Clinton jumps gun on special counsel probe, 'convinced' Trump team helped Russia meddle

Never mind the special counsel probe – Hillary Clinton apparently already knows ‘what happened.’

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The 2016 Democratic presidential nominee told USA Today in a new interview that she’s “convinced” then-candidate Donald Trump’s associates coordinated with Russia to help the foreign government meddle in the U.S. election.

She spoke with the newspaper from her Chappaqua, N.Y., home, as part of the promotion for her new book “What Happened,” which hit the shelves Tuesday.

Clinton uses the memoir to reflect on her 2016 loss to Trump, casting blame for the upset on everyone from former FBI director James Comey to Democratic primary rival Bernie Sanders and sharing some of it herself.

But in the interview and the book, she emphasizes the role played by Russia. While the special counsel investigation ramps up, Clinton told USA Today there “certainly was communication and there certainly was an understanding of some sort” between Moscow and Trump’s team.

“Because there's no doubt in my mind that Putin wanted me to lose and wanted Trump to win. And there's no doubt in my mind that there are a tangle of financial relationships between Trump and his operation with Russian money. And there's no doubt in my mind that the Trump campaign and other associates have worked really hard to hide their connections with Russians,” she said.

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Asked if she thinks there was collusion, Clinton responded, "I'm convinced of it,” without actually saying the word.

She clarified, "I happen to believe in the rule of law and believe in evidence, so I'm not going to go off and make all kinds of outrageous claims. But if you look at what we've learned since [the election], it's pretty troubling."

Trump and his advisers have long denied collusion claims, with the president occasionally referring to the investigation as a “witch hunt.” He’s also pushed back on the notion that Vladimir Putin wanted him to win.

The investigation, meanwhile, is heating up, as the former FBI director leading the probe looks to question several top current and former Trump advisers. 

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