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Hillary Clinton says 'Americans' guided Russia's attack on her campaign, suggesting Trump's campaign 'colluded' with Russia

  • Hillary Clinton says Russian hackers were "guided by Americans" in their assault on her presidential campaign.
  • Clinton stopped just short of flat-out accusing Donald Trump and his campaign of colluding with Russia.
  • She made it clear, however, that she believes there was foul play.

Hillary Clinton says Russian hackers were "guided by Americans" in their assault on her presidential campaign.

She delivered the remarks in a wide-ranging interview at the Code Conference on Wednesday afternoon.

Clinton stopped just short of flat-out accusing Donald Trump and his campaign of colluding with Russia, while making it clear she believes there was foul play.

These are the strongest statements Clinton has made since her election loss and some of the boldest statements of any prominent Democrat since the election.

"The Russians — in my opinion and based on the intel and the counterintel people I've talked to — could not have known how best to weaponize that information unless they had been guided," Clinton said. "Guided by Americans and guided by people who had polling and data information."

Clinton also said the intelligence community "concluded with high confidence that the Russians ran an extensive information war campaign against my campaign, to influence voters in the election."

She continued: "I think it's fair to ask, how did that actually influence the campaign? And how did they know what messages to deliver? ... Who told them? Who were they coordinating with, or colluding with?"

Trump, for his part, fired back at Clinton on Twitter, saying, "Crooked Hillary Clinton now blames everybody but herself, refuses to say she was a terrible candidate. Hits Facebook & even Dems & DNC."

In the first part of the interview, Clinton was asked repeatedly what misjudgments she made in running for president. She deflected the question, blaming the media for overplaying the story about her use of a private email server but acknowledging that she wishes she hadn't done that. Clinton also attacked the Democratic National Committee, saying it was nearly bankrupt and had no data for her. But she didn't really admit to any major campaigning errors.

Trump has repeatedly denounced any accusations of Russian interference in the election to help him become president. "Russia must be laughing up their sleeves watching as the U.S. tears itself apart over a Democrat EXCUSE for losing the election," he tweeted on May 11.

A day later he tweeted, "Again, the story that there was collusion between the Russians & Trump campaign was fabricated by Dems as an excuse for losing the election."

And on May 18, he tweeted, "This is the single greatest witch hunt of a politician in American history!"

Disclosure: CNBC parent NBCUniversal is an investor in Recode's parent Vox Media. Recode and NBC have a content-sharing arrangement.