John Podesta Interviewed by The Global Politico

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)

Former Hillary for America campaign chairman John Podesta was interviewed on the latest episode of The Global Politico podcast. While there are a few comments in the interview about the 2016 election, the majority of the interview is about President Donald Trump, his firing of FBI Director James Comey, and whether Republicans can impeach Trump without damaging the party. Podesta is critical of Trump’s presidency and still blames Comey for Clinton’s loss last November. He said, “I still think what Jim Comey did last fall was wrong, but he shouldn’t have been fired, given the circumstances that he was leading this investigation.” Read a transcript of the interview HERE, or you can listen to the interview below.

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News Source: Politico, Politico

Hillary Clinton Launches Onward Together

On Monday, Hillary Clinton announced her next project: a political group called Onward Together. Clinton announced Onward Together on Twitter and in an email blast to her supporters. In the email, Clinton said, “From the Women’s March to airports across the country where communities are welcoming immigrants and refugees to town hall meetings in every community, Americans are speaking out like never before. I believe more fiercely than ever that citizen engagement at every level is central to a strong and vibrant democracy.”

Visiting the website for Onward Together allows supporters to sign up for updates, donate, and read the mission of the newly created group. The mission statement is below:

Onward Together is dedicated to advancing the vision that earned nearly 66 million votes in the last election. By encouraging people to organize, get involved, and run for office, Onward Together will advance progressive values and work to build a brighter future for generations to come.

Citizen engagement at every level is central to a strong and vibrant democracy. In recent months, we’ve seen what’s possible when people come together to resist bullying, hate, falsehoods, and divisiveness, and stand up for a fairer, more inclusive America.

From the Women’s March to airports where communities are welcoming immigrants and refugees to town hall meetings in every community, Americans are speaking up and speaking out like never before.

The challenges we face as a country are real. But there’s no telling what we can achieve if we approach the fights ahead with the passion and determination we feel today, and bring that energy into 2017, 2018, 2020, and beyond.

Onward!

Visit onwardtogether.org to sign up for updates and donate.

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News Source: Politico

Clinton Discusses Election at Women for Women Luncheon

On Tuesday afternoon, Hillary Clinton was a guest of the Women for Women International Luncheon in New York City. During the event, Clinton had a conversation with Christiane Amanpour. The two discussed a number of issues including the Donald Trump administration, a potential conflict with North Korea, and the 2016 presidential election. While Clinton accepted the blame for her loss, she said that there were a number of other factors including the letter from FBI Director James Comey and Russian hacking of the emails of the Democratic National Committee and Hillary for America Campaign Director John Podesta.

Clinton said she would have won the election if it had not been for the Comey letter and Wikileaks in late October adding, “If the election had been held on October 27, I’d be your president, and it wasn’t. It was on October 28.” Clinton did not deflect all of the blame saying that her campaign made mistakes. “I was the candidate, I was the person who was on the ballot and I am very aware of the challenges, the problems, the shortfalls that we had,” she admitted. Clinton vowed to remain active in politics as a citizen and urged everyone to do the same. Watch a video from the event below.

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News Source: CBS News, The Washington Post, Time, CNN, Politico

Podesta Speaks Out About Email Hack

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 04:  John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a campaign rally at The Great Hall at Heinz Field on November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With less than a week to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Ohio and Michigan.  (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)
PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 04: John Podesta, campaign chairman for Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, looks on during a campaign rally at The Great Hall at Heinz Field on November 4, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

John Podesta, the former chairman for Hillary for America, was interviewed by Tech Crunch about the election, and specifically the hacking of his Gmail account and the emails of the Democratic National Committee shortly before the election in November. The emails from the DNC and Podesta were then posted on WikiLeaks. US intelligence agencies traced the hacking back to Russia, and the hack was one of the issues that plagued the Clinton campaign in the weeks leading up to the election.

In the interview, Podesta spoke about the hacking and the failure of the FBI to properly investigate. “I think to this day it’s inexplicable that they were so casual about the investigation of the Russian penetration of the DNC emails. They didn’t even bother to send an agent to the DNC; they left a couple of messages at the IT help desk saying, ‘You might want to be careful.’ There are at least forces within the FBI that wanted her to lose,” he said. Podesta also discusses the failures of the campaign and the rise of fake news. Read the full interview HERE. Follow Podesta on Twitter @johnpodesta.

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News Source: Tech Crunch

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

FBI Releases Additional Docs, State Releases Emails

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Last week, the FBI and State Department released documents related to the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server during her tenure as Secretary of State. The FBI released 299 pages of internal records detailing a fight between the bureau and the State Department over the classification of an email regarding arrests related to the attacks on the US Embassy in Benghazi, Libya. The report includes internal emails as well as internal memos that shed additional light into the investigation of Clinton’s emails by the FBI. Read the report below or download a PDF copy HERE.

Meanwhile, the State Department released 371 of the 15,000 emails that were turned over to the department by the FBI. The total document dump totaled over 1,000 pages and are “near duplicates” of the documents turned over by Clinton’s team in 2014. The State Department has been reviewing the emails turned over by the FBI since late summer 2016 and has reported that about 60% of the emails were personal in nature and not related to business. Of the emails that relate to Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the department reports that a “substantial number” of them are duplicates of those that have been previously reviewed. The State Department will continue to review and release the emails until all 15,000 have been examined. You can access the latest batch of emails by following the steps below:

  1. Go to http://foia.state.gov/Search
  2. Type “F-2016-07895” in the Case Number field
  3. Click on the arrow next to the “Posted Date” column header and select “Sort Descending” so that the recently released documents show first
  4. Click the title of the document in the “Subject” field to open a PDF copy

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News Source: Politico, The Hill

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

State Department Releases Emails from FBI Investigation

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Earlier this week, the State Department released 362 of the 15,000 emails that were turned over to the department by the FBI. The total document dump totaled over 1,000 pages and are “near duplicates” of the documents turned over by Clinton’s team in 2014. The State Department has been reviewing the emails turned over by the FBI since late summer and has reported that about 60% of the emails were personal in nature and not related to business. Of the emails that relate to Clinton’s time as Secretary of State, the department reports that a “substantial number” of them are duplicates of those that have been previously reviewed. The State Department will continue to review and release the emails until all 15,000 have been examined. You can access the latest batch of emails by following the steps below:

  1. Go to http://foia.state.gov/Search
  2. Type “F-2016-07895” in the Case Number field
  3. Click on the arrow next to the “Posted Date” column header and select “Sort Descending” so that the recently released documents show first
  4. Click the title of the document in the “Subject” field to open a PDF copy

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News Source: The Hill

FBI Director Comey Recommends No New Action Against Clinton

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FBI Director James Comey sent a letter to ranking members of Congress on Sunday with the bureau’s conclusions following an investigation into emails found on a computer owned by former Congressman Anthony Weiner. The emails were related to Hillary Clinton’s tenure as Secretary of State. In his letter, Comey says that the FBI stands by its decision to not bring a case against Clinton and that the new emails yielded no new information. Comes said that “based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.” Since the FBI announced it was looking into the emails last week, the Clinton campaign has maintained that there was nothing new to be found. News sources indicate that the majority of the emails found on the computer were duplicates of the emails already reviewed by the bureau. Read the full letter from the FBI director below or download a PDF HERE.

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

Sunday Morning Talk Show Roundup: Kaine, Podesta, Benenson

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On Sunday morning, representatives for Hillary for America made the talk show rounds and spoke about the final strategies before Tuesday’s election. Tim Kaine was on CBS’s Face the Nation and John Dickerson and Kaine discussed the affect the FBI investigation has had on the campaign. “We’ve seen it add to the energy on our side. People on our side view this campaign as so important, the ‘Stronger Together’ message as so important and people don’t want it to be distracted. So there has been a great uptick in energy on our side in the early vote,” Kaine said. Watch a video of the full interview below.

John Podesta was interviewed on ABC’s This Week and NBC’s Meet the Press. During each interview, Podesta explained that while he is optimistic, the Clinton campaign is leaving nothing to chance before election. Podesta was also asked about the leaks of information coming out of the FBI and Podesta responded saying, “I think the men and women of the FBI are doing a tremendous job out here across the country. But the leakers should shut up.” Watch videos of Podesta’s interviews below.

HFA representative Joel Benenson was interviewed on this morning’s episode of Fox News Sunday. Benenson was asked about the FBI investigation into Clinton’s email and the campaign’s strategy for the final days of the campaign. Benenson said that they are “playing offense in every state” and will continue to do so through Monday. Watch a video of the interview below.

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News Source: CBS News, ABC News, WTVQ, CNN, Fox News