Hillary Clinton 'takes responsibility' for mistakes of presidential campaign

Mrs Clinton accuses Bernie Sanders of causing 'lasting damage' with 'attacks' during the primary campaign

Hillary Clinton 'takes responsibility' for mistakes of presidential campaign

File photo. Picture by: imageSPACE/SIPA USA/PA Images

Hillary Clinton has said she 'takes responsibility' for the mistakes and shortcomings of her presidential campaign.

The defeated former candidate opens up about last year's extraordinary election campaign in her new book What Happened.

Although it is not set for release until next week, extracts have been published by CNN after they bought an early copy in a Florida bookshop.

The former US secretary of state 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."

She recalls her election night call to Donald Trump after conceding, saying it was "mercifully brief".

"It was all perfectly nice and weirdly ordinary, like calling a neighbor to say you can't make it to his barbecue," she observed.

CNN has also published excerpts in which Mrs Clinton discusses her views on Bernie Sanders - the progressive Vermont senator who gained unexpected traction during the Democratic primary campaign thanks to strong grassroots support.

Mrs Clinton claims Mr Sanders - an independent who often votes with Democrats - "didn't get into the race to make sure a Democrat won the White House, he got in to disrupt the Democratic Party".

She says she was urged by Barack Obama to 'lay off' Bernie as much as possible, but added she "felt like I was in a straitjacket".

She accuses Sanders of resorting "to innuendo and impugning my character" because the two candidates actually agreed on so many issues.

Although Sanders ultimately threw his support behind the successful Democratic candidate, Mrs Clinton suggests: "His attacks caused lasting damage, making it harder to unify progressives in the general election and paving the way for Trump's 'Crooked Hillary' campaign."

Responding to Mrs Clinton's comments, Mr Sanders told The Hill: “My response is that right now it’s appropriate to look forward and not backward."

He added he is currently "working overtime" to try and overturn yesterday's controversial decision by the Trump administration to end the 'Dreamers' scheme for young undocumented immigrants.