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Clinton to press: ‘Hold me accountable’

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Hillary Clinton fielded questions from a group of black and Latino journalists on Friday, insisting that immigration reform will be a top priority if she’s elected president. 

{mosads}But the Democratic nominee warned that action on comprehensive immigration reform would depend on her political capital — which she said would only be as strong as her electoral mandate.

“We are hoping the outcome of the election will send a clear message to our Republican friends that it’s time to stop standing in the way,” Clinton told the National Association of Black Journalists and National Association of Hispanic Journalists.

“I want you to hold me accountable, because the stakes are as high as they’ve ever been in our lifetime,” she told the gathering, before taking questions.

NBC’s Kristen Welker shifted the conversation from immigration policy to the private email server Clinton used as secretary of State, asking whether she had mischaracterized FBI Director James Comey’s assessment of her testimony when she told “Fox News Sunday” that he had concluded she never misled the public.

“I may have short-circuited it, and for that I will try to clarify,” she responded.

“I was pointing out in both of those instances that Director Comey said my answers were truthful. That’s really the bottom line here,” she added.

Asked by New York Times reporter Yamiche Alcindor about her Republican rival, Donald Trump, and the popularity of his controversial rhetoric, Clinton pivoted to what she called “the core” of his message, which she said is focused “in the disappointment in the economy that so many Americans feel.”

“We have to recognize that, of course, some of the appeal is xenophobic and racist and misogynistic,” Clinton said, “but let’s not lose sight of the real pain that many Americans are feeling because the economy has left them behind.”

Clinton accepted earlier this week the invitation to address the journalism groups; Trump declined a similar opportunity.

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus reacted to her remarks in a statement Friday afternoon.

“Judging from the way Hillary Clinton kept lying at today’s event, it’s not hard to see why she hasn’t held a press conference in 244 days,” he said. 

“By yet again falsely claiming that what Director Comey said at his press conference is consistent with what she told the American people about her reckless mishandling of classified information, Hillary Clinton is once again proving herself incapable of telling the truth to the nation.”

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