On Thursday night, Hillary Clinton, speaking at an event in Manhattan’s Plaza Hotel, said that Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged involvement in the hacking of Democratic organizations stemmed from a longtime grudge that he held against her.
The former Secretary of State was addressing donors during a short speech at the event which was dubbed a “thank you party.” These were the first comments she has made on the matter since the election, though she repeatedly spoke about the hacking prior to Election Day.
According to sources present at the event, she did not mention Donald Trump but her comments reacting to news that the U.S. intelligence assessment of the 2016 hacking suggests Putin was involved was seen at the event as an implicit knock against the President-elect.
She said that the grudge stemmed from her comments about Russia’s 2011 parliamentary elections. As Secretary of State, Clinton issued a sharp rebuke of Russia’s elections suggesting that the elections were not free and fair. Putin blamed Clinton for protests that broke out in his nation afterward.
Donors who were present at the event also said that there is growing anger among the Clinton team toward the FBI, saying that they played a monumental role in allegedly handing the election to Donald Trump, in particular referring to FBI Director James Comey’s handling of Clinton’s email scandal, especially in the final days leading up to the election.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s campaign chair John Podesta wrote a scathing op-ed in The Washington Post entitled “Something is deeply broken at the FBI.” Podesta called the FBI out for what he said was a “lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election.”
For his part, President-elect Trump continued his defensive posture on the matter continuing to launch attacks against the U.S. intelligence community and the Democrats. On Friday morning, he tweeted, “Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?”
Are we talking about the same cyberattack where it was revealed that head of the DNC illegally gave Hillary the questions to the debate?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 16, 2016