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Clinton’s team backs electors’ demand for an intelligence briefing

Hillary Clinton’s campaign team has thrown its support behind an effort to provide members of the Electoral College with intelligence briefings on alleged breaches by Russia of U.S. political organizations. USA TODAY

December 12, 2016

Hillary Clinton’s former campaign chairman and current adviser says that the campaign backs demands from 10 members of the Electoral College to receive an intelligence briefing on conclusions about whether foreign governments intervened in the election.

“The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security,” 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.”

The letter posted on Medium Monday morning also said that the electors “will separately require from Donald Trump conclusive evidence that he and his staff and advisors did not accept Russian interference, or otherwise collaborate during the campaign, and conclusive disavowal and repudiation of such collaboration and interference going forward.”

Podesta pointed to the Oct. 7 announcement from the intelligence community that members were confident that Russia was responsible for some of the hacks.

“Each day that month, our campaign decried the interference of Russia in our campaign and its evident goal of hurting our campaign to aid Donald Trump. Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign. We now know that the CIA has determined Russia’s interference in our election was for the purpose of election Donald Trump,” Podesta continued. “This should distress every American.”

“We believe that the Administration owes it to the American people to explain what it knows regarding the extent and manner of Russia’s interference and this be done as soon as possible,” Podesta continued.

Speaking to reporters Monday, White House press secretary Josh Earnest said he was aware of the letter, but he said he would want to read the letter before weighing in on the propriety of intelligence briefings for electors

On Dec. 19, the members of the Electoral College will vote to elect the president of the United States. While there have been small attempts at defiance, the vote next week is expected to match the electoral votes that were linked to Trump’s results from the Nov. 8 election.