Podesta Declines to Say Election Was ‘Free And Fair’

Sunday on NBC’s “Meet The Press,” the former chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential campaign John Podesta refused to acknowledge President-elect Donald Trump’s victory was the result of a “free and fair election.”

Partial transcript as follows:

TODD: Let me start with this question. Do you believe this was a free and fair election?

PODESTA: Well, look, I think the Russians clearly intervened in the election. And I think that the, now we know that both the C.I.A., the director of National Intelligence, the F.B.I. all agree that the Russians intervened to help Trump and that as they have noted this week, NBC first revealed that Vladimir Putin was personally involved with that. So I think that people went to the polls, they cast their votes, Hillary Clinton got 2.9 million more votes than Donald Trump, but you know Donald Trump is claiming the electoral college victory. And you know tomorrow, the electors will get to vote.

TODD: You didn’t answer the question. Do you believe this was a free and fair election?

PODESTA: Well, I think it was distorted by the Russian intervention. Let’s put it that way.

TODD: And what does “distorted” mean? How should– Let me ask you this then, so you– Go ahead.

PODESTA: They– A foreign, a foreign adversary directly intervened into our Democratic institution and tried to tilt the election to Donald Trump. I think that if you look back and see what happened over the course of the last few weeks, you see the way the votes broke, you know, I was highly critical of the way the F.B.I., particularly the F.B.I. director managed the situation with respect to the Russian engagement versus Hillary Clinton’s emails. I think that all had an effect on the election.

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