Podesta Blasts Trump’s Distortion of Reality in Op-Ed

WASHINGTON, DC -- NOVEMBER 9: Former Clinton White House Chief of Staff, John Podesta, being interviewed for Discovery Channel's, "The President's Gatekeepers," November 9, 2012, in Washington, D.C. (Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)
(Photo by David Hume Kennerly/Getty Images)

John Podesta, the former chairman of Hillary for America, published an op-ed in The Washington Post attacking President Donald Trump for his continued distortion of the facts and attacks on the media. In the piece, Podesta calls out Trump for calling anything that does not portray him in the best light “fake news.” He has said this about poll numbers, his businesses, his connections to Russia, and any of his nominees. Podesta calls Trump’s attacks on the media “dangerous” as he is trying to turn people against the media and the political system. “He’s not just trying to spin the bad news of the day; all politicians do that. He seeks nothing less than to undermine the public’s belief that any news can be trusted, that any news is true, that there is any fixed reality,” he says. Read the full op-ed HERE.

Follow Podesta on Twitter @johnpodesta.

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News Source: The Washington Post

Hillary Clinton Condemns Trump’s Immigration Ban

Hilary Clinton and Bill Clinton attend The Nearness Of You Benefit Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 25, 2017 in New York City.
Hilary Clinton and Bill Clinton attend The Nearness Of You Benefit Concert at Jazz at Lincoln Center on January 25, 2017 in New York City.

After President Donald Trump signed an executive order suspending the entry of refugees and blocking entry of immigrants from seven predominantly Muslim countries, Hillary Clinton tweeted that the order “is not who we are.” The order was signed on Friday and blocks the entry of refugees from all countries for 90 days, but bars Syrian refugees indefinitely. The immigration ban in the order applies to seven countries: Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen. The ban has been condemned by US officials, members of Congress from both parties, the international community, and many in the public with demonstrations being held at major airports. On Saturday, a federal judge halted the deportation of immigrants and refugees who were detained at US airports after the ACLU sued the Trump administration.

Meanwhile, Clinton attended a fundraising event at Columbia University in New York on Wednesday. The event was held to raise money for cancer research. The two primary researchers at the university are themselves immigrants: Dr. Azra Raza is from Pakistan and Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee is from India. The executive order has been condemned by the scientific community because it could block researchers from entering the United States to continue or begin new research. While the federal judge did block some deportations, many of the order’s provisions remain in effect.

Update: Chelsea Clinton tweeted photos from one of the protests in New York City.

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News Source: Stat News, The Washington Post, The New York Times

Chelsea Clinton Interviewed by Refinery29

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Earlier this month, Chelsea Clinton was interviewed by Refinery29. It is her first interview since her mother, Hillary Clinton, lost the presidential election to Donald Trump in November. In the interview, Chelsea talks about the work the Clinton Foundation continues to do, but the main discussion was about how her mother’s supporters should move forward after the election. Chelsea said, “Everything we believed before the election, we still believe. Everything we worked so hard for, we have to continue to work hard for. It requires engagement in our own communities.”

Chelsea recommended that everyone step up by subscribing to reliable news organizations, taking part in peaceful demonstrations such as the Women’s March, and that everyone donate to organizations that are likely to suffer during the Trump administration such as Planned Parenthood. She said that no matter how we are feeling, whether we are hopeful or angry, we should turn those feelings into actions. “Use those emotions to engage and organize and advocate to protect and advance what you think matters most. Whether that’s combatting climate change, or protecting women’s rights, fighting against gun violence, or advocating for LGBTQ equality,” she said. Read the full article HERE.

Chelsea is also still very active on Twitter, and you can follow her @ChelseaClinton.

For all the latest, follow our Scheduled Events page and follow the Clintons on Twitter @HillaryClinton, @billclinton, and @ChelseaClinton. You can also follow Hillary on Facebook and Instagram.

News Source: Refinery29

Intelligence Community Releases Declassified Report on Russia’s Influence of the Election

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Late last week, the intelligence community released their report following an investigation into the alleged influence of the 2016 election by Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russian Intelligence agencies. The report is a declassified version of a much more detailed report which concluded that Putin “ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S. presidential election.” It went on to say that Putin’s motives were to “denigrate” Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, and that he had “a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” The report details the reasons Putin does not like Clinton and outlines the ways the Russian government influenced the election including the hacking of John Podesta and the DNC, leaks to WikiLeaks, and hacking the RNC. Read the full report below or download a PDF copy HERE.

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News Source: The New York Times

2,865,075

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The number of votes by which Hillary Clinton defeated Donald Trump in the popular vote: 2,865,075. The 2.1% margin is more than any other candidate that won the popular vote and failed to win the Electoral College. I could go on about the historical reasoning for the Electoral College and how it is hopelessly out dated and not a feature of a true democracy, but I will save that for another day.

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News Source: CNN

Bill Clinton Casts Electoral College Vote for Hillary

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On Monday, the Electoral College voted across the country for president. While many supporters of Hillary Clinton hoped the electors would defect, they confirmed the win for Donald Trump. In New York, one of the electors was Bill Clinton. He cast the first vote in the state for his wife. Following the vote, he said, “You know, I watched her work for two years, I watched her battle through that bogus email deal. She fought through everything and she prevailed against it all.” Watch a video of Bill casting his ballot below.

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News Source: New York Daily News, Vox, The Huffington Post

Podesta Pens Op-Ed about the FBI

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The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, John Podesta, published an op-ed in The Washington Post criticizing the FBI for its handling of Clinton’s email investigation and the hacking of his emails as well as the emails of the Democratic National Committee. Read Podesta’s full op-ed below:

Something is deeply broken at the FBI
By: John Podesta
December 15, 2016

The more we learn about the Russian plot to sabotage Hillary Clinton’s campaign and elect Donald Trump, and the failure of the FBI to adequately respond, the more shocking it gets. The former acting director of the CIA has called the Russian cyberattack “the political equivalent of 9/11.” Just as after the real 9/11, we need a robust, independent investigation into what went wrong inside the government and how to better protect our country in the future.

As the former chair of the Clinton campaign and a direct target of Russian hacking, I understand just how serious this is. So I was surprised to read in the New York Times that when the FBI discovered the Russian attack in September 2015, it failed to send even a single agent to warn senior Democratic National Committee officials. Instead, messages were left with the DNC IT “help desk.” As a former head of the FBI cyber division told the Times, this is a baffling decision: “We are not talking about an office that is in the middle of the woods of Montana.”

What takes this from baffling to downright infuriating is that at nearly the exact same time that no one at the FBI could be bothered to drive 10 minutes to raise the alarm at DNC headquarters, two agents accompanied by attorneys from the Justice Department were in Denver visiting a tech firm that had helped maintain Clinton’s email server.

This trip was part of what FBI Director James B. Comey described as a “painstaking” investigation of Clinton’s emails, “requiring thousands of hours of effort” from dozens of agents who conducted at least 80 interviews and reviewed thousands of pages of documents. Of course, as Comey himself concluded, in the end, there was no case; it was not even a close call.

Comparing the FBI’s massive response to the overblown email scandal with the seemingly lackadaisical response to the very real Russian plot to subvert a national election shows that something is deeply broken at the FBI.

Comey justified his handling of the email case by citing “intense public interest.” He felt so strongly that he broke long-established precedent and disregarded strong guidance from the Justice Department with his infamous letter just 11 days before the election. Yet he refused to join the rest of the intelligence community in a statement about the Russian cyberattack because he reportedly didn’t want to appear “political.” And both before and after the election, the FBI has refused to say whether it is investigating Trump’s ties to Russia.

There are now reports that Vladimir Putin personally directed the covert campaign to elect Trump. So are teams of FBI agents busy looking into the reported meeting in Moscow this summer between Carter Page, a Trump foreign policy adviser, and the Putin aide in charge of Russian intelligence on the U.S. election? What about evidence that Roger Stone was in contact with WikiLeaks and knew in advance that my hacked emails were about to be leaked? Are thousands of FBI person-hours being devoted to uncovering Trump’s tangled web of debts and business deals with foreign entities in Russia and elsewhere?

Meanwhile, House Republicans who had an insatiable appetite for investigating Clinton have been resistant to probing deeply into Russia’s efforts to swing the election to Trump. The media, by gleefully publishing the gossipy fruits of Russian hacks, became what the Times itself calls “a de facto instrument of Russian intelligence.”

But the FBI’s role is particularly troubling because of its power and responsibility — and because this is part of a trend. The Justice Department’s Inspector General issued a damning report this summer about the FBI’s failure to prioritize cyberthreats more broadly.

The election is over and the damage is done, but the threat from Russia and other potential aggressors remains urgent and demands a serious and sustained response.

First, the Obama administration should quickly declassify as much as possible concerning what is known about the Russian hack, as requested by seven Democratic members of the Senate Intelligence Committee.

Second, the administration should brief members of the electoral college on the extent and manner of Russia’s interference in our election before they vote on Dec. 19, as requested by a bipartisan group of electors.

Third, Congress should authorize a far-reaching, bipartisan independent investigation modeled on the 9/11 Commission. The public deserves to know exactly what happened, why and what can be done to prevent future attacks. Reps. Eric Swalwell (D-Calif.) and Elijah E. Cummings (D-Md.) have introduced legislation to authorize such an investigation.

Finally, Congress should more vigorously exercise its oversight to determine why the FBI responded overzealously in the Clinton case and insufficiently in the Russian case. The FBI should also clarify whether there is an ongoing investigation into Trump, his associates and their ties to Russia. If ever there were a case of “intense public interest,” this is it. What’s broken in the FBI must be fixed and quickly.

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News Source: The Washington Post

Electors Ask for Intelligence Briefing Before Vote

A bipartisan group of electors from the Electoral College have asked for an intelligence briefing following revelations from the CIA that Russia may have influenced the election. In a letter to James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, the electors expressed their concern and asked that all of the electors be briefed by the intelligence community before they cast their ballots later this month. The chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta, said that he and the campaign supports the electors being briefed. In a statement, he said, “The bipartisan electors’ letter raises very grave issues involving our national security. Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed. 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 elections was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American.”

This post will be updated as we learn more.

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News Source: The Washington Post, Politico

Clinton Campaign to Participate in Wisconsin Vote Recount

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On Saturday, Hillary Clinton’s campaign announced that it will take part in a vote recount in Wisconsin. The recount was initiated on by Green Party presidential candidate Jill Stein. The recount comes in light of fears that voting technology may have been tampered with in the state. In a post on Medium, Clinton lawyer Marc Elias wrote that, while their internal investigations did not reveal an evidence of vote tampering, the campaign will take part in the recount.

A number of prominent politicians and Clinton supporters have called upon the Clinton campaign to challenge the results in battleground states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania. There is a building frustration among Clinton’s supporters for a lack of comment from the former presidential candidate’s campaign, especially as Clinton’s lead in the popular vote count remains close to 2 million. Elias says that the campaign appreciates the support, but they have not felt the need to push for expensive recounts. He wrote, “The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.” Read Elias’s full post below:

Listening and Responding To Calls for an Audit and Recount

Over the last few days, officials in the Clinton campaign have received hundreds of messages, emails, and calls urging us to do something, anything, to investigate claims that the election results were hacked and altered in a way to disadvantage Secretary Clinton. The concerns have arisen, in particular, with respect to Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania — three states that together proved decisive in this presidential election and where the combined margin of victory for Donald Trump was merely 107,000 votes.

It should go without saying that we take these concerns extremely seriously. We certainly understand the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton, and it is a fundamental principle of our democracy to ensure that every vote is properly counted.

Moreover, this election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign: the U.S. government concluded that Russian state actors were behind the hacks of the Democratic National Committee and the personal email accounts of Hillary for America campaign officials, and just yesterday, the Washington Post reported that the Russian government was behind much of the “fake news” propaganda that circulated online in the closing weeks of the election.

For all these reasons, we have quietly taken a number of steps in the last two weeks to rule in or out any possibility of outside interference in the vote tally in these critical battleground states.

First, since the day after the election we have had lawyers and data scientists and analysts combing over the results to spot anomalies that would suggest a hacked result. These have included analysts both from within the campaign and outside, with backgrounds in politics, technology and academia.

Second, we have had numerous meetings and calls with various outside experts to hear their concerns and to discuss and review their data and findings. As a part of this, we have also shared out data and findings with them. Most of those discussions have remained private, while at least one has unfortunately been the subject of leaks.

Third, we have attempted to systematically catalogue and investigate every theory that has been presented to us within our ability to do so.

Fourth, we have examined the laws and practices as they pertain to recounts, contests and audits.

Fifth, and most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses — where voting machine tapes are compared to poll-books, provisional ballots are resolved, and all of the math is double checked from election night. During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.

In the coming days, we will continue to perform our due diligence and actively follow all further activities that are to occur prior to the certification of any election results. For instance, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania conduct post-election audits using a sampling of precincts. Michigan and many other states still do not. This is unfortunate; it is our strong belief that, in addition to an election canvass, every state should do this basic audit to ensure accuracy and public confidence in the election.

Beyond the post-election audit, Green Party candidate Jill Stein announced Friday that she will exercise her right as a candidate to pursue a recount in the state of Wisconsin. She has indicated plans to also seek recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan.

Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.

The campaign is grateful to all those who have expended time and effort to investigate various claims of abnormalities and irregularities. While that effort has not, in our view, resulted in evidence of manipulation of results, now that a recount is underway, we believe we have an obligation to the more than 64 million Americans who cast ballots for Hillary Clinton to participate in ongoing proceedings to ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported.

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News Source: The Washington Post, CNN, Medium

Hillary Clinton Calls for Unity in Concession Speech

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Hillary Clinton delivered her concession speech this morning in New York City. In the speech, Clinton thanked Tim Kaine and Anne Holton, her family, and the Obamas for all their support on the campaign trail. She also thanked her staff, campaign volunteers, and everyone who has supported the campaign by voting or donating. Clinton asked that everyone not be discouraged by the results saying that she hopes Donald Trump will be “a successful president for all Americans.” She urged everyone to keep fighting for what they believe in saying, “This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is, it is worth it. And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.” A video and transcript of Clinton’s speech is below.

TRANSCRIPT:

Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you so much. A very rowdy group. Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you.

Thank you so very much for being here. I love you all, too. Last night I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country.

I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for, and I’m sorry we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.

But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together. This vast, diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America, and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life.

I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort. This is painful, and it will be for a long time. But I want you to remember this.

Our campaign was never about one person, or even one election. It was about the country we love and building an America that is hopeful, inclusive, and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought. But I still believe in America, and I always will. And if you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power.

We don’t just respect that. We cherish it. It also enshrines the rule of law; the principle we are all equal in rights and dignity; freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

Let me add: Our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet.

And breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams. We spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone.

For people of all races, and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people, and people with disabilities. For everyone.

I am so grateful to stand with all of you. I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey.

It has been a joy get to go know them better and gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front lines of our democracy representing Virginia in the Senate.

To Barack and Michelle Obama, our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude.

We thank you for your graceful, determined leadership that has meant so much to so many Americans and people across the world. And to Bill and Chelsea, Mark, Charlotte, Aidan, our brothers and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express.

You crisscrossed this country, even 4-month-old Aidan, who traveled with his mom. I will always be grateful to the talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country.

You poured your hearts into this campaign. To some of you who are veterans, it was a campaign after you had done other campaigns. Some of you, it was your first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anybody could have ever expected or wanted.

And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to their neighbors, posted on Facebook — even in secret private Facebook sites.

I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward.

To anyone that sent contributions, even as small as $5, that kept us going, thank you. To all of us, and to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this — I have, as Tim said, I have spent my entire life fighting for what I believe in.

I’ve had successes and setbacks and sometimes painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional, public, and political careers — you will have successes and setbacks too.

This loss hurts, but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it.

It is, it is worth it.

And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives. And to all the women, and especially the young women, who put their faith in this campaign and in me: I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

Now, I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but someday someone will — and hopefully sooner than we might think right now.

And to all of the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams.

Finally, finally, I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me.

I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe, as deeply as I ever have, that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strengthen our convictions, and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.

Because, you know, I believe we are stronger together and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary of doing good, for in good season we shall reap. My friends, let us have faith in each other, let us not grow weary and lose heart, for there are more seasons to come and there is more work to do.

I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election. May God bless you and may God bless the United States of America.

President Barack Obama also held a press conference today in which he congratulated Trump on his victory and committed to a smooth transition of power. Obama said that he will meet with Trump at the White House on Thursday. He said that he is dedicated to ensuring a successful transition of power because that is how American democracy works. Obama added, “We are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.” A video of his speech is below.

News Source: The New York Times, Vox, NPR, The Washington Post, The New York Times, CNN