Clinton Campaign to Participate in Recount Efforts Trump Calls a "Scam"
"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," said Hillary Clinton's campaign counsel Marc Elias.
Hillary Clinton's campaign will participate in the efforts to recount votes in key battleground states, the campaign's counsel Marc Elias announced Saturday in a post on Medium.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein had requested a recount in Wisconsin and vowed to seek recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania. On Friday, Wisconsin state elections officials said they would move forward with the first presidential recount in state history.
In his post, Elias outlined the steps the campaign has taken since the election to rule in or out the possibility of any outside interference in the vote tally. Though their post-election audit did not uncover "any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology," Elias said they will participate in the Wisconsin recount.
"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," he wrote. "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."
Clinton's lead in the national popular vote now exceeds more than 2 million votes.
President-elect Donald Trump's combined margin in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania was 107,000 votes.
While there is no evidence of election tampering in the states, Green Party spokesman George Martin said on Friday that "the American public needs to have it investigated to make sure our votes count."
Elias said officials in the Clinton campaign have received "hundreds" of messages, emails and calls urging the investigation into claims that the election results were hacked.
"This election cycle was unique in the degree of foreign interference witnessed throughout the campaign," Elias wrote on Saturday. "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." (Read Elias' full post here.)
Later on Saturday, Trump responded to the recount efforts, calling them a "scam."
“The people have spoken and the election is over," he said in a statement. "As Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, 'We must accept this result and then look to the future.'"
In his statement, Trump said he won 306 electoral votes, the most of any Republican since 1988, and carried nine of 13 battleground states.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount," he said. "All three states were won by large numbers of voters, especially Pennsylvania, which was won by more than 70,000 votes."
Trump's statement continued: "This is a scam by the Green Party for an election that has already been conceded, and the results of this election should be respected instead of being challenged and abused, which is exactly what Jill Stein is doing.”