Hillary Clinton spoke openly for the first time about Russia’s role in the hacking of her campaign as well as the Democratic National Committee, saying an effort documented by several U.S. intelligence agencies was a result of Vladimir Putin’s “personal beef” with her.

Clinton made the remarks Thursday evening during a closed-door gathering of campaign donors in New York City, according to audio remarks obtained by The New York Times. The defeated Democratic presidential nominee said her prior comments critical of Russia’s 2011 elections were a motivating force behind an “unprecedented Russian plot to swing this election.”

“Putin publicly blamed me for the outpouring of outrage by his own people, and that is the direct line between what he said back then and what he did in this election,” Clinton said, according to the Times.

“Make no mistake, as the press is finally catching up to the facts, which we desperately tried to present to them during the last months of the campaign,” Clinton told the group. “This is not just an attack on me and my campaign, although that may have added fuel to it. This is an attack against our country. We are well beyond normal political concerns here. This is about the integrity of our democracy and the security of our nation,” she said.

On Capitol Hill, Democrats are pressing for an independent commission to investigate Russia’s efforts similar to the bipartisan panel that examined the Sept. 11 terror attacks.

Seventeen U.S. intelligence agencies have determined that the Russian government directed the hacking, with the Central Intelligence Agency concluding the intent was to harm Clinton’s campaign. The Russians have used similar tactics across Europe to influence public opinion there… see more

source: usatoday