Hillary Clinton has insisted she is “not going to disappear” in a new book on her disastrous defeat in the 2016 US presidential election.
The former secretary of state blames candidates including Vladimir Putin, James Comey, Democrat rival Bernie Sanders and the “deplorables” among Donald Trump’s support for her failure to become the first US female president.
But she also takes responsibility for her shock loss, acknowledging an “aching sense that I let everyone down” as she prepares to embark on a 15-city tour to promote her memoir What Happened.
In the book, already a top seller on Amazon pre-orders, Mrs Clinton admits that not a day goes by without her thinking about why she lost.
She writes: “I go back over my own shortcomings and the mistakes we made. I take responsibility for all of them.
“You can blame the data, blame the message, blame anything you want – but I was the candidate. It was my campaign. Those were my decisions.”
The 69-year-old apologises again for her use of a private email server which dominated much of the campaign and admits that she failed to connect with American voters on some level that Mr Trump managed.
She cites Russia’s attempt to influence the election, critical media coverage in the US, the 11th hour investigation into her emails announced by then-FBI director James Comey and the strategy employed by Mr Sanders as reasons behind her defeat.
She writes: “What happened in the homestretch that caused so many voters to turn away from me?
“First, and most importantly, there was the unprecedented intervention by then FBI director Jim Comey.
“The second big factor that caused the bottom to fall out at the end of the race was the Russian plot to sabotage my campaign and help elect Trump.”
She adds: “None of the factors I’ve discussed here lessen the responsibility I feel or the aching sense that I let everyone down.
“But I’m not going to sulk or disappear. I’m going to do everything I can to support strong Democratic candidates everywhere.”
Mrs Clinton accuses Senator Sanders of not supporting her properly and handing Mr Trump the “crooked Hillary” nickname he used during the campaign.
She also attacks Mr Trump, ridiculing his qualifications, competence and motives.
But she skirts around the impact on voters of her description of Trump supporters as “deplorables” – a term she admits was a “political gift” to her Republican rival.
What Happened is published on Tuesday and Mrs Clinton will also appear on late-night talk shows, radio and podcasts as part of the publishing tour.