In his first interview since the election in November, Clinton’s campaign chief said that “forces within the FBI wanted [Clinton] to lose.”
Podesta told journalist John Heilemann that FBI director James Comey’s decision to publicly disclose that the bureau was looking into more of Clinton’s emails, just 11 days before election day, was “inexplicable.”
Podesta said he believes there are only two reasons why the FBI would pursue Clinton in the public way they did:
“There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose. I’m not sure they really understood the alternative, but they wanted her to lose. I think that’s one possibility.”
“I think the other is it’s just become a cover-your-ass organization, and there was pressure coming up from underneath him, and he succumbed to that pressure.”
Either way Podesta says the “terrible mistake of judgment” did “terrible damage” to the Clinton campaign: “If you look at the polling at that time, that’s when the race began to tighten in that last week.”
Podesta went on to reiterate previous claims that Trump has close ties with Russia and that President Vladimir Putin directly interfered with the US election.
Podesta called for a “serious investigation of whatever collusion existed between the Trump campaign, the Russians and Assange,” referencing Julian Assange’s WikiLeaks organization, which leaked 60,000 of Podesta’s emails in the run-up to the election.
“There’s legislation pending to create a 9/11 style independent, bipartisan, out of Congress commission. The Republicans, and the House in particular, show no interest in moving that legislation forward, but we should get to the bottom of it.”
Looking back, Podesta blames the compilation of the DNC hack, his email leaks and reintroduction of Comey’s FBI investigation so late in the campaign as the ultimate recipe for Hillary Clinton’s failure to secure a majority in the Electoral College.