NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/CBS News) – Ten months after losing the presidential election, Hillary Clinton says the loss still hurts.
“It still is very painful. It hurts a lot,” Clinton told CBS Sunday Morning anchor Jane Pauley.
Clinton has spent the time since her election defeat working on a new book called “What Happened.” The book will be released Tuesday by Simon and Schuster, a division of CBS Corporation.
Clinton said she didn’t expect to be defeated by President Donald Trump, and hadn’t even written a concession speech.
“I felt like I had let everybody down,” she told Pauley.
Clinton told Pauley she attributed Trump’s election success in part to white voters who were feeling nostalgic.
“He was quite successful in referencing a nostalgia that would give hope, comfort, settle grievances, for millions of people who were upset about gains that were made by others because—” Clinton told Pauley.
“What you’re saying is millions of white people,” Pauley said.
“Millions of white people, yeah,” Clinton replied. “Millions of white people.”
After the loss, she returned to her home in Chappaqua, where she struggled to cope with her defeat.
“I just felt this enormous letdown, just kind of loss of feeling and direction and sadness,” Clinton said. “Off I went, into a frenzy of closet cleaning, and long walks in the woods, playing with my dogs, and, as I write– yoga, alternate nostril breathing, which I highly recommend, tryin’ to calm myself down. And– you know, my share of Chardonnay. It was a very hard transition. I really struggled. I couldn’t feel, I couldn’t think. I was just gob-smacked, wiped out.”
“But I’m a former first lady, and former presidents and first ladies show up. It’s part of the demonstration of the continuity of our government. And so there I was, on the platform, you know, feeling like an out-of-body experience,” Clinton told Pauley.
She called Trump’s inaugural speech “a cry from the white nationalist gut.”
“What an opportunity to say, ‘Okay, I’m proud of my supporters, but I’m the president of all Americans.’ That’s not what we heard at all,” Clinton said.
She said her greatest mistake contributing to her election loss was the use of a personal email server.
“I’ve said it before, I’ll say it again, that was my responsibility,” she said. “It was presented in such a negative way, and I never could get out from under it. And it never stopped.”
Clinton said she thought former FBI Director James Comey‘s announcement that he was looking into additional emails that came to light as a result of the Anthony Weiner sexting investigation killed her momentum.
“Eleven days before the election. And it raised the specter that, somehow, the investigation was being reopened,” Clinton said. “It just stopped my momentum. Now, remember this, too, Jane. At the same time he does that about a closed investigation, there’s an open investigation into the Trump campaign and their connections with Russia. You never hear a word about it. And when asked later, he goes, ‘Well, it was too close to the election.’ Now, help me make sense of that. I can’t understand it.”
“The forces that were at work in 2016 were unlike anything that I’ve ever seen or read about. It was a perfect storm,” Clinton said.
For more on the interview, click here.