As news of the CIA's assessment that Russia interfered in the 2016 U.S. presidential election spreads, top Hillary Clinton adviser and likely Russian hacking victim John Podesta today publicly voiced support for a push by some members of the Electoral College to receive an intelligence briefing ahead of their formal vote next week.
"The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security," Hillary Clinton presidential campaign Chairman John Podesta said in a statement Monday.
"Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed."
Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
Trump's responses to the CIA report have been totally weird, and don't indicate at all that something is rotten in the state of Mar-a-Lago. Nope. This is fine.
It's the losing Democratic nominee's most public show of support yet for efforts to question the legitimacy of election results that gave Donald Trump the presidency. And it follows news over the weekend that the CIA has concluded that Russia intervened in the election to help the Republican win.
The letter comes from 10 mostly Democratic electors, including House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's daughter Christine and New Hampshire Rep.-elect Carol Shea-Porter. Only one signatory is a Republican, Texan Chris Suprun, who has already said he is refusing to vote for Trump despite his state's results.
The electors point to the recent news about Russian involvement and argue that it's their role to best discharge their duties to "prevent a 'desire in foreign powers to gain an improper ascendant in our councils,'" as Alexander Hamilton outlined in The Federalist Papers #68.
Trump is challenging one of the Colorado electors, who signed the letter, in court. He's claiming that if the court overturns a state law binding electors to the statewide winner, it would undermine his election. Though Colorado did vote for Clinton, some electors are hoping it could be used to overturn other state laws where Trump did win.
More deep-dive reporting on this same story today in the New York Times.