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Clinton Campaign Chief: Did Trump, Russians Collude?

WASHINGTON — Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign chairman said Sunday that President-elect Donald Trump's campaign may have colluded with the Russian government over hacked e-mails in an effort to swing the election.
"It's very much unknown whether there was collusion," John Podesta said on NBC's Meet the Press.


Without pointing a finger directly at Trump, Podesta said any ties between the Russian hacking and the president-elect's campaign should be revealed to members of the Electoral College before they confirm the election results Monday.
"What did 'Trump Inc.' know, and when did they know it?" Podesta said. "Were they in touch with the Russians? I think those are still open questions, and the electors have a right to know what the answers are — if the United States government has those answers — before the election."


While many pundits have said the Russians wanted to discredit the U.S. election process but did not necessarily aim to elect Trump, Podesta cited examples of direct contacts: Russian diplomats' statements that they were speaking to the Trump campaign; Trump adviser Roger Stone's comments in August that Wikileaks had Podesta's e-mails before they were released; and meetings in Russia before the Republican National Convention between a Trump foreign policy adviser and Russian intelligence officials.


All of that points to the need for an independent investigation, Podesta said — something Democratic Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Republican Sen. John McCain endorsed Sunday by calling for a select committee. Republican Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell has rejected that idea in favor of a probe by the existing Senate Committee on Intelligence.
But on Fox News Sunday, incoming White House chief of staff Reince Priebus said even if there eventually is proof of Russian hacking, it's "insane" to think the Trump campaign coordinated it.


"Of course we didn't interface with the Russians. I mean, this whole thing is a spin job," Priebus said. Furthermore, he saids, "There's no evidence that shows that the outcome of the election was changed because of a couple of dozen John Podesta e-mails."
Even Donna Brazile, the interim Democratic National Committee chairwoman, said on ABC's This Week that Trump's victory had more to do with his cracking the "blue wall" of Democratic strongholds in the Midwest, from Pennsylvania to Wisconsin. Still, she said, "Donald Trump used this information in ways to also sow division."


Clinton Campaign Chief: Did Trump, Russians Collude? Reviewed by Aderoju Olaitan on 5:30 pm Rating: 5
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