(CNN)David Axelrod won't deny that outside forces helped derail Hillary Clinton's presidential bid -- but he says the former nominee shouldn't side-step the bulk of the blame.
Axelrod: It takes a lot of work to lose to Trump
"If I were advising her, I would say don't do this, don't go back and appear as if you're shifting responsibility off of yourself," the CNN senior political commentator said.
"She has a legitimate beef because (James) Comey's letter was instrumental ... in her defeat," Axelrod allowed, referencing Clinton's claim that the FBI director's October 28th note to Congress cost her the Oval Office. "But Jim Comey didn't tell her not to campaign in Wisconsin after the convention, Jim Comey didn't say not to put any resources in Michigan until the final week of the campaign."
During her onstage conversation with Amanpour, Clinton stated that she believes she lost due to "the intervening events in the last ten days."
To Axelrod, the real mistake was allowing things to ever get that close.
So while Clinton's claims aren't without merit, Axelrod said, she ought to own the loss on a larger scale.
"The fact that she was in a position to lose because of the Comey letter is something that deserves some introspection."