US electors won't get intelligence briefing on Russian 'hack': Report
Iran Press TV
Sat Dec 17, 2016 2:14PM
US Electoral College electors will not receive an intelligence briefing about alleged Russian interference in the November 8 presidential election, a new report says.
US National Public Radio (NPR) reported on Saturday that the electors would not get any national intelligence before they cast ballots next week.
All 538 electors will convene at governors' offices and state capitols across America on Monday to officially elect Donald Trump as the 45th president of the United States.
Fifty-four of the 232 Democratic electors have called for a full intelligence briefing about the extent and purpose of Russia's purported intervention in the US election before the Electoral College's vote, according to reports.
The Obama administration has accused Russian President Vladimir Putin of direct involvement in a covert Russian operation to intervene in the US election.
Trump has rejected claims that Russia boosted his campaign as "ridiculous," describing them as "another excuse" from Democrats devastated by his stunning victory against Democratic rival Hillary Clinton.
Democrats had signed a letter asking Director of National Intelligence James Clapper for information on what role, if any, Russia had in defeating Clinton.
"Separate from Mr. Trump's own denials of Russian involvement in the election, the confirmed communication between Trump's aides and those associated with the Russian election interference activity raise serious concerns that must be addressed before we cast our votes," the letter reads.
Originally only some Democratic electors signed the letter but later on at least one Republican, Chris Suprun of Texas, also signed it.
Suprun has already vowed not to vote for Trump and claimed that other Republican electors plan to pick an alternative too.
The Clinton campaign had appreciated the electors' demand for an intelligence briefing, but lamented that the media did not pay much attention to the issue.
"Despite our protestations, this matter did not receive the attention it deserved by the media in the campaign," Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta said in a statement about alleged Russian interference.
"We now know the CIA has determined Russia's interference in our election was for the purpose of electing Donald Trump. This should distress every American."
Last week, The Washington Post reported a "secret CIA assessment" that Russia intervened in the November 8 election to help Trump win the White House.
President Barack Obama ordered the intelligence community to fully review Russia's cyber attacks during the presidential campaign and wants a report before he leaves office in January.
Though he lost the popular vote to Clinton by nearly 3 million votes in the election, Trump won enough states to claim 306 electoral votes to emerge as the victor.
The overwhelming majority of Republican electors are expected to back Trump but still a group of liberal electors is trying hard to convince enough Republican delegates to vote against Trump in order to deprive the president-elect of the 270 votes he needs to enter office.
Under the US Constitution, the president is not elected through popular vote. American voters rather vote for members of the Electoral College who elect the president on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December after the presidential election. A majority of 270 electoral votes are required to elect the president.
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