Hillary Clinton: I would have won election without Comey's intervention

Hillary Clinton has insisted she would have won the US presidential election had it not been for an intervention by the former FBI boss James Comey.

In her first television interview since she lost to Donald Trump, the Democrat said she believes Mr Comey's decision to re-open an investigation into her emails less than two weeks before polling day was the definitive factor in her highly unexpected loss.

"I believe and I think the evidence shows I would have won," she told the NBC News Today programme.

"Were there headwinds? Yes. Were there lots of other issues - and this whole interference by Russia is still an Issue - absolutely.

"But the role that he played, historically, was determinative."

Mrs Clinton was widely tipped to become the first US President at last year's election.

However, her campaign was overshadowed by a scandal over her use of a personal email server instead of a secure government system while she was Secretary of State.

An FBI investigation ruled she should face no charges - but the Mr Comey then head decided to re-open the case just 11 days before election day.

Mrs Clinton told the Today programme she was "stunned" and "dumbfounded" to learn that allegations were being given fresh life just before polling day.

"I didn't know what to think about it because I knew there was nothing there," she said. "I thought 'What is he doing?'"

James Comey appeared to intervene in favour of Mr trump - but was later sacked by him. Credit: AP

She added that her astonishment had only grown when she later learned that the Trump campaign was also under investigation for alleged links to Russian agents - but that news was not made public.

Mrs Clinton refused to allege that Mr Trump and his associates had deliberately colluded with Russia to steal the election - but said a growing mound of evidence was uncovering many "interesting coincidences".

"There was certainly, we know, a plan from Putin and the highest levels of the Kremlin to influence our election.

"And we know there was communication - that has come out.

"We know there was a lot of interesting coincidences if you will, between what people associated with Trump were saying at the time and what later came to pass."