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Comey says his assumption Clinton would win 'was a factor' in his email probe choices

Former FBI Director James Comey said his assumption that then-candidate Hillary Clinton would win the 2016 election played a role in his decision-making about investigating the private email server she used as secretary of state. Clinton has blamed Comey for her loss.

"Wasn't the decision to reveal [further investigation to Congress shortly before the election] influenced by your assumption that Hillary Clinton was going to win, and your concern that, she wins, this comes out several weeks later and then that's taken by her opponents as a sign that she's an illegitimate president?" host George Stephanopoulos asked Comey.

"It must have been," Comey replied. "I don't remember consciously thinking about that, but it must have been. I was operating in a world where Hillary Clinton was going to beat Donald Trump. I'm sure that it was a factor. I don't remember spelling it out, but it had to have been. That she's going to be elected president, and if I hide this from the American people, she'll be illegitimate the moment she's elected, the moment this comes out."

Comey's comments come in an interview excerpt released by ABC News on Saturday. The full interview will air Sunday at 10 p.m. Eastern on ABC. Bonnie Kristian