Former Rhode Island Gov. Lincoln Chafee urged the members of Hillary Clinton's failed 2016 campaign to "look in the mirror" after neglecting to own up to its faults over the past year.
Briefly a Democratic presidential candidate himself, Chafee condemned the "Clinton people" for blaming other people for Clinton's election loss to President Trump.
"It's been a year since the election and the Clinton people just haven't looked in the mirror over the course of this year," Chafee said on Fox News in an interview Saturday morning. "They've been blaming the Russians and everybody else, blaming Sen. Sanders. They've got to look in the mirror and say how could we, as a Clinton campaign, lose to a seemingly unelectable man?"
He added: "They're blaming everybody in sight."
Chafee opined that Russian interference in the election had little to do with its outcome.
"Find me 10 people in Wisconsin that voted for Donald Trump or for Hillary Clinton because of the Russians," he said. "I just don't think you'll find them. It was the e-mail controversy. It was the Clinton Foundation controversies; it was the speeches to Goldman Sachs controversies. It was the ethical issues; it was the arrogance. I just don't think it was the Russians."
Multiple U.S. intelligence agencies concluded in January that Russia was behind the hacking of emails of the Democratic National Committee and officials involved in Clinton's campaign. Chafee noted the multiple investigations, one federal probe headed by special counsel Robert Mueller and a handful of others in Congress, looking into Russian interference and whether the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin, but he stressed that he didn't think swayed most voters in critical swing states like Pennsylvania and Ohio.
Chafee also showered praise on former Democratic National Committee head Donna Brazile for the bombshell claims she made in her new memoir about, including how the Clinton team struck a deal with the DNC which she said looked like an "unethical" takeover.
"Three cheers for Donna Brazile. I like a truth teller and, yes, absolutely," he said. "There were only four of us that dared to challenge Hillary Clinton for the nomination, and we always thought that the fix was in with the DNC. I know I felt that way through the whole course of it and then even getting into some of the mainstream media." Dozens of members of Clinton's campaign have since pushed back on Brazile's claims.
He agreed with Brazile's assessment that while the DNC-Clinton relationship looked unethical, it probably was not illegal.
Chafee also placed a great deal of confidence in Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., who ran a competitive campaign against Clinton, but ultimately lost to Clinton for the nomination.
"I think he would have won. I believe he would be the president if he was our nominee," he said.
Chafee is considering another run for governor in his home state of Rhode Island in 2018, but has not committed to it yet. "I have to think about all that," he said about participating in a possibly contentious Democratic primary during an interview Monday on "The Tara Granahan Show" on WPRO-AM.
Chafee served as the governor of Rhode Island from 2011 to 2015. He previously served as a Republican U.S. senator from Rhode Island until 2007. He was elected as governor as an independent before switching to the Democratic Party in 2013.
Editor's note: The story has been updated to correct Chafee's party history.