Hillary Clinton believes Russian interference cost her the election—and that the story won’t end there.
Speaking at the eighth annual Women in the World Summit in New York City, the former secretary of state said that she was “deeply concerned about Russia,” and not simply because of allegations that the Kremlin’s meddling is a major reason why she is not the sitting president of the United States.
Clinton called Russian President Vladimir Putin’s alleged influence of the election “an act of aggression,” and said the world leader “has a deep desire to dominate Europe and to send [the U.S.] into a tail-spin.”
“I think what Putin wanted to do was sow mistrust and confusion,” she said.
The former first lady also called for an “independent, non-partisan investigation,” particularly given recent revelations that a number of Trump associates have been in contact with Russian officials.
While Clinton did not go so far as to say that she believes there was collusion between President Donald Trump and Putin (a question asked of her by New York Times columnist Nicholas Kristof), she did point out that “because of the success that the Kremlin feels that it had [in influencing American politics], they’re not going to go away.”
She said the Putin’s interference in the presidential election is due to “his focus on destabilizing Europe, NATO, and the U.S.” Plus, “he’s not exactly fond of strong women.”
She noted that the Russian president has “personal beef” with her because back in 2011, she said Russian parliamentary elections were rigged.
“Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” she said.
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A number of politicians across the political spectrum share her concern about Russia’s alleged interference, Clinton said, including Virginia Sen. Mark Warner (D), who told her that the Russian hacking should give “chills to anyone who cares about democracy,” and Arizona Sen. John McCain (R), who she says has “never been so worried about this country in his lifetime.”