Clinton blames FBI's Comey for her defeat in call with donors

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Hillary Clinton blamed FBI director James Comey for her stunning defeat in Tuesday's presidential election in a conference call with her top campaign funders on Saturday, according to two participants who were on the call.

Clinton was projected by nearly every national public opinion poll as the heavy favorite going into Tuesday's race. Instead, Republican Donald Trump won the election, shocking many throughout the nation and prompting widespread protests.

Clinton has kept a low profile since her defeat after delivering her concession speech on Wednesday morning.

SEE MORE: Clinton campaign blames James Comey for election loss

Clinton told her supporters on Saturday that her team had drafted a memo that looked at the changing opinion polls leading up to the election and that the letter from Comey proved to be a turning point. She said Comey's decision to go public with the renewed examination of her email server had caused an erosion of support in the upper Midwest, according to three people familiar with the call.

Clinton lost in Wisconsin, the first time since 1984 that the state favored the Republican candidate in a presidential election. Although the final result in Michigan has still not been tallied, it is leaning Republican, in a state that last favored the Republican nominee in 1988.

Comey sent a letter to Congress only days before the election announcing that he was reinstating an investigation into whether Clinton mishandled classified information when she used a private email server while secretary of state from 2009 to 2012.

Comey announced a week later that he had reviewed emails and continued to believe she should not be prosecuted, but the political damage was already done.

See photos from Clinton's concession speech:

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Hillary Clinton speaks for the first time after losing the presidency
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Hillary Clinton speaks for the first time after losing the presidency
Hillary Clinton, former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, arrives with Former U.S. President Bill Clinton to speak at the New Yorker Hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Donald Trump, a Republican who has never held public office, defeated Clinton after a punishing campaign that exposed searing divides in the American public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
Hillary Clinton, former 2016 Democratic presidential nominee, arrives with Former U.S. President Bill Clinton to speak at the New Yorker Hotel in New York, U.S., on Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Donald Trump, a Republican who has never held public office, defeated Clinton after a punishing campaign that exposed searing divides in the American public. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg via Getty Images
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Hillary and Bill Clinton arrive to the New Yorker Hotel where she was to address supporters on November 9, 2016 in New York City. The former Democratic Presidential nominee conceded defeat to president-elect Donald Trump earlier in the morning. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: John Podesta, the campaign chairman of former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton waits for her to concede the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
U.S. Senator Tim Kaine (R) is embraced by Hillary Clinton beforeher address to her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election at a hotel in New York, November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
Former President Bill Clinton applauds as his wife, Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks in New York, Wednesday, Nov. 9, 2016. Clinton conceded the presidency to Donald Trump in a phone call early Wednesday morning, a stunning end to a campaign that appeared poised right up until Election Day to make her the first woman elected U.S. president. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump as former President Bill Clinton(L) and running mate Tim Kaine look on in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, accompanied by her husband former President Bill Clinton, concedes the presidential election at the New Yorker Hotel on November 9, 2016 in New York City. Republican candidate Donald Trump won the 2016 presidential election in the early hours of the morning in a widely unforeseen upset. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election as former U.S. President Bill Clinton (L) and her running mate Tim Kaine applaud at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton makes a concession speech after being defeated by Republican president-elect Donald Trump in New York on November 9, 2016. / AFP / JEWEL SAMAD (Photo credit should read JEWEL SAMAD/AFP/Getty Images)
Hillary Clinton addresses her staff and supporters about the results of the U.S. election as her husband, former U.S. President Bill Clinton, looks on at a hotel in the Manhattan borough of New York, U.S., November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
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Clinton told donors that Trump was able to seize on both of Comey's announcements and use them to attack her, according to two participants on the call.

While the second letter cleared her of wrongdoing, Clinton said that reinforced to Trump's supporters that the system was rigged in her favor and motivated them to mobilize on Election Day.

A spokesperson for the FBI could not immediately be reached for comment.

On the phone call, Dennis Chang, who served as Clinton's finance chair, said her campaign and the national party had raised more than $900 million from more than 3 million individual donors, according to the two participants who spoke to Reuters.

(Reporting by Ginger Gibson in Washington and Luciana Lopez in New York; Editing by Leslie Adler)

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