donors on Saturday, the Democratic nominee cited Comey's decision to reopen the investigation into her emails in connection to the Anthony Weiner scandal as the factor that shifted the narrative to end in President-elect Donald Trump's favor.
"There are lots of reasons why an election like this is not successful," said Clinton, according to a donor who relayed the remarks to The New York Times. She added, "Our analysis is that Comey's letter raising doubts that were groundless, baseless, proven to be, stopped our momentum."
The decision came 11 days ahead of Election Day, and though Comey cleared her on Nov. 5, many believed the Saturday announcement came too close to Nov. 8 to undo its damage.
Clinton's campaign said the decision hurt Clinton by persuading voters who found her untrustworthy and who were receptive to Trump's accusations of a "rigged" system, reported the Times.
"We dropped, and we had to keep really pushing to regain our advantage, which, going into last weekend, we had," Clinton said on the call of the poll numbers ahead of Comey's announcement. "We were once again up in all but two of the battleground states, and we were up considerably in some that we ended up losing. And we were feeling like we had to put it back together."
The donor described her tone as "stoic" on the call, a seemingly far cry from her reported mood at a Friday event for her staff.
Appearing in person for the first time since her concession speech, Clinton spoke briefly during a goodbye party Friday night in Brooklyn, N.Y., urging her team to keep fighting.
She also brought 1,200 roses that she had been sent by a group of supporters to hand out as a thank you. Digital director Jenna Lowenstein tweeted a photo of the roses on Friday.
Someone sent 1000 red roses to @HillaryClinton. She brought them to distribute at our staff party tonight.
Of course.- Jenna Lowenstein (@just_jenna) November 12, 2016
I mean. pic.twitter.com/FRsyuTdoLx
- Jenna Lowenstein (@just_jenna) November 12, 2016
On a Friday-night conference call with volunteers, she also urged her volunteers to "get back out there and keep fighting," citing her win in the popular vote as motivation.
"Listen, this is a hard loss for all of us because we know what was at stake in this election, and we've got to do everything we can to continue to support the causes we believe in," she said, according to CNN. "When you're ready, I hope you will get back out there and keep fighting. I never thought this campaign was about one person or one election."
She added, "This is a tough time for our country. I think we've seen how people have reacted to events of this election, and I know that we've got to be reaching out to each other to keep it clear in our own minds that what we did is so important."
On Thursday, a mom hiking in Chappaqua, N.Y., where Clinton lives, snapped the first picture of the nominee since her concession speech, showing her smiling to ear to ear while on a walk with husband Bill Clinton and their dogs.