Felt nauseous to think I could have influenced US election: FBI chief

Mrs Hillary Clinton said yesterday that she was on the path to victory in the 2016 U.S. presidential election until late interference by Russian hackers and Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) Director James Comey scared off some potential supporters.

What led the FBI to revisit the investigation was the discovery of thousands of emails on a laptop belonging to former New York Representative Anthony Weiner, who was married to top Clinton aide, Huma Abedin.

Comey's remarks were his first public comment on his decision to reopen the Clinton email investigation, which came after FBI agents discovered new communications connected to the former secretary of state's private server. "This was awful. It makes me mildly nauseous to think we might have had some impact on the election".

Democrats repeatedly contrasted Comey's decision to talk about the Clinton email investigation while not disclosing that the FBI had begun secretly investigating in late July whether any Trump associates might be working with Russian officials to meddle with the campaign.

"The fact that these communications were intercepted without any showing of wrongdoing on the part of the US person, without necessarily showing that USA person had anything to do with the national security investigation at issue, does that cause you concern that that could involve nearly a back doorway of going after communications by US persons in which they have a reasonably expectation of privacy?"

"Yes, I do think it played a role", she said, adding that misogyny is "very much a part of the landscape politically, socially and economically". Comey said he was not. Comey's letter to congressional leaders informing them of the action was immediately leaked, and Clinton says it contributed to her loss on Election Day.

Hours later, Trump attacked Clinton on Twitter, saying she used the "phony" Russian hacking story as a justification for her loss in the November 8 presidential elections. Three days before Comey's announcement in October, Giuliani, an adviser to Trump's campaign, said on Fox News that the campaign had "a couple of surprises" in store. It would also hurt other investigations, said Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., who's been investigating former National Security Adviser Michael Flynn's contacts with Russian Federation and Turkey. "What a coincidence. So I mean you just can't make this stuff up", Clinton said.

"If we did a tiny fraction of what they did, we'd be wearing a striped suit ... and sitting in a nice little tiny cell somewhere", he said. Comey says that other than revealing the Trump investigation exists, no other information would be discussed until it is closed.

The opening statements from the top Republican and the top Democrat on the committee made clear that they wanted answers from Comey on an array of issues.

"Concealment in my view would have been catastrophic, not just to the Federal Bureau of Investigation but well beyond", he said.

"If I were her, if I were advising her, I would say, 'Don't do this". Patrick Leahy, D-Vermont, wanted to know if agents leaked information about Hillary Clinton to help Donald Trump. Colbert's take on the issue was that asking Hillary Clinton if sexism does exist in the USA is similar to asking Serena Williams in she ever heard about a thing called tennis.

FBI Director James Comey is maintaining that he did not treat disclosures about investigations into Hillary Clinton's emails and potential connections between the Trump campaign and Russian Federation differently.

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