Hillary Clinton has laid the blame for her election defeat at the door of FBI director James Comey, allegedly telling her donors the turning point in her campaign was down to him.

Speaking in a call with her campaign funders on 12 November, Clinton said the decision to re-open the investigation into her use of a private email server had been a turning point in the polls, two of the people on the call told Reuters.

In a letter to members of Congress on Friday (28 October), Comey had written: "In connection with an unrelated case, the FBI has learned of the existence of emails that appear to be pertinent to the investigation.

"I am writing to inform you that the investigative team briefed me on this yesterday, and I agreed that the FBI should take appropriate investigative steps designed to allow investigators to review these emails to determine whether they contain classified information, as well as to assess their importance to our investigation."

The investigation had previously been closed, although it dogged much of Clinton's election campaign, but she told her supporters the re-launch of the probe less than two weeks before election day had cost her the election, Reuters reported.

Despite Comey clarifying a week after he sent the letter, that he was satisfied the matter did not warrant prosecution, Clinton believes the timing of the new probe cost her votes.

Her team has reportedly drafted a memo that examined US election polls and found the re-launch of the probe saw her support dip in the upper Midwest in particular, sources linked to the phone call told the news service.