(CNN)Hillary Clinton's former campaign chairman John Podesta dismissed Wednesday President Donald Trump's fixation with his 2016 election opponent.
Podesta: It 'bugs the hell' out of Trump that Clinton got more votes
"I think it really just bugs the hell out of him that she got 3 million more votes than he did," Podesta mused after "New Day" anchor Alisyn Camerota asked for his reaction to Trump's frequent references to Clinton.
"What they like to try to do is throw dust someplace else so they at least give the alt-right media and Fox News something to talk about," Podesta added.
Podesta, a former chief of staff to President Bill Clinton, said Trump's mentions of Hillary Clinton are part of an effort to deflect from the controversy surrounding Russian interference in the 2016 campaign and potential involvement by Trump associates.
Podesta's emails were hacked into and released during the campaign as part of a Russian effort to harm Clinton, US intelligence officials have said.
"They like to say there's no crime. This all goes back to crimes that were committed: The hacking of the (Democratic National Committee), the hacking of my emails, the hacking of other Clinton campaign staff emails. Those are crimes committed by the Russians and now we know that at a minimum, (Trump campaign staff) were encouraging them to use the fruits of those crimes."
Podesta said he was confident Clinton would respond to Trump in her forthcoming book about the campaign, which is slated for release in September.