Full Text Political Transcripts December 29, 2016: President Barack Obama issues sanctions against Russia over election interference

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 114TH CONGRESS:

Executive Order — Taking Additional Steps to Address the National Emergency with Respect to Significant Malicious Cyber-Enabled Activities

Source: WH, 12-29-16

EXECUTIVE ORDER

– – – – – – –

TAKING ADDITIONAL STEPS TO ADDRESS THE NATIONAL EMERGENCY WITH RESPECT TO SIGNIFICANT MALICIOUS CYBER-ENABLED ACTIVITIES

By the authority vested in me as President by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, including the International Emergency Economic Powers Act (50 U.S.C. 1701 et seq.) (IEEPA), the National Emergencies Act (50 U.S.C. 1601 et seq.) (NEA), and section 301 of title 3, United States Code,

I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, in order to take additional steps to deal with the national emergency with respect to significant malicious cyber-enabled activities declared in Executive Order 13694 of April 1, 2015, and in view of the increasing use of such activities to undermine democratic processes or institutions, hereby order:

Section 1. Section 1(a) of Executive Order 13694 is hereby amended to read as follows:

“Section 1. (a) All property and interests in property that are in the United States, that hereafter come within the United States, or that are or hereafter come within the possession or control of any United States person of the following persons are blocked and may not be transferred, paid, exported, withdrawn, or otherwise dealt in:

(i) the persons listed in the Annex to this order;

(ii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, directly or indirectly, cyber-enabled activities originating from, or directed by persons located, in whole or in substantial part, outside the United States that are reasonably likely to result in, or have materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economic health or financial stability of the United States and that have the purpose or effect of:

(A) harming, or otherwise significantly compromising the provision of services by, a computer or network of computers that support one or more entities in a critical infrastructure sector;

(B) significantly compromising the provision of services by one or more entities in a critical infrastructure sector;

(C) causing a significant disruption to the availability of a computer or network of computers;

(D) causing a significant misappropriation of funds or economic resources, trade secrets, personal identifiers, or financial information for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain; or

(E) tampering with, altering, or causing a misappropriation of information with the purpose or effect of interfering with or undermining election processes or institutions; and

(iii) any person determined by the Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State:

(A) to be responsible for or complicit in, or to have engaged in, the receipt or use for commercial or competitive advantage or private financial gain, or by a commercial entity, outside the United States of trade secrets misappropriated through cyber-enabled means, knowing they have been misappropriated, where the misappropriation of such trade secrets is reasonably likely to result in, or has materially contributed to, a significant threat to the national security, foreign policy, or economy of the United States;

(B) to have materially assisted, sponsored, or provided financial, material, or technological support for, or goods or services to or in support of, any activity described in subsections (a)(ii) or (a)(iii)(A) of this section or any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order;

(C) to be owned or controlled by, or to have acted or purported to act for or on behalf of, directly or indirectly, any person whose property and interests in property are blocked pursuant to this order; or

(D) to have attempted to engage in any of the activities described in subsections (a)(ii) and (a)(iii)(A)-(C) of this section.”

Sec. 2. Executive Order 13694 is further amended by adding as an Annex to Executive Order 13694 the Annex to this order.

Sec. 3. Executive Order 13694 is further amended by redesignating section 10 as section 11 and adding a new section 10 to read as follows:

“Sec. 10. The Secretary of the Treasury, in consultation with the Attorney General and the Secretary of State, is hereby authorized to determine that circumstances no longer warrant the blocking of the property and interests in property of a person listed in the Annex to this order, and to take necessary action to give effect to that determination.”

Sec. 4. This order is not intended to, and does not, create any right or benefit, substantive or procedural, enforceable at law or in equity by any party against the United States, its departments, agencies, or entities, its officers, employees, or agents, or any other person.

Sec. 5. This order is effective at 12:01 a.m. eastern standard time on December 29, 2016.

BARACK OBAMA

THE WHITE HOUSE,
December 28, 2016.

Full Text Political Transcripts December 16, 2016: President Barack Obama’s last end-of-year press conference

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 114TH CONGRESS:

President Barack Obama’s last end-of-year news conference

Source: WaPo, 12-16-16

OBAMA: All right, everybody. Good afternoon. This is the most wonderful press conference of the year. I have got a list of who has been naughty and nice to call on. But let me first make a couple of quick points and then I will take your questions.

Typically I use this year-end press conference to review how far we have come over the course of the year. Today, understandably, I’m going to talk a little bit about how far we have come over the past eight years.

As I was preparing to take office, the unemployment rate was on its way to 10 percent. Today it is at 4.6 percent, the lowest in nearly a decade. We’ve seen the longest streak of job growth on record, and wages have grown faster over the past few years than at any time in the past 40.

When I came into office, 44 million people were uninsured. Today we have covered more than 20 million of them. For the first time in our history, more than 90 percent of Americans are insured.

In fact, yesterday was the biggest day ever for health care.gov, more than 670,000 Americans signed up to get covered, and more are signing up by the day.

We’ve cut our dependence on foreign oil by more than half, doubled production of renewable energy, enacted the most sweeping reforms since FDR to protect consumers and prevent a crisis on Wall Street from punishing main street ever again.

None of these actions stifled growth as critics are predicted. Instead, the stock market has nearly tripled.

Since I signed Obamacare into law, our businesses have added more than 15 million new jobs, and the economy undoubtedly more durable than it was in the days when we relied on oil from unstable nations and banks took risky bets with your money.

Add it all up, and last year the poverty rate fell at the fastest rate in almost 50 years, while the median household income grew at the fastest rate on record. In fact, income gains were actually larger for households at the bottom and the middle than for those at the top.

And we have done all this while cutting our deficits by nearly two-thirds, and protecting vital investments that grow the middle class.

In foreign policy, when I came into office we were in the midst of two wars. Now nearly 180,000 troops are down to 15,000. Bin Laden, rather than being at large, has been taken off the battlefield, along with thousands of other terrorists.

Over the past eight years no foreign terrorist organization has successfully executed an attack on our homeland that was directed from overseas. Through diplomacy, we have ensured Iran cannot obtain a nuclear weapon without going to war with Iran.

We opened up a new chapter with the people of Cuba. And we have brought nearly 200 nations together around a climate agreement that could very well save this planet for our kids.

And almost every country on Earth sees America as stronger and more respected today than they did eight years ago. In other words, by so many measures our country is stronger and more prosperous than it was when we started. It is a situation that I’m proud to leave for my successor. And it’s thanks to the American people, to the hard work that you have put in, the sacrifices you have made for your families and your communities, the businesses that you started or invested in, and the way you looked out for one another. And I could not be prouder to be your president.

Of course, to tout this progress does not mean that we are not mindful of how much more there is to do. In this season in particular, we are reminded that there are people who are still hungry, people who are still homeless, people who still have trouble paying the bills or finding work after being laid off.

There are communities that are still mourning those who have been stolen from us by senseless gun violence, and parents who still are wondering how to protect their kids.

OBAMA: And after I leave office I intend to continue to work with organizations and citizens doing good across the country on these and other pressing issues to build on the progress that we have made.

Around the world as well, there are hotspots where disputes have been intractable, conflicts have flared up, and people, innocent people are suffering as result, and nowhere is this more terribly true than in the city of Aleppo. For years, we’ve worked to stop the civil war in Syria and alleviate human suffering. It has been one of the hardest issues that I’ve faced as president.

The world as we speak is united in horror at the savage assaults by the Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies on the city of Aleppo. We have seen a deliberate strategy of surrounding, besieging and starving innocent civilians. We’ve seen relentless targeting of humanitarian workers and medical personnel, entire and neighbors reduced to rubble and dust. There are continuing reports of civilians being executed. These are all horrific violations of international law.

Responsibility for this brutality lies in one place alone, with the Assad regime and its allies, Russia and Iran, and this blood and these atrocities are on their hands. We all know what needs to happen. There needs to be an impartial international observer force in Aleppo that can help coordinate an orderly evacuation through say corridors. There has to be full access for humanitarian aid, even as the United States continues to be the world’s largest donor of humanitarian aid to the Syrian people. And beyond that, there needs to be a broader cease-fire that can serve as the basis for a political rather than a military solution.

That’s what the United States is gonna continue to push for, both with our partners and through multilateral institutions like the U.N.

Regretfully, but unsurprisingly, Russia has repeatedly blocked the Security Council from taking action on these issues, so we’re gonna keep pressing the Security Council to help improve the delivery of humanitarian aid to those who are in such desperate need and ensure accountability, including continuing to monitor any potential use of chemical weapons in Syria.

And we’re gonna work in the U.N. General Assembly as well, both on accountability and to advance a political settlement because it should be clear that although you may achieve tactical victories, over the long-term, the Assad regime cannot slaughter its way to legitimacy. That’s why we’ll continue to press for a transition to a more representative government, and that’s why the world must not avert our eyes to the terrible events that are unfolding.

The Syrian regime and its Russian and Iranian allies are trying to obfuscate the truth. The world should not be fooled and the world will not forget.

So even in a season where the incredible blessings that we know as Americans are all around us, even as we enjoy family and friends and are reminded of how lucky we are, we should also be reminded that to be an American involves bearing burdens and meeting obligations to others. American values and American ideals are what will lead the way to a safer and more prosperous 2017, both here and abroad. And by the way, you (ph) embody those values and ideals like our brave men and women in uniform and their families.

So I just want to close by wishing all of them a very merry Christmas and a happy new year.

With that, I will take some questions, and I’m gonna start with Josh Lederman of A.P.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

There’s a perception that you’re letting President Putin get away with interfering in the U.S. election and that a response that nobody knows about (inaudible) don’t cut it. Are you prepared to call out President Putin by name for ordering (inaudible)? And do you agree with Hillary Clinton now says, that the hacking was actually partially responsible for her loss?

And is your administration open to correlate with Trump and his team on this issues, tarnishing (ph) the smooth transition of power that you have promised?

OBAMA: Well, first of all, with respect to the transition, I think they would be the first to acknowledge that we have done everything we can to make sure that they are successful, as I promised, and that will continue. And it’s just been a few days since I last talked to the president-elect about a whole range of transition issues. That cooperation’s gonna continue.

OBAMA: There hasn’t been a lot of squabbling. What we’ve simply said is the facts, which are that based on uniform intelligence assessments, the Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC and that as a consequence, it is important for us to review all elements of that and make sure that we are preventing that kind of interference through cyber attacks in the future. That should be a bipartisan issue, that shouldn’t be a partisan issue.

And my hope is that the president-elect is going to similarly be concerned with making sure that we don’t have a potential foreign influence in our election process. I don’t think any American wants that. And that shouldn’t be a source of an argument.

I think that part of the challenge is that it gets caught up in the carryover from election season. And I think it is very important for us to distinguish between the politics of the election and the need for us as a country, both from a national security perspective but also in terms of the integrity of our election system and our democracy to make sure that we don’t create a political football here.

Now, with respect to how this thing unfolded last year, let’s just go through the facts pretty quickly. At the beginning of the summer, were alerted to the possibility that the DNC has been hacked. And I made (ph) an order, law enforcement, as well as our intelligence teams to find out everything about it, investigate it thoroughly to brief the potential victims of this hacking, to brief on a bipartisan basis the leaders of both the House and the Senate and the relevant intelligence committees.

And once we had clarity and certainty around what in fact had happened, we publicly announced that in fact Russia had hacked into the DNC. And at that time, we did not attribute motives or you know any interpretations of why they had done so.

We didn’t discuss what the effects of it might be. We simply let people know — the public know just as we had let members of Congress know that this had happened.

And as a consequence, all of you wrote a lot of stories about both what had happened and then you interpreted why that might have happened and what effect it was going to have on the election outcomes. We did not — and the reason we did not was because in this hyper-partisan atmosphere, at a time when my primary concern was making sure that the integrity of the election process was not in any way damaged, at a time when anything that was said by me or anybody in the White House would immediately be seen through a partisan lens. I wanted to make sure that everybody understood we were playing this thing straight, that we weren’t trying to advantage one side or another. But what we were trying to do was let people know that this had taken place.

And so if you started seeing effects on the election, if you were trying to measure why this was happening and how you should consume the information that was being leaked, that you might want to take this into account. And that’s exactly how we should have handled it.

Imagine if we had done the opposite, it would become immediately just one more political scrum. And part of the goal here was to make sure that we did not do the work of the leakers for them by raising more and more questions about the integrity of the election right before the election was taking place — at a time, by the way, when the president-elect himself was raising questions about the integrity of the election.

And finally, I think it’s worth pointing out, that the information was already out. It was in the hands of Wikileaks, so that was going to come out no matter what.

What I was concerned about in particular was making sure that that wasn’t compounded by potential hacking that could hamper vote counting, affect the actual election process itself.

And so in early September when I saw President Putin in China, I felt that the most effective way to ensure that that did not happen was to talk to him directly and tell him to cut it out, there were going to be some serious consequences if he did not.

And in fact, we did not see further tampering of the election process. But the leaks through Wikileaks had already occurred.

So when I look back in terms of how we handled it, I think we handled it the way it should have been handled. We allowed law enforcement and the intelligence community to do its job without political influence.

We briefed all relevant parties involved in terms of what was taking place. When we had a consensus around what had happened, we announced it, not through the White House, not through me, but rather through the intelligence communities that had actually carried out these investigations.

And then we allowed you and the American public to make an assessment as to how to weigh that going into the election.

And the truth is, is that there was nobody here who did not have some sense of what kind of effect it might have. I am finding it a little curious that everybody is suddenly acting surprised that this looked like it was disadvantaging Hillary Clinton, because you guys wrote about it every day, every single leak about every little juicy tidbit of political gossip, including John Podesta’s risotto recipe.

This was an obsession that dominated the news coverage. So I do think it is worth us reflecting how it is that a presidential election of such importance, of such moment, with so many big issues at stake and such a contrast between the candidates came to be dominated by a bunch of these leaks.

What is it about our political system that made us vulnerable to these kinds of potential manipulations which, as I’ve said publicly before, were not particularly sophisticated. This was not some elaborate, complicated espionage scheme.

They hacked into some Democratic Party e-mails that contained pretty routine stuff, some of it embarrassing or uncomfortable because I suspect that if any of us got our emails hacked into there might be some things that we would not want suddenly appearing on the front page of a newspaper or a telecast, even if there was not anything particularly illegal or controversial about it.

And then it just took off. And that concerns me, and it should concern all of us. But the truth of the matter is, is that everybody had the information. It was out there, and we handled it the way we should have.

Now, moving forward, I think there are a couple of issues that this raises. Number one is just the constant challenge that we are going to have with cyber security throughout our economy and throughout our society.

We are a digitalized culture. And there’s hacking going on every single day. There is not a company, there is not a major organization, there is not a financial institution, there is not a branch of our government were somebody is not going to be fishing for something or trying to penetrate or put in a virus or malware.

And this is why for the last eight years I have been obsessed with how do we continually upgrade our cyber security systems. And this particular concern around Russian hacking is part of a broader set of concerns about how do we deal with cyber issues being used in ways that can affect our infrastructure, affect the stability of our financial systems, and affect the integrity of our institutions like our election process.

I just received, a couple of weeks back, it wasn’t widely reported on, a report from our cyber-security commission that outlines a whole range of strategies to do a better job on this. But it’s difficult because it’s not all housed — the target of cyberattacks is not one entity, but it’s widely dispersed and a lot of it is private, like the DNC. You know, it’s not a branch of government. We can’t tell people what to do.

What we can do is inform them, get best practices. What we can also do is to on a bilateral basis warn other countries against these kinds of attacks, and we’ve done that in the past. So just as I told Russia to stop it and indicated there will be consequences when they do it, the Chinese have in the past engaged in cyberattacks directed at our companies to steal trade secrets and proprietary technology, and I had to have the same conversation with President Xi. And what we’ve seen is some evidence that they have reduced but not completely eliminated these activities, partly because they can use cutouts. One of the problems with the internet and cyber issues is there’s not always a return address, and by the time you catch up to it, you know, attributing what happened to a particular government can be difficult, not always provable in court, even tough our intelligence communities can make an assessment.

What we’ve also tried to do is to start creating some international norms about this to prevent some sort of cyber arms race because we obviously have offensive capabilities as well as defensive capabilities, and my approach is not a situation which everybody’s worse off because folks are constantly attacking each other back and forth, but putting some guardrails around behavior of nation states, including our adversaries, just so that they understand that whatever they do to us, we can potentially do to them.

We do have some special challenges because oftentimes, our economy is more digitalized. It is more vulnerable partly because we’re a wealthier nation and we’re more wired than some of these other countries and we have a more open society and engage in less control and censorship over what happens over the internet, which is also part of what makes us special.

Last point, and the reason I’m going on here is because I know that you guys have a lot of questions about this and I addressed all of you directly about this. With respect to response, my principal goal leading up to the election was making sure that the election itself went off without a hitch, that it was not tarnished and that it did not feed any sense in the public that somehow, tampering had taken place with the actual process of voting and we accomplished that. That does not mean that we are not going to respond, it simply meant that we had a set of priorities leading up to the election that were of the utmost importance.

Our goal continues to be to send a clear message to Russia or others not to do this to us because we can do stuff to you, but it is also important for us to do that in a thoughtful, methodical way. Some of it, we do publicly. Some of it, we will do in a way that they know but not everybody will. And I know that there have been folks out there who suggests somehow that if we went out there and made big announcements and thumped our chests about a bunch of stuff, that somehow that would potentially spook the Russians.

But keep in mind that we already have enormous numbers of sanctions against the Russians. The relationship between us and Russia has deteriorated, sadly, significantly over the last several years. And so how we approach an appropriate response that increases costs for them for behavior like this in the future but does not create problems for us is something that’s worth taking the time to think through and figure out. And that’s exactly what we’ve done.

So, at a point in time where we’ve taken certain actions that we can divulge publicly, we will do so. There are times where the message will be directly received by the Russians and not publicized. And I should point out by the way, part of why the Russians have been effective on this is because they don’t go around announcing what they’re doing. It’s not like Putin’s gone around the world publicly saying, look what we did. Wasn’t that clever? He denies it.

So the idea that somehow public shaming is gonna be effective, I think doesn’t read the — the thought process in Russia very well. OK.

QUESTION: Did Clinton lose because of the hacking?

OBAMA: I’m gonna let all the political pundits in this town have a long discussion about what happened in the election. It was a fascinating election. So, you know, I’m sure there are gonna be a lot of books written about it. I’ve said what I think is important for the Democratic Party going forward, rather than try to parse every aspect of the election.

And I — I’ve said before, I couldn’t be prouder of Secretary Clinton, her outstanding service and she’s worked tirelessly on behalf of the American people and I don’t think she was treated fairly during the election. I think the coverage of her and the issues was troubling, but having said that, what I’ve been most focused on — appropriate for the fact I am not going to be a politician in about — what is it, 32 days, 31, 34?

(LAUGHTER)

What I’ve said is that I can maybe give some counsel advice to the Democratic Party. And I think the — the — the thing we have to spend the most time on — because it’s the thing we have most control over — is, how do we make sure that we’re showing up in places where I think Democratic policies are needed, where they are helping, where they are making a difference, but where people feel as if they’re not being heard?

And where Democrats are characterized as coastal, liberal, latte- sipping, you know, politically correct, out-of-touch folks, we have to be in those communities. And I’ve seen that, when we are in those communities, it makes a difference. That’s how I became president. I became a U.S. Senator not just because I had a strong base in Chicago, but because I was driving downstate Illinois and going to fish fries and sitting in V.F.W. Halls and talking to farmers.

And I didn’t win every one of their votes, but they got a sense of what I was talking about, what I cared about, that I was for working people, that I was for the middle class, that the reason I was interested in strengthening unions and raising the minimum wage and rebuilding our infrastructure and making sure that parents had decent childcare and family leave, was because my own family’s history wasn’t that different from theirs even if I looked a little bit different. Same thing in Iowa.

And so the question is, how do we rebuild that party as a whole, so that there’s not a county in any state — I don’t care how red — where we don’t have a presence and we’re not making the argument, because I think we have a better argument. But that requires a lot of work. You know, it’s been something that I’ve been able to do successfully in my own campaigns.

OBAMA: It is not something I’ve been able to transfer to candidates in mid-terms and sort of build a sustaining organization around. That’s something I would have liked to have done more of, but it’s kind of hard to do when you’re also dealing with a whole bunch of issues here in the White House. And that doesn’t mean, though, that it can’t be done, and I think there are gonna be a lot of talented folks out there, a lot of progressives who share my values, who are gonna be leading the charge in the years to come.

Michelle Kosinski (ph) of CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you.

This week we heard Hillary Clinton talk about how she thinks that the FBI director’s most recent announcement made a difference in the outcome of the election. And we also just heard in an op-ed her campaign chairman talk about something being deeply broken within the FBI.

He talked about thinking that the investigation early on was lackadaisical, in his words. So what do you think about those comments? Do you think there’s any truth to them? Do you think there’s a danger there that they’re calling into question the integrity of institutions in a similar way that Donald Trump’s team has done?

And the second part to that is that Donald Trump’s team repeatedly — I guess, given the indication that the investigation of the Russian hack as well as retaliation might not be such a priority once he’s in office.

So what do you think the risk is there? And are you going to talk to him directly about some of those comments he made?

OBAMA: Well, on the latter point, as I said before, the transition from election season to governance season is not always smooth. You know, it’s bumpy. There are still feelings that are raw out there. There are people who are still thinking how things unfolded. And I get all that.

But when Donald Trump takes the oath of office and is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, then he has got a different set of responsibilities and considerations.

And I’ve said this before. I think there is a sobering process when you walk into the Oval Office. And, you know, I haven’t shared previously private conversations I’ve had with the president-elect. I will say that they have been cordial and in some cases have involved me making some pretty specific suggestions about how to ensure that regardless of our obvious deep disagreements about policy, maybe I can transmit some thoughts about maintaining the effectiveness, integrity, cohesion of the office, our various democratic institutions, and he has listened.

I can’t say that he will end up implementing, but the conversations themselves have been cordial as opposed to defensive in any way. And I will always make myself available to him just as previous presidents have made themselves available to me as issues come up.

With respect to the FBI, I will tell you, I’ve had a chance to know a lot of FBI agents. I know Director Comey. They take their job seriously. They work really hard. They help keep us safe and save a lot of lives.

And it is always a challenge for law enforcement when there’s an intersection between the work that they are doing and the political system. It’s one of the difficulties of democracy generally.

We have a system where we want our law enforcement investigators and our prosecutors to be free from politics, to be independent, to play it straight. But sometimes that involves investigations that touch on politics and particularly in this hyper-partisan environment that we’ve been in, everything is suspect, everything you do one way or the other.

One thing that I have done is to be pretty scrupulous about not wading into investigation decisions or prosecution decisions or decisions not to prosecute. I have tried to be really strict in my own behavior about preserving the independence of law enforcement, free from my own judgments and political assessments, in some cases. And I don’t know why it would stop now.

Mike Dorney (ph) of Bloomberg.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

On Aleppo, your views of (ph) what happens there, the responsibility of the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Assad regime (inaudible), but do you, as president of the United States, leader of the free world, feel any personal moral responsibility now at the end of your presidency for the carnage we’re all watching in Aleppo, which I’m sure disturbs you (inaudible)?

Secondly, also on Aleppo, you’ve again made clear your practical disagreements with (inaudible) and President-elect Trump has throughout his campaign, and he said again last night, that he wants to create safe zones in Syria. Do you feel like in this transition, you need to help him toward implementing that or is that not something you need to be doing?

OBAMA: Mike, I always feel responsible. I felt responsible when kids were being shot by snipers. I felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced. I feel responsible for murder and slaughter that’s taken place in South Sudan that’s not being reported on, partly because there’s not as much social media being generated from there.

There are places around the world where horrible things are happening and because of my office, because I’m president of the United States, I feel responsible. I ask myself every single day, is there something I could do that would save lives and make a difference and spare some child who doesn’t deserve to suffer. So that’s a starting point. There’s not a moment during the course of this presidency where I haven’t felt some responsibility.

That’s true, by the way, for our own country. When I came into office and people were losing their jobs and losing their homes and losing their pensions, I felt responsible and I would go home at night and I would ask myself, was there something better that I could do or smarter that I could be that would make a difference in their lives, that would relieve their suffering and relieve their hardship.

So with respect to Syria, what I have consistently done is taken the best course that I can to try to end the civil war while having also to take into account the long-term national security interests of the United States. And throughout this process, based on hours of meetings — if you tallied it up, days and weeks of meetings — where we went through every option in painful detail with maps and we had our military and we had our aid agencies and we had our diplomatic teams, and sometimes, we’d bring in outsiders who were critics of ours.

OBAMA: Whenever we went through it, the challenge was that short of putting large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground uninvited, without any international law mandate, without sufficient support from Congress, at a time when we still had troops in Afghanistan and we still had troops in Iraq and we had just gone through over a decade of war and spent trillions of dollars and when the opposition on the ground was not cohesive enough to necessarily govern a country and you had a military superpower in Russia prepared to do whatever it took to keep its (inaudible) involved and you had a regional military power in Iran that saw their own vital strategic interests at stake and were willing to maintain that territory in the absence of consent from the Syrian government and now the Russians or the Iranians.

So it may be that with Aleppo’s tragic situation unfolding that in the short term, if we can get more of the tens of thousands who are still trapped there out , that so long as the world’s eyes are on them and they are feeling pressure, the regime in Russia concludes that they are willing to find some arrangement, perhaps in coordination with Turkey, whereby those people can be safe.

Even that will probably be temporary, but at least it solves a short-term issue that’s going to arise.

Unfortunately we are not there yet because right now we have Russians and Assad claiming that basically all the innocent civilians who were trapped in Aleppo are out when international organizations, humanitarian organizations who know better and who are on the ground, have said unequivocally that there are still tens of thousands who are trapped and prepared to leave under pretty much any conditions.

And so right now our biggest priority is to continue to put pressure wherever we can to try to get them out.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: Mike, I can’t have too much…

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) but do you see, responsibility notwithstanding, moving in that direction or help President-elect Trump move in that direction?

OBAMA: I will help President Trump — President-elect Trump with any advice, counsel, information that we can provide so that he, once he’s sworn in, can make a decision.

Between now and then, these are decisions that I have to make based on the consultations that I have with our military and the people who have been working this every single day.

Peter Alexander (ph).

QUESTION: Mr. President, thank you very much.

Can you, given all the intelligence that we have now heard, assure the public this was once and for all a free and fair election? And specifically on Russia, do you feel any obligation now as they have been insisting that this isn’t the case to show the proof, as it were? They say, put your money where your mouth is and declassify some of the intelligence and the evidence that exists.

And more broadly, as it relates to Donald Trump on this very topic, are you concerned about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, especially given some of the recent cabinet picks, including his selection for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who toasted Putin with champagne over oil deals together? Thank you.

OBAMA: I may be getting older because these multipart questions, I start losing track.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I can assure the public that there was not the kind of tampering with the voting process that was our concern and will continue to be of concern going forward, that the votes that were cast were counted, they were counted appropriately.

We have not seen evidence of machines being tampered with, so that assurance I can provide.

That doesn’t mean that we find every single, you know, potential probe of every single voting machine all across the country, but we paid a lot of attention to it. We worked with state officials, et cetera, and we feel confident that that didn’t occur and that the votes were cast and they were counted.

And so that’s on that point. What was the second one?

QUESTION: Say more about declassification.

OBAMA: Declassification. Look, we will provide evidence that we can safely provide, that doesn’t mean, though, that it can’t be done, and I think there are going to be a lot of talented folks out there, a lot of progressives who share my values who are going to be leading the charge in the years to come.

Michelle Kosinski (ph) of CNN.

QUESTION: Thank you.

This week we heard Hillary Clinton talk about how she thinks that the FBI director’s most recent announcement made a difference in the outcome of the election. And we also just heard in an op-ed her campaign chairman talk about something being deeply broken within the FBI.

He talked about thinking that the investigation early on was lackadaisical, in his words. So what do you think about those comments? Do you think there’s any truth to them? Do you think there’s a danger there that they’re calling into question the integrity of institutions in a similar way that Donald Trump’s team has done?

And the second part to that is that Donald Trump’s team repeatedly — I guess, given the indication that the investigation of the Russian hack as well as retaliation might not be such a priority once he’s in office.

So what do you think the risk is there? And are you going to talk to him directly about some of those comments he made?

OBAMA: Well, on the latter point, as I said before, the transition from election season to governance season is not always smooth. You know, it’s bumpy. There are still feelings that are raw out there. There are people who are still thinking how things unfolded. And I get all that.

But when Donald Trump takes the oath of office and is sworn in as the 45th president of the United States, then he has got a different set of responsibilities and considerations.

And I’ve said this before. I think there is a sobering process when you walk into the Oval Office. And, you know, I haven’t shared previously private conversations I’ve had with the president-elect. I will say that they have been cordial and in some cases have involved me making some pretty specific suggestions about how to ensure that regardless of our obvious deep disagreements about policy, maybe I can transmit some thoughts about maintaining the effectiveness, integrity, cohesion of the office, our various democratic institutions, and he has listened.

I can’t say that he will end up implementing, but the conversations themselves have been cordial as opposed to defensive in any way. And I will always make myself available to him just as previous presidents have made themselves available to me as issues come up.

With respect to the FBI, I will tell you, I’ve had a chance to know a lot of FBI agents. I know Director Comey. They take their job seriously. They work really hard. They help keep us safe and save a lot of lives.

And it is always a challenge for law enforcement when there’s an intersection between the work that they are doing and the political system. It’s one of the difficulties of democracy generally.

We have a system where we want our law enforcement investigators and our prosecutors to be free from politics, to be independent, to play it straight. But sometimes that involves investigations that touch on politics and particularly in this hyper-partisan environment that we’ve been in, everything is suspect, everything you do one way or the other.

One thing that I have done is to be pretty scrupulous about not wading into investigation decisions or prosecution decisions or decisions not to prosecute. I have tried to be really strict in my own behavior about preserving the independence of law enforcement, free from my own judgments and political assessments, in some cases. And I don’t know why it would stop now.

Mike Dorney (ph) of Bloomberg.

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

On Aleppo, your views of (ph) what happens there, the responsibility of the Russian government, the Iranian government, the Assad regime (inaudible), but do you, as president of the United States, leader of the free world, feel any personal moral responsibility now at the end of your presidency for the carnage we’re all watching in Aleppo, which I’m sure disturbs you (inaudible)?

Secondly, also on Aleppo, you’ve again made clear your practical disagreements with (inaudible) and President-elect Trump has throughout his campaign, and he said again last night, that he wants to create safe zones in Syria. Do you feel like in this transition, you need to help him toward implementing that or is that not something you need to be doing?

OBAMA: Mike, I always feel responsible. I felt responsible when kids were being shot by snipers. I felt responsible when millions of people had been displaced. I feel responsible for murder and slaughter that’s taken place in South Sudan that’s not being reported on, partly because there’s not as much social media being generated from there.

There are places around the world where horrible things are happening and because of my office, because I’m president of the United States, I feel responsible. I ask myself every single day, is there something I could do that would save lives and make a difference and spare some child who doesn’t deserve to suffer. So that’s a starting point. There’s not a moment during the course of this presidency where I haven’t felt some responsibility.

That’s true, by the way, for our own country. When I came into office and people were losing their jobs and losing their homes and losing their pensions, I felt responsible and I would go home at night and I would ask myself, was there something better that I could do or smarter that I could be that would make a difference in their lives, that would relieve their suffering and relieve their hardship.

So with respect to Syria, what I have consistently done is taken the best course that I can to try to end the civil war while having also to take into account the long-term national security interests of the United States. And throughout this process, based on hours of meetings — if you tallied it up, days and weeks of meetings — where we went through every option in painful detail with maps and we had our military and we had our aid agencies and we had our diplomatic teams, and sometimes, we’d bring in outsiders who were critics of ours.

OBAMA: Whenever we went through it, the challenge was that short of putting large numbers of U.S. troops on the ground uninvited, without any international law mandate, without sufficient support from Congress, at a time when we still had troops in Afghanistan and we still had troops in Iraq and we had just gone through over a decade of war and spent trillions of dollars and when the opposition on the ground was not cohesive enough to necessarily govern a country and you had a military superpower in Russia prepared to do whatever it took to keep its (inaudible) involved and you had a regional military power in Iran that saw their own vital strategic interests at stake and were willing to send in as many of their people or proxies to support the regime.

And in that circumstance, unless we were all in and willing to take over Syria, we were going to have problems. And everything else was tempting because we wanted to do something and it sounded like the right thing to do but it was going to be impossible to do this on the cheap. And in that circumstance, I have to make decision as president of the United States as to what is best — I’m sorry.

What’s going on? Somebody’s not feeling good. All right. Why don’t we have — we got — we can get our doctors back there to help out. Somebody want to go to my doctor’s office and just send them — all right. Where was I? So we couldn’t do it on the cheap. Now, it may be —

QUESTION: Can we get a doctor in here? Can that be arranged?

OBAMA: Can somebody help out, please, and get Doc Jackson in here? Somebody grabbing our doctor?

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

OBAMA: Of course. In the meantime, just give her a little room. Doctor will be here in a second. You guys know where the doctor’s office is? So just go through the palm doors. Its right — its right next to the map room. There he is. All right. There’s Doc Jackson. He’s all right. OK. The doctor — the doctor’s in the house.

So — And I don’t mean that — I mean that with all sincerity. I understand the impulse to want to do something, but ultimately what I’ve had to do is to think about, what can we sustain, what is realistic? And my first priority has to be, what’s the right thing to do for America? And it has been our view that the best thing to do has been to provide some support to the moderate opposition so that they could sustain themselves. And that you wouldn’t see anti-Assad regime sentiments just pouring into Al- Nusra and Al-Qaeda or ISIL that we engaged our international partners in order to put pressure on all the parties involved. And to try to resolve this through diplomatic and political means. I cannot claim that we’ve been successful. And so that’s something that, as is true with a lot of issues and problems around the world, I have to go to bed with every night.

But I continue to believe that it was the right approach given what realistically we could get done. Absent a decision, as I said, to go into much more significant way. And that, I think would not have been a sustainable or good for the American people because we had a whole host of other obligations that we also had to meet, wars we had already started and that were not yet finished.

With respect to the issue of safe zones , it is a continued problem, a continued challenge with safe zones is if you are setting up those zones on Syrian territory, then that requires some force that is willing to maintain that territory in the absence of consent from the Syrian government and now the Russians or the Iranians.

So it may be that with Aleppo’s tragic situation unfolding that in the short term, if we can get more of the tens of thousands who are still trapped there out , that so long as the world’s eyes are on them and they are feeling pressure, the regime in Russia concludes that they are willing to find some arrangement, perhaps in coordination with Turkey, whereby those people can be safe.

Even that will probably be temporary, but at least it solves a short-term issue that’s going to arise.

Unfortunately we are not there yet because right now we have Russians and Assad claiming that basically all the innocent civilians who were trapped in Aleppo are out when international organizations, humanitarian organizations who know better and who are on the ground, have said unequivocally that there are still tens of thousands who are trapped and prepared to leave under pretty much any conditions.

And so right now our biggest priority is to continue to put pressure wherever we can to try to get them out.

(CROSSTALK)

OBAMA: Mike, I can’t have too much…

QUESTION: (OFF-MIKE) but do you see, responsibility notwithstanding, moving in that direction or help President-elect Trump move in that direction?

OBAMA: I will help President Trump — President-elect Trump with any advice, counsel, information that we can provide so that he, once he’s sworn in, can make a decision.

Between now and then, these are decisions that I have to make based on the consultations that I have with our military and the people who have been working this every single day. Peter Alexander (ph).

QUESTION: Mr. President, thank you very much.

Can you, given all the intelligence that we have now heard, assure the public this was once and for all a free and fair election? And specifically on Russia, do you feel any obligation now as they have been insisting that this isn’t the case to show the proof, as it were? They say, put your money where your mouth is and declassify some of the intelligence and the evidence that exists.

And more broadly, as it relates to Donald Trump on this very topic, are you concerned about his relationship with Vladimir Putin, especially given some of the recent cabinet picks, including his selection for secretary of state, Rex Tillerson, who toasted Putin with champagne over oil deals together? Thank you.

OBAMA: I may be getting older because these multipart questions, I start losing track.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I can assure the public that there was not the kind of tampering with the voting process that was our concern and will continue to be of concern going forward, that the votes that were cast were counted, they were counted appropriately.

We have not seen evidence of machines being tampered with, so that assurance I can provide.

That doesn’t mean that we find every single, you know, potential probe of every single voting machine all across the country, but we paid a lot of attention to it. We worked with state officials, et cetera, and we feel confident that that didn’t occur and that the votes were cast and they were counted.

And so that’s on that point. What was the second one?

QUESTION: Say more about declassification.

OBAMA: Declassification. Look, we will provide evidence that we can safely provide, that does not compromise sources and methods. But I’ll be honest with you, when you are talking about cybersecurity, a lot of it is classified and we’re not going to provide it, because the way we catch folks is by knowing certain things about them that they may not want us to know and if we’re gonna monitor this stuff effectively going forward, we don’t want them to know that we know.

So, this is one of those situations where, unless the American people genuinely think that the professionals in the CIA, the FBI, our entire intelligence infrastructure, many of whom — by the way, served in previous administrations and who are Republicans — are less trustworthy than the Russians. Then people should pay attention to what our intelligence agencies say.

This is part of what I meant when I said we’ve got to think what is happening to happening to our political culture here. The Russians can’t change us or significantly weaken us. They are a smaller country, they are a weaker country, their economy doesn’t produce anything that anybody wants to buy except oil and gas and arms. They don’t innovate.

But they can impact us if we lose track of who we are. They can impact us if we abandon our values. Mr. Putin can weaken us just like he’s trying to weaken Europe if we start buying into notions that it’s OK to intimidate the press, or lock up dissidents, or discriminate against people because of their faith or what they look like.

And what I worry about — more than anything — is the degree to which because of the fierceness because of the partisan battle, you start to see certain folks in the Republican Party and Republican voters suddenly finding a government and individuals who stand contrary to everything that we stand for as being OK, because that’s how much we dislike Democrats.

I mean, think about it. Some of the people who historically have been very critical of me for engaging with the Russians and having conversations with them, also endorsed the president-elect, even as he was saying that we should stop sanctioning Russia and being tough on them and work together with them against our common enemies.

It was very complimentary of Mr. Putin personally. Now that — that wasn’t news. The president-elect during the campaign said so. And some folks who had made a career out of being anti-Russian, didn’t say anything about it. And then after the election, suddenly they’re asking, oh, why didn’t you tell us that maybe the Russians were trying to help our candidate? Well, come on.

There was a survey some of you saw where — not this just one poll, but pretty credible source, 37 percent of Republican voters approve of Putin. Over a third of Republican voters approve of Vladimir Putin, the former head of the KGB. Ronald Reagan would roll over in his grave. And how did that happen? It happened in part because for too long, everything that happens in this town, everything that’s said is seen through the lens of does this help or hurt us relative to Democrats or relative to President Obama. And unless that changes, we’re going to continue to be vulnerable to foreign influence because we’ve lost track of what it is that we’re about and what we stand for.

With respect to the president-elect’s appointments, it is his prerogative, as I have always said, for him to appoint who he thinks can best carry out his foreign policy or his domestic policy. It is up to the Senate to advise and consent. There will be plenty of time for members of the Senate to go through the record of all his appointees and determine whether or not they’re appropriate for the job.

Martha (inaudible).

QUESTION: Mr. President, I want to talk about Vladimir Putin again. Just to be clear, do you believe Vladimir Putin himself authorized the hack? And do you believe he authorized that to help Donald Trump?

And on the intelligence, one of the things Donald Trump cites is Saddam Hussein and the weapons of mass destruction and that they were never found. Can you say unequivocally that this was not China, that this was not a 400-pound guy sitting on his bed as Donald Trump says? And do these types of tweets and kinds of statements from Donald Trump embolden the Russians?

OBAMA: When the report comes out before I leave office, that will have drawn together all the threads, and so I don’t want to step on their work ahead of time. What I can tell you is that the intelligence that I’ve seen gives me great confidence in their assessment that the Russians carried out this hack.

QUESTION: Which hack?

OBAMA: The hack of the DNC and the hack of John Podesta.

Now, the — but again, I think this is exactly why I want the report out, so that everybody can review it. And this has been briefed and the evidence in closed session has been provided on a bipartisan basis, not just to me, it’s been provided to the leaders of the House and the Senate and the chairmen and ranking members of the relevant committees. And I think that what you’ve already seen is, at least some of the folks who’ve seen the evidence don’t dispute I think the basic assessment that the Russians carried this out.

QUESTION: But specifically, could (ph) you not say that…

OBAMA: Well, Martha, I think what I want to make sure of is that I give the intelligence community a chance to gather all the information.

But I’d make a larger point, which is, not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin. This is a pretty hierarchical operation. Last I checked, there’s not a lot of debate and democratic deliberation, particularly when it comes to policies directed at the United States. We have said and I will confirm that this happened at the highest levels of the Russian government and I will let you make that determination as to whether there are high-level Russian officials who go off rogue and decide to tamper with the U.S. election process without Vladimir Putin knowing about it.

QUESTION: So I wouldn’t be wrong in saying the president thinks Vladimir Putin authorized the hack?

OBAMA: Martha, I’ve given you what I’ve — what I’m gonna give you.

What was your second question?

QUESTION: Do the tweets and do the statements by — by Donald Trump embolden Russia?

OBAMA: As I said before, I think that the president-elect, you know, is still in transition mode from campaign to governance. I think he hasn’t gotten his whole team together yet. He still has campaign spokespersons sort of filling in and appearing on cable shows. And there is just a whole different attitude and vibe when you’re not in power as when you are in power.

So rather than me sort of characterize the appropriateness or inappropriateness of what he is doing at the moment, I think what we have to see is how will the president-elect operate and how will his team operate when they’ve been fully briefed on all these issues. They have their hands on all the levers of government. And they have got to start making decisions.

One way I do believe that the president-elect can approach this that would be unifying is to say that we welcome a bipartisan independent process that gives the American people an assurance not only that votes are counted properly, that the elections are fair and free, but that we have learned lessons about how internet propaganda from foreign countries can be released into the political bloodstream and that we have got strategies to deal with it for the future.

The more this can be non-partisan, the better served the American people are going to be, which is why I made the point earlier and I’m going to keep on repeating this point, our vulnerability to Russia or any other foreign power is directly related to how divided, partisan, dysfunctional our political process is. That’s the thing that makes us vulnerable.

If fake news that’s being released by some foreign government is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues, then it’s not surprising that that foreign propaganda will have a greater effect. It doesn’t seem that far-fetched compared to some of the other stuff that folks are hearing from domestic propagandists.

To the extent that our political dialogue is such where everything is under suspicion, and everybody is corrupt, and everybody is doing things for partisan reasons, and all of our institutions are, you know, full of malevolent actors, if that’s the story line that is being put out there by whatever party is out of power, then when a foreign government introduces that same argument, with facts that are made up, voters who have been listening to that stuff for years, who have been getting that stuff every day from talk radio or other venues, they’re going to believe it.

So if we want to really reduce foreign influence on our elections, then we had better think about how to make sure that our political process, our political dialogue is stronger than it has been.

Mark Langley (ph).

QUESTION: Thank you, Mr. President.

I wonder whether I could move you from Russia to China for a moment.

OBAMA: Absolutely.

QUESTION: Your successor spoke by phone with the president of Taiwan the other day, and declared subsequently that he wasn’t sure why the United States needed to be bound by the One China Policy.

He suggested it could be used as a bargaining chip perhaps to get better terms on a trade deal or more cooperation on North Korea. There’s already evidence that tensions between the two sides have increased a bit, and just today, the Chinese have seized an underwater drone in the South China Sea.

Do you agree, as some do, that our China policy could use a fresh set of eyes and what’s the big deal about having a short phone call with the president of Taiwan? Or do you worry that these types of unorthodox approaches are setting us on a collision course with perhaps our biggest geopolitical adversary?

OBAMA: That’s a great question.

I’m somewhere in between. I think all of our foreign policy should be subject to fresh eyes. I think one of the — I’ve said this before, I am very proud of the work I’ve done. I think I’m a better president now than when I started. But you know, if you’re here for eight years in the bubble, you start seeing things a certain way and you benefit from — the democracy benefits, America benefits from some new perspectives.

And I think it should be not just the prerogative, but the obligation of a new president to examine everything that’s been done and see what makes sense and what doesn’t. That’s what I have done when I came in and I’m assuming any new president’s gonna undertake those same exercises.

And given the importance of the relationship between United States and China, given how much is at stake in terms of the world economy, national security, our presence in the Asia-Pacific, China’s increasing role in international affairs, there’s probably no bilateral relationship that carries more significance and where there’s also the potential if that relationship breaks down or goes into full conflict mode that everybody is worse off. So I think it’s fine for him to take a look at it. What I have advised the president-elect is that across the board on foreign policy, you want to make sure that you’re doing it in a systematic, deliberate, intentional way.

And since there’s only one president at a time, my advice to him has been that before he starts having a lot of interactions with foreign governments other than the usual courtesy calls, that he should want to have his full team in place, that he should want his team to be fully briefed on what’s gone on in the past and where the potential pitfalls may be, where the opportunities are, what we’ve learned from eight years of experience so that as he’s then maybe taking foreign policy in a new direction, he’s got all the information to make good decisions, and by the way, that all of government is moving at the same time and singing from the same hymnal.

And with respect to China — and let’s just take the example of Taiwan, there has been a longstanding agreement essentially between China and the United States, and to some agree the Taiwanese, which is to not change the status quo. Taiwan operates differently than mainland China does. China views Taiwan as part of China, but recognizes that it has to approach Taiwan as an entity that has its own ways of doing things.

OBAMA: The Taiwanese have agreed that as long as they’re able to continue to function with some agree of autonomy, that they won’t charge forward and declare independence. And that status quo, although not completely satisfactory to any of the parties involved, has kept the peace and allowed the Taiwanese to be a pretty successful economy and — of people who have a high agree of self-determination. What I understand for China, the issue of Taiwan is as important as anything on their docket.

The idea of One China is at the heart of their conception as a nation. And so if you are going to upend this understanding, you have to have thought through what the consequences because the Chinese will not treat that the way they’ll treat some other issues. They won’t even treat it the way they issues around the South China Sea, where we’ve had a lot of tensions. This goes to the core of how they see themselves.

And their reaction on this issue could end up being very significant. That doesn’t mean that you have to adhere to everything that’s been done in the past, but you have to think it through and have planned for potential reactions that they may engage in. All right. Isaac Dovere, Politico.

QUESTION: Thank you Mr. President. Two questions on where this all leaves us.

OBAMA: What leaves us? Where my presidency leaves us? It leaves us in a really good spot.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: If we make some good decisions going forward.

QUESTION: What do you say to the electors who are going to meet on Monday and are thinking of changing their votes? Do you think they should be given an intelligence briefing about the Russian activity or should they bear in mind everything you have said and have said already (ph)? Should they — should votes be bound by the state votes as they’ve gone? And long-term, do you think that there is need for Electoral College reform that was tied to the popular vote?

OBAMA: Sounded like two but really was one.

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: I love how these start. I’ve got two questions, but each one has four parts.

(LAUGHTER)

QUESTION: On the Democratic Party, your labor secretary is running for — to be the chair of the Democratic National Committee. Is the vision that you’ve seen him putting forward what you think the party needs to be focused on? And what do you think about the complaint that say that the future democratic committee shouldn’t be a continuation of some of your political approach? Part of that is complaints that decisions that you have made as president and leader of the party has structurally weakened the DNC and the Democratic Party and they think that that has led to or has help lead to some of the losses in elections around the country. Do you regret any of those decisions?

OBAMA: I’ll take the second one first and say that Tom Perez has been, I believe one of the best secretaries of labor in our history. He is tireless. He is wicked smart. He has been able to work across the spectrum of you know, labor, business, activists. He has produced. I mean, if you look at his body of work on behalf of working people, what he’s pushed for in terms of making sure that workers get a fair deal, decent wages, better benefits, that their safety is protected on the job. He has been extraordinary.

Now others who have declared are also my friends and fine people as well. And the great thing is, I don’t have a vote in this. So – so – so we’ll let the process unfold, I don’t think it’s going to happen any time soon. I described to you earlier what I think needs to happen, which is that the democratic party, whether that’s entirely through the DNC or through rebuilding of state parties, or some other arrangement, has to work at the grassroots level, has to be present in all 50 states, has to have a presence in counties.

Has to think about in that extension (ph) how are we speaking directly to voters.

I will say this, and I’m not going to engage in too much punditry. But that I could not be prouder of the coalition that I put together in my — each of my campaigns. Because it was inclusive and it drew in people who normally weren’t interested in politics and didn’t participate.

But I’d like to think — I think I can show that in those elections, I always cast a broad net. I always said first and foremost we’re Americans, that we have a common creed, that there’s more that we share than divides us. And I want to talk to everybody and get a chance to get everybody’s vote.

I still believe what I said in 2004 which is this red state-blue thing is a construct. Now it is a construct that has gotten more and more powerful for a whole lot of reasons from gerrymandering, to big money, to a way that the media is splintered.

And so people are just watching what reinforces their existing biases as opposed to having to listen to different points of view. So there are all kinds of reasons for it. But outside the realm of electoral politics, I still see people the way I saw them when I made that speech, full of contradictions and some regional differences but basically, folks care about their families.

They care about having meaningful work. They care about making sure their kids have more opportunity than they did. They want to be safe. They want to feel like things are fair.

And whoever leads the DNC and any candidate with the Democratic brand going forward, I want them to feel as if they can reach out and find that common ground and speak to all of America. And that requires some organization.

And you’re right that — and I said this in my earlier remarks, that what I was able to do during my campaigns, I wasn’t able to do during midterms. It’s not that we didn’t put in time and effort into it. I spent time and effort into it. But the coalition I put together didn’t always turn out to be transferable.

And the challenge is that — you know, some of that just has to do with the fact that when you are in the party in power and people are going through hard times like they were in 2010, they are going to punish to some degree the president’s party regardless of what organizational work is done.

Some of it has to do with just some deep standing traditional challenges for Democrats like during off-year elections the electorate is older and we do better with the younger electorate. But we know those things are true.

And I didn’t crack the code on that. And if other people have ideas about how to do that even better, I’m all for it.

So with respect to the electors, I’m not going to wade into that issue. Because, again, it’s the American people’s job and now electors’ job to decide my successor. It is not my job to decide my successor.

And I have provided people with a lot of information about what happened during the course of the election, but more importantly, the candidates themselves I think talked about their beliefs and their vision for America.

The president-elect I think has been very explicit what he cares about and what he believes in. And so it’s not in my hands now, it’s up to them.

QUESTION: what about long term about the Electoral College?

OBAMA: Long term with respect to the Electoral College, the Electoral College is a vestige, it’s a carry-over from an earlier vision of how our federal government was going to work that put a lot of premium on states, and it used to be that the Senate was not elected directly, it was through state legislatures. And it’s the same type of thinking that gives Wyoming two senators and — with about half a million people and California with 33 million get the same two.

So there’s — there are some structures in our political system as envisioned by the founders that sometimes are going to disadvantage Democrats, but the truth of the matter is is that if we have a strong message, if we’re speaking to what the American people care about, typically, the popular vote and the electoral college vote will align.

And I guess — I guess part of my overall message here as I leave for the holidays is that if we look for one explanation or one silver bullet or one easy fix for our politics, then we’re probably going to be disappointed. There are just a lot of factors in what’s happened, not just over the last few months, but over the last decade that has made both politics and governance more challenging. And I think everybody’s raised legitimate questions and legitimate concerns.

I do hope that we all just take some time, take a breath, that’s certainly what I’m going to advise Democrats, to just reflect a little bit more about how can we — how can we get to a place where people are focused on working together based on at least some common set of facts? How can we have a conversation about policy that doesn’t demonize each another? How can we channel what I think is the basic decency and goodness of the American people so it reflects itself in our politics, as opposed to it being so polarized and so nasty that in some cases, you have voters and unelected officials who have more confidence and faith in a foreign adversary than they have in their neighbors?

And those go to some bigger issues. How is it that we have some voters or some elected officials who think that Michelle Obama’s healthy eating initiative and school nutrition program is a greater threat to democracy than, you know, our government going after the press if they’re issuing a story they don’t like? I mean, that’s — that’s an issue that I think, you know, we’ve got to — we’ve got to wrestle with. And we will.

People have asked me how you feel after the election and so forth and I say well, look, this is a clarifying moment. It’s a useful reminder that voting counts, politics counts. What the president- elect is going to be doing is gonna be very different than what I was doing and I think people will be able to compare and contrast and make judgments about what worked for the American people. And I hope that building off the progress we’ve made, that what the president-elect is proposing works.

What I can say with confidence is that what we’ve done works. That I can prove. I can show you where we were in 2008 and I can show you where we are now. And you can’t argue that we are not better off, we are.

And for that, I thank the American people and then more importantly I thank — well, not importantly, as importantly — I was going to say Josh Earnest…

(LAUGHTER)

OBAMA: … for doing such a great job. For that, I thank the American people, I thank the men and women in uniform who serve. I haven’t gotten to the point yet where I’ve been overly sentimental. I will tell you that when I was doing my last Christmas party photo — I know many of you have participated in these, they’re pretty long.

Right at the end of the line, the President’s Marine Corps Band comes in, those who have been performing. And I take a picture with them. And that was the last time that I was going to take a picture with my Marine Corps Band after an event. And I got a little choked up.

Now I was in front of marines so I had to like tamp it down. But it was just one small example of all of the people who have contributed to our success. I am responsible for where we’ve screwed up, the successes are widely shared with all of the amazing people who have been part of this administration.

OK? Thank you, everybody. Mele Kalikimaka!

 

Politics November 27, 2016: Election 2016 redux Trump calls Clinton a hypocrite for recount support

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By Bonnie K. Goodman

US President-elect Donald Trump leaves after a meeting at the New York Times on November 22, 2016 in New York. US President-elect Trump on Tuesday disavowed the white nationalist "alt-right" movement that has cheered his election, saying he did not want to "energize" them."I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn," Trump was quoted as saying in an interview with The New York Times, when pressed to comment on a conference at which his victory was celebrated with rousing Nazi salutes. / AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

US President-elect Donald Trump leaves after a meeting at the New York Times on November 22, 2016 in New York.
US President-elect Trump on Tuesday disavowed the white nationalist “alt-right” movement that has cheered his election, saying he did not want to “energize” them.”I condemn them. I disavow, and I condemn,” Trump was quoted as saying in an interview with The New York Times, when pressed to comment on a conference at which his victory was celebrated with rousing Nazi salutes.
/ AFP / TIMOTHY A. CLARY (Photo credit should read TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

The harsh 2016 campaign is never ending. President-elect Donald Trump has a good reason to call his former opponent and 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, a hypocrite. On Saturday evening, Nov. 26, 2016, and Sunday morning, Nov. 27, Trump went after Clinton supporting Green Party nominee Jill Stein’s filing for a recount in three battleground states. The president-elect criticized Clinton on Twitter for not wanting to accept the election results when she spent nearly two months attacking him that he would not concede and accept the election results.

On Saturday evening, Trump criticized just the Democratic Party, writing, “The Democrats, when they incorrectly thought they were going to win, asked that the election night tabulation be accepted. Not so anymore! Then Trump went after Clinton specifically, writing, “Hillary Clinton conceded the election when she called me just prior to the victory speech and after the results were in. Nothing will change.”

Clinton heavily criticized Trump for refusing to agree that he would accept the election results in a response to one of the questions during the third presidential debate. Trump repeatedly said the elections were rigged against him, because of the now proved bias against him and for Clinton by both the media and the polls.

On Sunday, Trump reminded Clinton of her response attacking him for his position on election concession. On Twitter, the president-elect posted Clinton’s comments from the campaign,  “That is horrifying. That is not the way our democracy works. Been around for 240 years. We’ve had free and fair elections. We’ve accepted the outcomes when we may not have liked them, and that is what must be expected of anyone standing on a – during a general election. I, for one, am appalled that somebody that is the nominee of one of our two major parties would take that kind of position.”

In another post, Trump wrote Clinton called his position, “a direct threat to our democracy.” Trump also reposted a quote from Clinton’s concession speech, where she declared, “We must accept this result and then look to the future. Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead.”

This was the first time Trump specifically blamed Clinton for the recount effort. On Saturday, Trump disparaged just Stein and the Green Party for their “scam,” before the Clinton campaign announced they supported Stein’s efforts. President-elect said in an official Trump Transition statement, “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.”

Continuing, Trump condemned the recount, “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.” On Saturday, Trump praised Clinton for her classy concession of the election, “The people have spoken and the election is over, and 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.'” Later when Trump found out about the Democratic support, he tweeted, “The Green Party scam to fill up their coffers by asking for impossible recounts is now being joined by the badly defeated & demoralized Dems.”

On Friday afternoon, Nov. 25, just before the 5 p.m. deadline Grenn Party nominee Stein raised $4 million, enough money to file in Wisconsin for a recount of the votes. In Wisconsin, she requested a “reconciliation of paper records.” Stein promised to the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania, three battleground states that Trump turned red but usually voted Democrat. Stein claimed the voting systems in those states were hacked.

Clinton campaign general counsel Marc Elias announced on Medium that the Clinton campaign would support the recount. Elias said they were doing this because of the “the heartbreak felt by so many who worked so hard to elect Hillary Clinton” And the “hundreds of messages, emails and calls” from supporters requesting an investigation. Elias admitted, the Clinton campaign “quietly taken a number of steps” to investigate the results. In contradiction, New York Magazine reported this weekend, that cyber security experts convinced the Clinton campaign they had “persuasive evidence” that the votes had “manipulated or hacked.”

Elias continued, “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, 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.” Still, the Clinton campaign intends to support all the recounts, “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.”

Stein maintains, she was not doing the recount to benefit, Clinton and even criticized her as a hypocrite as well on Twitter, “Why would Hillary Clinton-who conceded the election to Donald Trump-want #Recount2016? You cannot be on-again, off-again about democracy.”

The Obama White House does not believe any hacking occurred and dismissed the recount. A senior administration official told the press, “We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people. The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day. We believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.”

The recount needs to be completed by Dec. 13, while the deadlines to apply for recounts in Michigan and Pennsylvania is this upcoming week. Clinton won the popular vote, but Trump beat her in the Electoral College, she would need all three states to flip back to beat him, and that is not going to happen. The margin of victory was close but in the double digit thousands. In total Trump won 107,000 more votes in those three states than Clinton, winning by a margin of 22,000 in Wisconsin alone, “Trump won 1.404 million votes to Clinton’s 1.382 million.”

Clinton has a lead of 2.2 million votes, “64,637,140 votes nationally, compared to Trump’s 62,408,908, according to a count curated by Dave Wasserman of the nonpartisan Cook Political Report.” Elias touted those numbers in his post, writing, “And most importantly, we have monitored and staffed the post-election canvasses…  During that process, we have seen Secretary Clinton’s vote total grow, so that, today, her national popular vote lead now exceeds more than 2 million votes.”

Clinton is not the first candidate to lose the election but win the popular vote. Again, there are calls to change the system from Electoral votes to a popular vote, and some electors are even trying to defect from voting for Trump. Looking at the electoral map, it hard not to notice that Trump won the most regions and states, and the map is red compared to Clinton’s blue in just some major cities.

Clinton is acting like a hypocrite; she could criticize Trump all she liked when she was positive she would win, Clinton never imagined how it would feel to lose and how much of a sore loser she would be. The American public should not be surprised, Clinton did not want to concede in the 2008 Democratic primary against now President Barack Obama, and even this year, she balked at conceding election night although Obama asked her to, Clintons just hate losing.

Politics November 16, 2016: Senate leadership McConnell re-elected, Democrat Schumer elected, Sanders grabs post

By Bonnie K. Goodman

WASHINGTON, DC - NOVEMBER 16: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) leaves after an election meeting of Senate Democrats to elect new leadership at the Capitol November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Sen. Schumer was elected as the incoming Senate minority leader. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

WASHINGTON, DC – NOVEMBER 16: U.S. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-NY) leaves after an election meeting of Senate Democrats to elect new leadership at the Capitol November 16, 2016 in Washington, DC. Sen. Schumer was elected as the incoming Senate minority leader. (Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images)

After the House Republicans had voted on their leadership posts, the Senate had their turn. On Wednesday morning, Nov. 16, 2016, as predicted Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell, (R-KY) was re-elected majority leader by acclamation, while New York Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer was elevated to minority leader, as departing minority leader Sen. Harry Reid’s heir apparent. Vermont Sen. and 2016 Democratic candidate Bernie Sanders also grabbed his first Senate leader post as Chair of Outreach.

The Republicans retained their leaders in their election for the 115th Congress. In a meeting of the GOP conference on Wednesday morning, McConnell was re-elected “by acclimation by his colleagues with a standing ovation,” as his spokesman Don Stewart told the press. Sen. Marco Rubio (R- FL) nominated McConnell, while Sen.-elect Todd Young, (R-IN) second the motion, both were instrumental to the GOP maintaining their majority.

McConnell was expected to remain in his post, and there were no surprises in the GOP leadership votes. McConnell, 74 will be serving his second term as majority leader, previously he was minority leader for four terms, and is “Kentucky’s longest-serving senator;” he was first elected in 1984.

All the action was with the Democrats after they shook up their leadership with the retirement of longtime leader Sen. Reid. Reid already named Schumer, his successor, but Wednesday’s vote made that a reality. After the being elected Schumer expressed, “I am going to wake up every single day focused on how Senate Democrats can effectively fight for America’s middle class and those struggling to join it.” While Schumer told reporters, “We are ready to go toe to toe with Republicans.” Although the minority leader acknowledged, “When you lose an election like this, you can’t flinch. You can’t ignore it. You need to look it right in the eye and ask why, analyze it and learn from it.”

Schumer, 66 has served in the Senate since 1998, and he was in the House representing Brooklyn and Queens for 18 years before that. In 2006, Reid tapped Schumer to be the party’s number three in the Senate as vice chairman of the Democratic Conference, a position her served for ten years. When Reid announced his retirement in 2015, he made it clear he wanted Schumer to succeed him as Senate Democratic leader.

Overshadowing Schumer’s election was the addition of Sanders to the enlarged leadership team. The popular Sanders will be the outreach chairman, a newly created post within the ranks. Senate Democrats were pressured to add the formerly independent Senator to their leadership ranks after his historic run for the Democratic nomination, with a still very loyal supporter base.

After his appointment, Sanders spoke to reporters, telling them he has a “heavy responsibility to help shape the priorities of the United States government. I’m going to do everything that I can to make sure that the budget that leaves the United States Congress is a budget that represents the needs of working families and a shrinking middle class and not billionaires.” Sanders will also retain his post as the senior minority member of the Budget Committee.

Otherwise, in the Democratic ranks, Sen. Dick Durbin, (D-Ill) remains minority whip. Sen. Patty Murray (D-WA) will be the new assistant Democratic leader, and Sen. Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) moves up to chair the Democratic Policy and Communications Center. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, (D-WI) becomes Democratic Conference secretary, the fourth ranking in leadership, and Joe Manchin (D-WV) takes over as vice chair of the Democratic Policy and Communications Committee.

The Democrats enlarged their team from seven to 10 posts. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Mark Warner (D-VA) now moved up to newly titled posts of vice chairs of the Senate Democratic Conference. Sen. Amy Klobuchar’s (D-MN) position title changed from chairwoman of the Democratic Steering and Outreach Committee to just chair of the Steering Committee.

Additionally, Sen. Dianne Feinstein, (D-CA ) becomes the ranking member of the Judiciary Committee, while longtime-Judiciary member Patrick Leahy (D-VT)  moves to the Appropriations Committee.

Full Text Political Transcripts November 10, 2016: President-Elect Donald Trump, VP-Elect Mike Pence meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan Press Conference

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

TRUMP PRESIDENTIAL TRANSITION:

President-Elect Donald Trump, VP-Elect Mike Pence meet with House Speaker Paul Ryan Press Conference

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 November 9, 2016: President Barack Obama’s Statement on Election 2016 Results and President-Elect Donald Trump

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

Statement by the President

 

Source: WH, 11-9-16

Rose Garden

12:20 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Good afternoon, everybody.  Yesterday, before votes were tallied, I shot a video that some of you may have seen in which I said to the American people:  Regardless of which side you were on in the election, regardless of whether your candidate won or lost, the sun would come up in the morning.

And that is one bit of prognosticating that actually came true.  The sun is up.  And I know everybody had a long night.  I did, as well.  I had a chance to talk to President-elect Trump last night — about 3:30 in the morning, I think it was — to congratulate him on winning the election.  And I had a chance to invite him to come to the White House tomorrow to talk about making sure that there is a successful transition between our presidencies.

Now, it is no secret that the President-elect and I have some pretty significant differences.  But remember, eight years ago, President Bush and I had some pretty significant differences.  But President Bush’s team could not have been more professional or more gracious in making sure we had a smooth transition so that we could hit the ground running.  And one thing you realize quickly in this job is that the presidency, and the vice presidency, is bigger than any of us.

So I have instructed my team to follow the example that President Bush’s team set eight years ago, and work as hard as we can to make sure that this is a successful transition for the President-elect — because we are now all rooting for his success in uniting and leading the country.  The peaceful transition of power is one of the hallmarks of our democracy.  And over the next few months, we are going to show that to the world.

I also had a chance last night to speak with Secretary Clinton, and I just had a chance to hear her remarks.  I could not be prouder of her.  She has lived an extraordinary life of public service.  She was a great First Lady.  She was an outstanding senator for the state of New York.  And she could not have been a better Secretary of State.  I’m proud of her.  A lot of Americans look up to her.  Her candidacy and nomination was historic and sends a message to our daughters all across the country that they can achieve at the highest levels of politics.  And I am absolutely confident that she and President Clinton will continue to do great work for people here in the United States and all around the world.

Now, everybody is sad when their side loses an election.  But the day after, we have to remember that we’re actually all on one team.  This is an intramural scrimmage.  We’re not Democrats first.  We’re not Republicans first.  We are Americans first.  We’re patriots first.  We all want what’s best for this country.  That’s what I heard in Mr. Trump’s remarks last night.  That’s what I heard when I spoke to him directly.  And I was heartened by that.  That’s what the country needs — a sense of unity; a sense of inclusion,; a respect for our institutions, our way of life, rule of law; and a respect for each other.  I hope that he maintains that spirit throughout this transition, and I certainly hope that’s how his presidency has a chance to begin.

I also told my team today to keep their heads up, because the remarkable work that they have done day in, day out — often without a lot of fanfare, often without a lot of attention — work in agencies, work in obscure areas of policy that make government run better and make it more responsive, and make it more efficient, and make it more service-friendly so that it’s actually helping more people — that remarkable work has left the next President with a stronger, better country than the one that existed eight years ago.

So win or lose in this election, that was always our mission.  That was our mission from day one.  And everyone on my team should be extraordinarily proud of everything that they have done, and so should all the Americans that I’ve had a chance to meet all across this country who do the hard work of building on that progress every single day.  Teachers in schools, doctors in the ER clinic, small businesses putting their all into starting something up, making sure they’re treating their employees well.  All the important work that’s done by moms and dads and families and congregations in every state.  The work of perfecting this union.

So this was a long and hard-fought campaign.  A lot of our fellow Americans are exultant today.  A lot of Americans are less so.  But that’s the nature of campaigns.  That’s the nature of democracy.  It is hard, and sometimes contentious and noisy, and it’s not always inspiring.

But to the young people who got into politics for the first time, and may be disappointed by the results, I just want you to know, you have to stay encouraged.  Don’t get cynical.  Don’t ever think you can’t make a difference.  As Secretary Clinton said this morning, fighting for what is right is worth it.

Sometimes you lose an argument.  Sometimes you lose an election.  The path that this country has taken has never been a straight line.  We zig and zag, and sometimes we move in ways that some people think is forward and others think is moving back.  And that’s okay.  I’ve lost elections before.  Joe hasn’t.  (Laughter.)  But you know.

(The Vice President blesses himself.)  (Laughter.)

So I’ve been sort of —

THE VICE PRESIDENT:  Remember, you beat me badly.  (Laughter.)

THE PRESIDENT:  That’s the way politics works sometimes.  We try really hard to persuade people that we’re right.  And then people vote.  And then if we lose, we learn from our mistakes, we do some reflection, we lick our wounds, we brush ourselves off, we get back in the arena.  We go at it.  We try even harder the next time.

The point, though, is, is that we all go forward, with a presumption of good faith in our fellow citizens — because that presumption of good faith is essential to a vibrant and functioning democracy.  That’s how this country has moved forward for 240 years.  It’s how we’ve pushed boundaries and promoted freedom around the world.  That’s how we’ve expanded the rights of our founding to reach all of our citizens.  It’s how we have come this far.

And that’s why I’m confident that this incredible journey that we’re on as Americans will go on.  And I am looking forward to doing everything that I can to make sure that the next President is successful in that.  I have said before, I think of this job as being a relay runner — you take the baton, you run your best race, and hopefully, by the time you hand it off you’re a little further ahead, you’ve made a little progress.  And I can say that we’ve done that, and I want to make sure that handoff is well-executed, because ultimately we’re all on the same team.

All right?  Thank you very much, everybody.  (Applause.)

END
12:29 P.M. EST

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 November 9, 2016: Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Election Concession Speech Transcript

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2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

Hillary Clinton’s 2016 Election Concession Speech

Source: ABC News, 11-9-16

 

 

Thank you. Thank you all. Thank you. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you. Very rowdy group. Thank you, my friends. Thank you. Thank you, thank you so very much for being here. I love you all, too.

Last night, I congratulated Donald Trump and offered to work with him on behalf of our country. I hope that he will be a successful president for all Americans. This is not the outcome we wanted or we worked so hard for and I’m sorry that we did not win this election for the values we share and the vision we hold for our country.

But I feel pride and gratitude for this wonderful campaign that we built together, this vast,diverse, creative, unruly, energized campaign. You represent the best of America and being your candidate has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I know how disappointed you feel, because I feel it, too. And so do tens of millions of Americans who invested their hopes and dreams in this effort.

This is painful and it will be for a long time, but I want you to remember this. Our campaign was never about one person or even one election. It was about the country we love and about building an America that’s hopeful, inclusive and big-hearted. We have seen that our nation is more deeply divided than we thought, but I still believe in America and I always will. If you do, then we must accept this result and then look to the future.

Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead. Our constitutional democracy enshrines the peaceful transfer of power and we don’t just respect that, we cherish it. It also enshrines other things. The rule of law, the principle that we are all equal in rights and dignity, freedom of worship and expression. We respect and cherish these values, too, and we must defend them.

And let me add, our constitutional democracy demands our participation, not just every four years, but all the time. So let’s do all we can to keep advancing the causes and values we all hold dear. Making our economy work for everyone, not just those at the top, protecting our country and protecting our planet, and breaking down all the barriers that hold any American back from achieving their dreams.

We have spent a year and a half bringing together millions of people from every corner of our country to say with one voice that we believe that the American dream is big enough for everyone, for people of all races and religions, for men and women, for immigrants, for LGBT people and for people with disabilities. For everyone. So now, our responsibility as citizens is to keep doing our part to build that better, stronger, fairer America we seek, and I know you will. I am so grateful to stand with all of you.

I want to thank Tim Kaine and Anne Holton for being our partners on this journey. It has been a joy getting to know them better and it gives me great hope and comfort to know that Tim will remain on the front lines of our democracy representing Virginia in the senate. To Barack and Michelle Obama, our country owes you an enormous debt of gratitude. We thank you for your graceful, determined leadership that has meant so much to so many Americans and people across the world.

And to Bill and Chelsea, Marc, Charlotte, Aiden, our brothers and our entire family, my love for you means more than I can ever express. You crisscrossed this country on our behalf and lifted me up when I needed it most, even 4-month-old Aden who traveled with his mom. I will always be grateful to the creative, talented, dedicated men and women at our headquarters in Brooklyn and across our country.

You poured your hearts into this campaign. For some of you who are veterans, it was a campaign after you had done other campaigns. Some of you, it was your first campaign. I want each of you to know that you were the best campaign anybody could have ever expected or wanted. And to the millions of volunteers, community leaders, activists and union organizers who knocked on doors, talked to neighbors, posted on Facebook, even in secret private Facebook sites,

I want everybody coming out from behind that and make sure your voices are heard going forward. To everyone who sent in contributions as small as $5 and kept us going, thank you. Thank you from all of us. And to the young people in particular, I hope you will hear this. I have, as Tim said, spent my entire adult life fighting for what I believe in. I have had successes and I have had setbacks. Sometimes really painful ones. Many of you are at the beginning of your professional public and political careers.

You will have successes and setbacks, too. This loss hurts but please never stop believing that fighting for what’s right is worth it. It is. It is worth it. And so we need — we need you to keep up these fights now and for the rest of your lives, and to all the women and especially the young women who put their faith in this campaign and in me, I want you to know that nothing has made me prouder than to be your champion.

Now — I — I know — I know we have still not shattered that highest and hardest glass ceiling, but some day, someone will, and hopefully sooner than we might think right now. And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams. Finally — finally, I am so grateful for our country and for all it has given to me.

I count my blessings every single day that I am an American, and I still believe as deeply as I ever have that if we stand together and work together with respect for our differences, strength in our convictions and love for this nation, our best days are still ahead of us.

Because, you know, you know I believe that we are stronger together, and we will go forward together. And you should never, ever regret fighting for that. You know, scripture tells us, let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.

So, my friends, let us have faith in each other. Let us not grow weary. Let us not lose heart, for there are more seasons to come, and there is more work to do. I am incredibly honored and grateful to have had this chance to represent all of you in this consequential election.

May God bless you, and may God bless the United States of America.

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 November 9, 2016: House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Post-Election Press Conference on Donald Trump’s Victory

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2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

House Speaker Paul Ryan’s Post-Election Press Conference

Politics November 9, 2016: Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

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Donald Trump shocks the world elected 45th president in surprise victory

 
By Bonnie K. Goodman

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

NEW YORK, NY – NOVEMBER 09: Republican president-elect Donald Trump delivers his acceptance speech during his election night event at the New York Hilton Midtown in the early morning hours of November 9, 2016 in New York City. Donald Trump defeated Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton to become the 45th president of the United States. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

As the Republican nominee Donald Trump always said that the election was about his supporters the voters and making America great again, not celebrity surrogates or even party establishment support and he was right. On Tuesday evening election night, Nov. 8, 2016, Trump shocked the nation and world by winning the election against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and becoming the nation’s 45th president. Trump started off the night with a bang; he led and never looked back by the 2:30 a.m. the Associated Press called the election for Trump shocking pundits and pollsters and shaking the financial markets in what is being called the biggest upset in American history.

Trump began his improbable campaign on June 16, 2015, with many jeers but he soon took off in the polls as the Republican candidate to beat, but none in a field of 16 could surpass him. The Clinton campaign wanted Trump as their opponent, the Clinton machine saw the freewheeling businessman as the perfect contrast to the controlled former Secretary of State, while the polls kept repeating Clinton would win if Trump were the nominee. Clinton underestimated, she was dealing not just a man or another opponent but a force of nature larger than life to be reckoned with as the campaign descended into one of the nastiness and uncivilized in American history or at least modern history.

The polls who were Trump’s friend in the primary became his enemy in the general election as every move, word or missteps gained points for as he called it the media’s “angel” Clinton. Throughout the intense fall campaign period, Clinton was pundits, pollsters and predictors favorite to win the presidency. When Trump fell, with the discovery of a 2005, lewd “lockerroom” talk tape, Clinton soared, her numbers skyrocketed to the double digits the question became how big her margin of victory would be. Even an October Surprise in the form a resurrected FBI investigation into Clinton’s private email server could not stop Clinton, as she could do no wrong and Trump no right.

Trump defied the odds and changed the whole presidential campaign game, he propelled himself to the Republican nomination, with his own funding and used the news media as his personal ad campaign ad, while the public flocked to his populist message and simple philosophy of making America great again. In the general election, the media turned on him, as did the polls, but he blended 19th-century campaign methods with 21st-century technology to create a winning formula, mixing raucous mass rallies and stump speeches with social media and Twitter outreach.

Trump was the consummate political outsider, whose campaign resembled 1896 Democrat William Jennings Bryan’s Cross of Gold, mixed with the public fear of his temperament like 1900 vice presidential candidate turned President Republican Theodore Roosevelt that madman with only one life between White House and again as renegade Bull Moose of 1912. In the end, however, Trump was Harry Truman in 1948, the enemy of the establishment and press set to lose so much so that newspapers printed, “Dewey Defeats Truman” when Truman in the end was the victor, not his Republican opponent Thomas E. Dewey.

Trump was a one-man band that did alone and never relented when the Republican Party insiders abandoned ship refusing or going back on their endorsement just because he was not one of them. The GOP nominee fought back and remained unfazed as he words were twisted, overanalyzed, and he was portrayed as a sexist, racist and the end of the country as we know it. Republicans, Democrats, his opponent and the news media demonized him as he shocked them with resoluteness proclaiming that in the end he and his campaign’s movement of supporters Clinton called “deplorable” would be triumphant on Election Day.

On Tuesday evening, Trump proved them all wrong he not only reinvented the campaigning game, but the electoral map is flipping key battleground state after state red from blue. Before the Republicans had the Sunbelt and then the bible belt, now they have the rust belt. Trump won Democratic bastions of Ohio, Florida, and Pennsylvania, even turning Michigan red. The blue-collar working class revolted from the Democrats who abandoned them in droves for their savior the populist Republican promising to make right the wounded economy that never actually recovered.

Trump broke through Clinton’s firewall, proving there was a hidden Trump vote and he became almost the one correctly predicting, he would become the next president. Trump shocked almost every pollsters, pundit, reporter, analyst and academic that predicted and analyzed the campaign and election. They all wanted a Clinton victory so much their judgment clouded, and almost everyone was left with embarrassing egg on their faces from the excessive praise and confidence in Clinton, proving the adage one should never presume.

Trump showed the world presumption is a folly and in a democracy, the will of the people matters the most and the vote is the most powerful force. The candidate they most feared spent his first moments in the spotlight as president-elect with gracious words for his opponent, and overtures that he wants to be the nation’s uniter-in-chief rather the divider his opponents feared he would be.

President-elect Trump declared in his victory speech, “Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people.” The president-elect is doing his part now the country has to come forward to meet him halfway. Instead of being, poor losers American citizens have to heal their partisan wounds and come together as the divided nation has done before in history to truly restore, reach its potential and make the country great again.

Full Text Campaign Buzz 2016 November 9, 2016: Donald Trump’s Election Night Victory Speech Transcript

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

2016 PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGN:

Donald Trump’s 2016 Election Night Victory Speech

Source: ABC News, 11-9-16

 

 

DONALD TRUMP: Thank you. Thank you very much, everybody.

Sorry to keep you waiting. Complicated business, complicated.

Thank you very much. I’ve just received a call from Secretary Clinton. She congratulated us. It is about us. On our victory, and I congratulated her and her family on a very, very hard-fought campaign I mean she fought very hard.

Hillary has worked very long and very hard over a long period of time, and we owe her a major debt of gratitude for her service to our country. I mean that very sincerely. Now it is time for America to bind the wounds of division, have to get together, to all Republicans and Democrats and independents across this nation I say it is time for us to come together as one united people. It’s time. I pledge to every citizen of our land that I will be president for all of Americans, and this is so important to me.

For those who have chosen not to support me in the past, of which there were a few people, I’m reaching out to you for your guidance and your help so that we can work together and unify our great country. As I’ve said from the beginning, ours was not a campaign but rather an incredible and great movement, made up of millions of hard-working men and women who love their country and want a better, brighter future for themselves and for their family.

It’s a movement comprised of Americans from all races, religions, backgrounds and beliefs, who want and expect our government to serve the people, and serve the people it will. Working together we will begin the urgent task of rebuilding our nation and renewing the American dream. I’ve spent my entire life in business, looking at the untapped potential in projects and in people all over the world.

That is now what I want to do for our country. Tremendous potential. I’ve gotten to know our country so well. Tremendous potential. It is going to be a beautiful thing. Every single American will have the opportunity to realize his or her fullest potential. The forgotten men and women of our country will be forgotten no longer. We are going to fix our inner cities and rebuild our highways, bridges, tunnels, airports, schools, hospitals. We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none, and we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it.

We will also finally take care of our great veterans who have been so loyal, and I’ve gotten to know so many over this 18-month journey. The time I’ve spent with them during this campaign has been among my greatest honors. Our veterans are incredible people. We will embark upon a project of national growth and renewal. I will harness the creative talents of our people and we will call upon the best and brightest to leverage their tremendous talent for the benefit of all. It is going to happen. We have a great economic plan.

We will double our growth and have the strongest economy anywhere in the world. At the same time we will get along with all other nations, willing to get along with us. We will be. We will have great relationships. We expect to have great, great relationships. No dream is too big, no challenge is too great. Nothing we want for our future is beyond our reach. America will no longer settle for anything less than the best. We must reclaim our country’s destiny and dream big and bold and daring. We have to do that. We’re going to dream of things for our country, and beautiful things and successful things once again.

I want to tell the world community that while we will always put America’s interests first, we will deal fairly with everyone, with everyone. All people and all other nations. We will seek common ground, not hostility, partnership, not conflict. And now I would like to take this moment to thank some of the people who really helped me with this, what they are calling tonight very, very historic victory. First I want to thank my parents, who I know are looking down on me right now. Great people. I’ve learned so much from them. They were wonderful in every regard. I had truly great parents.

I also want to thank my sisters, Marianne and Elizabeth who are here with us tonight. And — Where are they? They’re here someplace. They’re very shy actually. And my brother Robert, my great friend. Where is Robert? Where is Robert? My brother Robert, and they should all be on this stage, but that’s okay. They’re great. And also my late brother Fred, great guy. Fantastic guy. Fantastic family. I was very lucky. Great brothers, sisters, great, unbelievable parents. To Melania and Don and Ivanka and Eric and Tiffany and Barron, I love you and I thank you, and especially for putting up with all of those hours. This was tough. This was tough. This political stuff is nasty and it is tough. So I want to thank my family very much. Really fantastic.

Thank you all. Thank you all. And Lara, unbelievable job. Unbelievable. Vanessa, thank you. Thank you very much. What a great group. You’ve all given me such incredible support, and I will tell you that we have a large group of people. You know, they kept saying we have a small staff. Not so small. Look at all of the people that we have. Look at all of these people. And kellyanne and Chris and Rudy and Steve and David.

We have got tremendously talented people up here, and I want to tell you it’s been very, very special. I want to give a very special thanks to our former mayor, Rudy Giuliani. He’s unbelievable. Unbelievable. He traveled with us and he went through meetings, and Rudy never changes. Where is Rudy. Where is he?

Governor Chris Christie, folks, was unbelievable. Thank you, Chris. The first man, first senator, first major, major politician — let me tell you, he is highly respected in Washington because he is as smart as you get, senator Jeff sessions. Where is Jeff? A great man. Another great man, very tough competitor. He was not easy. He was not easy. Who is that? Is that the mayor that showed up? Is that Rudy? Oh, Rudy got up here.

Another great man who has been really a friend to me, but I’ll Tell you, I got to know him as a competitor, because he was one of the folks that was negotiating to go against those democrats. Dr. Ben Carson. Where is Ben? Where is Ben? By the way, Mike Huckabee is here someplace, and he is fantastic. Mike and his family, Sarah, thank you very much. General Mike Flynn. Where is Mike? And general Kellogg . We have over 200 generals and admirals that have endorsed our campaign, and they’re special people and it is really an honor. We have 22 congressional medal of honor recipients.

We have just tremendous people. A very special person who believe me, and, you know, I would read reports that I wasn’t getting along with him. I never had a bad second with him. He’s an unbelievable star. He is — that’s right, how did you possibly guess? So let me tell you about Reince, and I have said this. I said, reince — and I know it, I know it. Look at all of those people over there. I know it. Rience is a superstar, but I said they can’t call you a superstar, Reince, unless we win. Because you can’t be called a superstar, like Secretariat, if Secretariat came in second, would not have the beautiful bronze bust at the track at belmont.

But I will tell you Reince is really a star. And he is the hardest working guy, and in a certain way I did this — where is reince? Get up here, Reince. Get over here, Reince. Boy, oh boy. It is about time you did this, Reince. Huh, my God. Say a few words.

REINCE PRIEBUS: No, no, no.

DONALD TRUMP: No, come on, say something.

REINCE PRIEBUS: Ladies and gentlemen, the next president of the united States, Donald Trump! Thank you. It’s been an honor. God bless. Thank god. You bet.

DONALD TRUMP: Amazing guy. Our partnership with the RNC was so important to the success in what we have done. So I also have to say I’ve gotten to know some incredible people, the secret service people. They’re tough and they’re smart and they’re sharp, and I don’t want to mess around with them, I can tell you. And when I want to go and wave to a big group of people and they rip me down and put me back down in the seat, but they are fantastic people. So I want to thank the secret service. And law enforcement in New York City, they’re here tonight. These are spectacular people, sometimes underappreciated unfortunately, but we appreciate them.

We know what they go through. So it has been what they call a historic event, but to be really historic we have to do a great job. And I promise you that I will not let you down. We will do a great job. We will do a great job. I look very much forward to being your president, and hopefully at the end of two years or three years or four years, or maybe even eight years, you will say, so many of you worked so hard for us, but you will say that that was something that you really were very proud to do, and I can thank you very much.

I can only say that while the campaign is over, our work on this movement is now really just beginning. We’re going to get to work immediately for the American people, and we’re going to be doing a job that, hopefully, you will be so proud of your president, you will be so proud. Again, it’s my honor. It was an amazing evening. It’s been an amazing two-year period, and I love this country.

Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you to Mike Pence. Thank you to everybody.

Politics November 8, 2016: Clinton and Trump make closing arguments at last rallies of 2016 campaign

HEADLINE NEWS

Headline_News

POLITICS

Clinton and Trump make closing arguments at last rallies of 2016 campaign

By Bonnie K. Goodman

RALEIGH, NC - NOVEMBER 08: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at North Carolina State University on November 8, 2016 in Raleigh North Carolina. With less than 24 hours until Election Day in the United States, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

RALEIGH, NC – NOVEMBER 08: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at North Carolina State University on November 8, 2016 in Raleigh North Carolina. With less than 24 hours until Election Day in the United States, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

 

GRAND RAPIDS, MI - NOVEMBER 08: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leaves his final campaign rally on November 8, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With less than 24 hours until Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – NOVEMBER 08: Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump leaves his final campaign rally on November 8, 2016 in Grand Rapids, Michigan. With less than 24 hours until Election Day in the United States, Trump and his opponent, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, are campaigning in key battleground states that each must win to take the White House. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

After more two years, the 2016 presidential campaign is ending. Late Monday evening, Nov. 7, 2016, into the early hours of Tuesday, Nov. 8, Republican nominee Donald Trump and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton made their final cases to the American voters at their last rallies of the campaign cycle. The candidates held a marathon number of rallies during the last days of the campaign hoping to persuade voters in battleground states that they should be the next president. Clinton ended on a positive note, Trump a more negative tone as both candidates remained close in polls that showed conflicting results entering Election Day.

Clinton made her final rally in the ever more critical battleground state of North Carolina. Clinton spoke to 6,000 supporters at the rally held at North Carolina State University in Raleigh, where she had a little help from some famous friends, singers Jon Bon Jovi and Lady Gaga, who also performed. Clinton hoped to appeal to millennials to help put her over the edge.

Clinton alluded to Bon Jovi’s performance and biggest hit in her remarks. Clinton expressed,
“Well, I got to tell you this is sure worth staying you up for. And you know between now and the time that the poll closes tomorrow, we’re going to be living on a prayer.” Clinton, who ran a campaign made of attacks mostly on her opponent wanted to strike a more positive tone at the end of her historic campaign. The Democratic nominee wanted to contrast herself from Trump’s “dark and divisive vision for America.”

Clinton called on voters, “Tomorrow, we face the test of our time. So if you believe America thrives when the middle class thrives, then you have to vote… If you believe we should make the biggest investment in new jobs since WWII … you have to vote. For the last words of her campaign, Clinton concluded, “If you believe we need more fairness in our economy… If you believe in science … If you believe we need to reform our criminal justice system … If you believe we need to do more to support working families … Let’s go vote North Carolina!”

Earlier in the evening, Clinton “held her biggest rally of the cycle in Pennsylvania” accompanied by President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle, her husband former President Bill Clinton, and daughter Chelsea. Clinton hosted 20,000 supporters at Independence Hall in Philadelphia where Bruce Springsteen and Bon Jovi performed. Clinton is keeping up with her positive message ending, apologized for the campaign’s nastiness, saying, “I regret deeply how angry the tone of the campaign became.” The Democratic nominee pointed out the negative words coming from her opponent’s campaign. Clinton then asked supporters, “Let’s show tomorrow there will be no question about the outcome of this election!”

Obama gave a resounding endorsement passing the torch to his former Secretary of State. The President expressed, “We now have the chance to elect a 45th president who will build on our progress who will finish the job … who is smart, who is steady and who is tested. She will work, she will deliver. She won’t just tweet.” Obama asked voters “America, I am betting on you one more time.” The president a notorious and energetic campaigner, who loves the game, has been a top surrogate for Clinton making arguments in Florida and Michigan.  While the First Lady who has been Clinton’s campaign secret weapon told the crowd, “We are one day away from once again from making history… This election is on us. It is in our hands. If we get out and vote tomorrow, Hillary Clinton will win.”

Meanwhile, Trump held his last of a marathon of rallies in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The Midwest state has not voted Republican since 1988, but Trump’s popularity with blue-collar workers has put the state in play. Trump’s simple but full rally contrasted with the caravan of celebrities that have performed concerts and campaigned for Clinton in the final for Trump it has always been the been the supporters who have stuffed his rallies in record number that have been the most important, as the nominee himself is a one-man band. Trump had “enthusiastic crowds in his final swing state rallies in “Florida, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, New Hampshire, and Michigan.”

Trump told his supporters, “We don’t need, we don’t need Jay Z or Beyonce. We don’t need Jon Bon Jovi. We don’t need Lady Gaga. All we need is great ideas to make America great again. That’s all that we need.” Despite a close race with Clinton slightly ahead in some polls, Trump remained optimistic telling  his audience at a earlier rally in Scranton, Pennsylvania, “I think we’re going to blow them out tomorrow in a lot of different ways, blow them out. No way.” In Michigan he told his supporters, “This is not the sound of a second place finisher, that I can tell you.”

Trump had what was supposed to be his campaign finale rally also earlier in the evening. Trump held a rally in Manchester, New Hampshire with his family, his three eldest children, who were his biggest campaign surrogates and his running mate Indiana Governor Mike Pence and his wife Karen as well friend and most loyal and “ardent” surrogate former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani. There were no celebrities present other than the candidate, but there were laser beams and a fog machine show and 12,000 loyal supporters from the battleground state. There Trump thanked his children, “I heard about the surrogates going all over for Hillary Clinton but I had my family I had the best surrogates of all.”

Trump’s final last minute rally in Michigan, started with a large crowd but as the early morning wore on the crowds dispersed. Trump remained negative to the end, as he needed to be to fight his opponent who has been acting as the incumbent backed a president with a renewed popularity. The GOP nominee declared, “Hillary is the face of failure. She’s the face of failed foreign policy.” Trump’s running mate, Pence gave the same warning earlier in the day at a stop in Minnesota, arguing, “In one day the American people can put an end to decades of Clinton corruption. You here in Minnesota can close the history books on the Clintons once and for all.”

As the outsider, Trump concluded with that message going to the core of what his campaign has always been about those on the outside of the political establishment. The nominee expressed, “The corrupt politicians and their special interests have ruled over this country for a very long time. Today is our Independence day. Today the American working class is going to strike back, finally.”

 

 

Full Text Political Transcripts November 7, 2016: President Barack Obama’s Remarks at Hillary Clinton for America Rally – Durham, NH

POLITICAL TRANSCRIPTS

OBAMA PRESIDENCY & 114TH CONGRESS:

Remarks by the President at Hillary for America Rally – Durham, NH

Source: WH, 11-7-16

University of New Hampshire
Durham, New Hampshire

4:57 P.M. EST

THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, New Hampshire!  (Applause.)  Oh, it is good to be back in Durham!  (Applause.)  And it’s a good day to be a Wildcat!  (Applause.)  Every day is a good day to be a Wildcat.  (Applause.)

Can everybody please give it up for our outstanding public servants — your Senator, Jeanne Shaheen.  (Applause.)   Representative Annie McLane Kuster.  (Applause.)  And two women you can send to join them in Washington — your Governor and next United States senator, Maggie Hassan.  (Applause.)  And your next congresswoman, Carol Shea Porter.  (Applause.)  Your next governor, Colin Van Ostern.  (Applause.)  And give it up for two great friends of mine — former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords — (applause) — and her husband and former astronaut, Mark Kelly!  (Applause.)

I’ve got to say — because this is, I think, going to be my last big event —

AUDIENCE:  Nooo!

THE PRESIDENT:  Yes!  I mean, we’ve got one in Philly.  But Michelle is talking there, so I won’t get any attention.  (Laughter.)  So I want to take some time just to thank some very special people who have put everything they’ve got into this campaign, not just here in New Hampshire, but across America — and that is all the grassroots organizers who have worked so hard every single day.  (Applause.)  They don’t get a lot of attention.  Some of them started on my first campaign.  They picked up the phones, they hit the streets.  They just live and breathe the hard work of change.  I could not be prouder of them.  They’re the best organizers on the planet, and I could not be more proud of you.  So thank you, organizers, for the great work you do.  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  I love you!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you back.  I do.  (Applause.)

So, one more day, New Hampshire.  One more day.  One more day and you —

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  (Inaudible.)

THE PRESIDENT:  Okay!  I can’t hear you, but I appreciate you.

AUDIENCE:  Obama!  Obama!  Obama!

AUDIENCE MEMBER:  We love you, Mr. President!

THE PRESIDENT:  I love you, too.  I do.  (Applause.)

So we got one more day.  And we can choose a politics of blame and divisiveness and resentment.  Or you can choose a politics that says, we’re stronger together.  (Applause.)  Tomorrow you can choose whether we continue the journey of progress or whether it all goes out the window.

Think about where we were eight years ago.  Now, I realize some of you were 10.  (Laughter.)  And you were watching Nickelodeon.  And I was trying to think back — you had “Josh and Drake.”  You had “iCarly.”  Although, in our household, “Sponge Bob” ruled.  (Applause.)  So not only all of you were paying attention, so let me just reprise for you what was going on eight years ago.

We were living through two long wars, the worst economic crisis in 80 years.  But because of the American people, and because we made some good decisions about what might help working families, we turned the page.  Our businesses have turned job losses into 15.5 million new jobs.  (Applause.)  Incomes and wages are up, and poverty is down by more than any time in last 30 years.  (Applause.)  Twenty million Americans have health insurance that didn’t have it before.  (Applause.)  We’ve doubled our production of clean energy.  We became the world leader in fighting climate change.  (Applause.)  We brought home more of our men and women in uniform.  We took out Osama bin Laden.  (Applause.)  Marriage equality is a reality from coast to coast.  (Applause.)  High school graduation is at an all-time high.  College enrollment at an all-time high.

And over these eight years, across all 50 states, I’ve seen what always has made America great.  I’ve seen you — the American people.  Not just Democrats, but people of every party, people of every faith who know that we’re stronger together.  (Applause.) Young people and old; black, white, Latino, Asian, Native American; people with disabilities; gay, straight — all pledging allegiance to the red, white, and blue.  That’s the America I know.  (Applause.)  That’s the America I love.  And there’s one candidate in this race who has devoted her life to that better America — the next President of the United States, Hillary Clinton!  (Applause.)

AUDIENCE:  Hillary!  Hillary!  Hillary!

THE PRESIDENT:  Hillary!  Hillary!  Hillary!

AUDIENCE:  Hillary!  Hillary!  Hillary!

THE PRESIDENT:  But make no mistake — all that progress goes down the drain if we don’t win tomorrow.  And New Hampshire, it’s a small state, but it’s an important state.  There are some scenarios where Hillary doesn’t win if she doesn’t win New Hampshire.  So it depends on you.  I know this has been a long campaign, and I know it’s been full of negative ads and distractions and noise.  I want you to tune all that out.  I want you to focus.  Because the choice you face when you step into that voting booth could not be clearer.

Donald Trump is temperamentally unfit to be Commander-in-Chief.  (Applause.)  This is not just my opinion.  This is the opinion of a lot of Republicans.  Think about it — over the weekend, his campaign took his Twitter account away from him.  (Laughter.)  If your closest advisors don’t trust you to tweet, how can you trust him with the nuclear codes?  You can’t do it.  (Applause.)

He is uniquely unqualified to be America’s chief executive.  He says he’s a business guy.  But we’ve got a lot of great businessmen and women, including right here in New Hampshire, who don’t try to succeed by stiffing small businesses who did work for him, or stiffing workers what they owe him.  This is the first candidate in decades to hide his tax returns, partly because he hasn’t paid any federal income taxes.  He thinks that’s smart, but that means he’s not making a dime’s worth of contribution to caring for our veterans, to supporting our troops, to rebuilding our roads, to building up our public colleges and universities.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo —

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  Vote!  (Applause.)  He can’t — New Hampshire, Donald Trump can’t hear your boos, but he can hear your votes.  (Applause.)

He’s got nothing serious to offer on jobs.  There hasn’t been enough talk about this economy in this election.  And you know why?  Because we’ve created jobs for 73 months in a row now.  (Applause.)  Wages are rising.  Just last week, the unemployment rate was at 4.9 percent — that’s near the lowest levels in nearly nine years.  (Applause.)

So Donald Trump generally avoids facts or he just denies them.  So he said this is a “disaster.”  A disaster?  (Laughter.)  Listen, I just came from Michigan.  (Applause.)  You want to know what a real disaster looks like, think back to that state and what we were dealing with eight years ago.  The American auto industry was flat on its back.  Unemployment was soaring.  Today’s plants across that state and across the region that were shut down — they’re now doing double shifts.  (Applause.)  And you know what Donald Trump’s idea — Donald Trump’s idea for the auto industry?  He actually suggested that Michigan should send its auto jobs to states that pay their workers less.  And by making Michigan workers suffer, they’d have no choice but to accept less pay if they wanted to get their jobs back.

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo.  What are you supposed to do?

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  Vote!

Does that sound like somebody who actually cares about working people?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  New England has lost mill jobs over the years.  Would that be a good way to bring them back?  Just send them down to places where they pay them less?

AUDIENCE:  No!

THE PRESIDENT:  Look, we got manufacturing growing again over these last eight years — first time since the 1990s.  And Hillary’s going to keep that going.  (Applause.)  She’s put forward the biggest investment in new jobs since World War II.  She’s got plans to grow manufacturing, boost people’s wages, help students with college debt.  That’s why she should be the next President of the United States.  (Applause.)

And New Hampshire, let me tell you something I’ve learned about this job.  Who you are, what you are — that doesn’t change once you get into the Oval Office.  It magnifies who you are.  It shines a spotlight on who you are.  But if you denigrate minorities when you’re running for office; if you call immigrants criminals and rapists when you’re running for office; if you mock people with disabilities and treat women as objects, calling them pigs and dogs and scoring them on a 1 through 10 test — if you do that when you’re running for office, that’s how you’ll conduct yourself in office.

If you insult POWs and talk our troops down, if you say you know more than our generals when you can’t tell the difference between a Shia and a Sunni — (applause) — that’s how you’ll conduct yourself as Commander-in-Chief.  You know, it’s bad enough being arrogant — it’s bad being arrogant and not knowing anything.  (Applause.)

If you accept the support of Klan sympathizers, saying, well, I don’t know what they’re about, then that’s how you’ll be thinking when you take office.  If you disrespect the Constitution, threaten to shut down reporters that write things you don’t like, threatening to throw your opponent in jail in the middle of a presidential debate — (laughter) — if you do discriminate against people of different faiths — that happens in other countries, but not this one.  This is the United States of America.  We’ve got a Constitution.  (Applause.)

You know, his buddy, Putin, may think that’s okay.  I don’t think it’s okay.  The American people don’t think it’s okay.  (Applause.)  Come on!

Donald Trump is uniquely unqualified to hold this job.  And the good news is, New Hampshire, you are uniquely qualified to make sure he does not get this job.  (Applause.)  But you’ve got to vote.  You’ve got to vote tomorrow.  (Applause.)  And the good news is, you don’t just have to vote against someone — you’ve got a candidate who is actually worthy of your vote, who is smart, and tested, and probably the most qualified person ever to run for this office — and that is Hillary Clinton.  (Applause.)

You know, I’ve got to say, since my name is not on the ballot, there are times where I’ve been just kind of trying to bite my tongue.  But there is a lot about this election that has not been on the level.  But I’m going to level with you right now.

The way campaigns have gotten, we’ve come to accept crazy stuff as normal.  And you see the strategy of just repeating attacks and outright lies over and over again.  But it gets churned in social media and Facebook, and no matter how false they are, they just create this cloud of dust.

And so I’ve had to bite my lip and just listen to some of the nonsense that’s been said about Hillary.  I know Hillary.  I ran against Hillary.  She worked for me.  (Laughter.)  This is somebody who has dedicated her life to making this country better.  (Applause.)  This is somebody who cares about working families because she comes from a working family.  (Applause.)  Think about how she got her start.

As a young woman, not much older than most of the folks here, while Donald Trump and his developer dad were being sued by the Justice Department for denying housing to African American families, Hillary was going undercover from school to school to make sure minority kids were getting an equal shot at a good education.  (Applause.)  And she has not stopped fighting.  She has not stopped fighting for justice.  She has not stopped fighting for equality.  She has not stopped fighting for kids ever since.

She will be a smart and steady President.  And unlike her opponent, she actually respects working Americans.  (Applause.)  She will work her heart out to create jobs that families can live on and child care you can afford.  She’ll fight for equal pay for equal work.  (Applause.)  She’ll make sure that we’ve got a higher minimum wage and family leave that’s paid so people can afford to use it, and make sure that this economy works for everybody.

And unlike her opponent, she actually knows what’s going on in the world.  (Applause.)  She’s traveled around the world.  She’s respected around the world.  She’ll work her heart out to keep America respected and strong and safe.  And she will not turn people against each other just to win an election.  She’ll be a leader for all of us, even those who don’t vote for her, because she knows we are stronger together.  (Applause.)

But, New Hampshire, if you want Hillary to continue the progress we’ve made, she’s going to need allies in the Senate.  Allies like Maggie Hassan.  (Applause.)  You cannot just stick her with Republicans in Congress who are already promising even more unprecedented dysfunction in Washington.  More shutdowns.  More obstruction.  More repeal votes.  “Years” of hearings, “years” of investigations.  Some are saying they’ll block all Supreme Court nominations —

AUDIENCE:  Booo —

THE PRESIDENT:  Don’t boo.

AUDIENCE:  Vote!

THE PRESIDENT:  I mean, apparently they think only Republican Presidents should nominate judges.  If you think “Voting for Endless Gridlock” is a good slogan, you should vote for the Republicans.  And by the way, Maggie’s opponent — I gather she is kind of running like maybe she’s a Democrat all of a sudden.  (Laughter.)  But in Washington, she supports Mitch McConnell.  In Washington, she supports a majority that has consistently been about saying no to everything.  She supports eliminating health care for 20 million Americans who already have it.  So don’t buy that okie-doke.  There’s a clear choice involved here.  (Applause.)

Maggie Hassan will make sure we’ve got a Democratic majority to work for the things you care about.  (Applause.)  Her opponent will not.  It’s a clear choice.  American can do better than gridlock.  If you care about creating jobs, if you care about childcare they can afford, if you care about equal pay for women and a higher wages for workers, then you’ve got to vote for Democrats up and down the ticket.

People like Hillary.  People like Maggie.  People who will put you ahead of politics — (applause) — who will involve all of us in the work of moving this country forward.

And that’s ultimately what this comes down to, New Hampshire.  The most important office in a democracy is not president, it’s not senator, it’s not governor or mayor — it’s citizen.  That’s the most important office.  (Applause.)  That’s why we don’t talk about “I,” we talk about “we.”  We, the people.  We shall overcome.  Yes, we can.  (Applause.)  I didn’t say, “Yes, I can.”  I said, “Yes, we can.”  (Applause.)  America has never been about what one person says he’ll do for us; it’s about what we do together, through the slow, and, yes, sometimes frustrating, but ultimately enduring work of self-government.

This is where you come in.  You hold the most important office in a democracy.  It depends on you.  Even when the odds are steep.  Even when the road is long.  It’s been ordinary people who made the difference.  That’s how patriots chose revolution over tyranny.  The GIs that defeated fascism around the world — they were your age.  Women finding the courage to reach for the ballot; marchers crossing a bridge in Selma for their dignity; workers organizing collective bargaining and better wages.  You make these things happen.  (Applause.)

“We hold these truths to be self-evident that all men are created equal, that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights.”  In this country, you don’t have to be born of wealth or privilege to make a difference.  You don’t have to practice a certain faith or look a certain way to bend the arc of history.  And that’s what makes America exceptional.  That’s what’s always made America great.

So with whatever credibility I’ve got after eight years as your President, I am asking you to trust me on this one.  (Applause.)  I already voted for Hillary.  We got early vote in Illinois.  I already voted for her.  I’m absolutely confident that when she’s President, this country will be in good hands.  (Applause.)

And I’m asking you to do the same — especially the young people who are here today.  (Applause.)  It isn’t that often — it isn’t that often in life you’ll discover where you just know you can make a difference.  It’s not that often when you have a chance to shape history.  The world is watching us right now. This is one of those moments.  Don’t let it slip away.  Don’t give away your power.  You have a chance to send a clear signal — we are not divisive; we are not mean-spirited.  That’s not what America is about.  We’re not going to go backwards.  (Applause.)

You can elect a leader who’s spent her life trying to move this country forward.  Our first female President.  (Applause.)    A President who will be an example for our daughters and for our sons, and send a signal, there is no glass ceiling — anybody who works hard and cares enough can achieve.

And now, after months of campaigning, after all the rallies, after all the ads, it all comes down to you.  This is out of Hillary’s hands now.  It’s out of my hands.  It’s out of Michelle’s hands.  It’s out of Maggie’s hands or Jeanne’s hands. It’s in your hands.  The fate of our democracy depends on what you do when you step into that voting booth tomorrow.  It depends on whether you’re telling your friends and your neighbors and your relatives that they have to go and exercise this power, this legacy.

Don’t dare fall for the easy cynicism that says my vote doesn’t matter, or politicians are all the same — because they’re not.  Hillary’s opponent wants you to think that.  Folks — Mitch McConnell wants you to think that.  They don’t want you to vote.  In some states they’ve made it harder for you to vote.  But your vote does matter.  I won some states by two votes a precinct.  Your voice makes a difference.

And if you don’t believe that, I want to leave you with one last story.  I want to leave you with one last story, and this is for the young people here.  This is for the young people here, so I want you to pay attention.  (Applause.)

A lot of you won’t remember this, but when I ran for the presidency in ’08, the truth is, is that not a lot of people gave me a chance.  I was a skinny guy with a funny name.  And when I look back at the pictures of me speaking back then, I look really young.  (Laughter.)

So, initially, when we started the campaign the odds weren’t for us.  And we had a lot of states to cover, and I had never run a national campaign.  And so we had to try to get any support we could, any endorsements we could.  So I fly down to North Carolina — South Carolina — South Carolina.  I go down to South Carolina for some state legislature’s banquet or something.  And I’m sitting next to this state legislator, and she hasn’t made an endorsement yet.  And I ask her for the endorsement.  That’s what you do when you’re kind of trying to get support.

And she says, you know what, Obama, I like you.  You’re a little young, a little green behind the ears, but I like you.  I will endorse you if you come to my hometown of Greenwood, South Carolina.

So I must have had a little too much wine because I just said okay on the spot.  (Laughter.)  I was feeling a little desperate, didn’t have a lot of endorsements, a lot of support back then.  So fast-forward about a month and a half later.  I’d been working in Iowa, I’d been coming up to New Hampshire, I’d been calling people and trying to raise money.  And I’m exhausted, haven’t seen my family.  I’m a little grouchy.  And I fly down to South Carolina, down to Greenville, and I get in about midnight.  And I’m exhausted.  I’m dragging my bags through the little airport terminal and get it to the hotel.  And all I want to do is sleep.

And suddenly, right as I get to the door, I get this tap on my shoulder.  And I turn around and it’s one of my staffers.  Said, “Senator” — because back then I was just a senator.  He said, “Senator, you do know that you got to wake up at 6:30 a.m. tomorrow morning, right?”  I said, what do you mean?  He said, well, remember that state legislator you met, you promised you’d go out to Greenwood?  Well, that’s tomorrow.  (Laughter.)

So I’m muttering under my breath.  I’m not happy.  I go in, just fall out.  Alarm goes off, and I feel terrible.  I’m exhausted.  Think I’m coming down with a cold.  I open up the curtains — it’s pouring down rain outside!  Pouring down rain.  Horrible day.  I make myself some coffee and I get the newspaper outside my door, and open it up — there’s a bad story about me in The New York Times.  (Laughter.)

I get dressed, shaved, walk out, just kind of still groggy, still staggering.  My umbrella blows open.  That ever happen to you?  (Laughter.)  As I’m walking out.  And I get soaked!  Soaked!  I’m just soaked.  I get in the car.  I say, all right, how long is it going to take to Greenwood?  An hour and a half.  (Laughter.)  An hour and a half.

So we’re driving and we’re driving and we’re driving.  It doesn’t seem like we’re going anywhere.  Sheets of rain are pouring down.  And finally, we get to Greenwood — although you can’t tell because there’s really no buildings in Greenwood that are more than like two stories high.  (Laughter.)  And there are just a couple little stores, and there’s like one stop light.

And we pull up to this little park fieldhouse.  And I get out and I’m sloshing around in the rain, and my socks are wet.  And I walk in — and I’ve driven an hour and a half — and there are like 15, 20 people there — 15 or 20 people.  And I will tell you, they didn’t look any happier to see me than I did to see them.  (Laughter.)  They were wet and damp and they weren’t really excited.  They didn’t know why they were there.  And so I go around the room, and I say, how do you do, and talk to everybody.  But they’re not really feeling it right now.

And so I’m about to make my pitch.  I’m trying to muster myself up — let me make the best of this.  I’m going to do it quick and then I’m going to get out of there.  And suddenly I hear this voice from the back, this shout “Fired up!”

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  And everybody in the room says, “Fired up!”  and I say — and then I hear the voice say, “Ready to go!”  And everybody in the room says, “Ready to go!”  And I don’t know what’s going on.  (Laughter.)  I think these people are crazy.  (Laughter.)  Maybe I shouldn’t have come here.

And then I look in the back of the room.  And there’s this middle-aged woman, and she’s dressed like she just came from church.  She’s got a big church hat.  And she got I think a gold tooth.  (Laughter.)  Turns out she is — holds a position in the local NAACP office, and also — I’m not kidding you — is a private detective.  This is a true story.  (Laughter.)  She’s like a private eye — although it’s hard to think that you wouldn’t see her coming.  (Laughter.)  She’s very colorful.

And she’s grinning at me.  And apparently she is known wherever she goes by saying, this chant, “Fired up!”  And everybody knows her, so they know that when she says, “Fired up!” they’ve got to say “Fired up!”  And when she says, “Ready to go!” everybody has got to say, “Ready to go!”

And this is what she does.  Every meeting she goes to she does this thing, which is kind of strange.  (Laughter.)  So the thing is, though, she keeps on doing it.  And everybody keeps on — she says, “Fired up!” and they say, “Fired up!”  And, “Ready to go!”  “Ready to go!”

But the interesting things is after a while, I’m starting to get kind of fired up.  (Laughter and applause.)  I’m starting to feel like I’m ready to go.  And all those negative thoughts and all those bad memories start kind of drifting away.  And we have a great meeting with these 20 people.  And they all say, we’re going to support you, and we’re going to go out there and work.

And even after we left Greenwood, the rest of the day, all the campaigning, when I saw my staff, I said, “Are you fired up?”  They said, “I’m fired up, boss.”  (Laughter.)  “Are you ready to go?”  “I’m ready to go.”

And it just goes to show you how one voice can change a room.  (Applause.)  And if it can change a room, it can change a city.  And if it can change a city, it can change a state.  (Applause.)  And if it can change a state, it can change a nation.  (Applause.)  And if it can change a nation, it can change the world!  (Applause.)

So I just have one question for you, New Hampshire:  Are you fired up?

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go?

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go!

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Fired up!

AUDIENCE:  Fired up!

THE PRESIDENT:  Ready to go!

AUDIENCE:  Ready to go!

THE PRESIDENT:  Let’s go finish what we started.  Let’s elect Hillary Clinton!  (Applause.)  Let’s elect Maggie Hassan!  (Applause.)

I love you, New Hampshire.  God bless you.  God bless the United States of America.  (Applause.)

END
5:29 P.M. EST

Politics November 7, 2016: WikiLeaks CNN embroiled in Clinton bias over favors for Democratic National Committee

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WikiLeaks CNN embroiled in Clinton bias over favors for Democratic National Committee

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PITTSBURGH, PA - NOVEMBER 07: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally on November 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With one day to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PITTSBURGH, PA – NOVEMBER 07: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally on November 7, 2016 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. With one day to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Pennsylvania, Michigan and North Carolina. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Republican nominee Donald Trump likes to call CNN the Clinton News Network and he might be right. WikLeaks released over 8,000 more emails from the Democratic National Committee on Monday, Nov. 7, 2016, and among the most damaging is an email where the Clinton campaign coordinated with CNN to sabotage interviews in April with Republican candidates Donald Trump who became the nominee and Texas Senator Ted Cruz.

In April the DNC “colluded” with CNN to create questions to trip Trump during a CNN interview including having the DNC choosing the CNN anchor who would interview Trump.
The email dated April 25, was a DNC staffer named Lauren Dillon who served as the DNC Research Director, her email address was DillonL@dnc.org.

The DNC staffer requested that Wolf Blitzer conduct the interview. Dillon wrote CNN, “Wolf Blitzer is interviewing Trump on Tues ahead of his foreign policy address on Wed. … Please send me thoughts by 10:30 AM tomorrow.” Dillon sent another email after CNN notified her that the interview had been canceled “as of now.”

In the second email, Dillon provided suggested questions the CNN anchor should ask Trump when the interview was rescheduled. Dillon wrote some of the questions down, suggesting CNN ask Trump “Who helped you write the foreign policy speech you’re giving tomorrow? Which advisors specifically did you talk to? What advice did they give you? Did they give you any advice that you chose not to take?”

Additionally, as the Washington Examiner noted Dillon suggested questions regarding “Saudi Arabia’s alleged involvement in the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks, a pre-preemptive strike against North Korea and court martials for members of the military who didn’t follow orders.”

Dillon did the same when it came to interviews with Cruz and former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina who Cruz at that point was choosing as running mate in unprecedented move since he was not the presumptive nominee. Dillon wrote in that third email “CNN is looking for questions” on Cruz and “maybe a couple on” Fiorina.

CNN dismissed the emails with a spokeswoman commenting, “This is completely unremarkable. We have similar communications with Republicans. When preparing for interviews we are regularly sent suggestions from rival campaigns and political parties, both solicited and unsolicited. Casting a wide net to ensure a tough and fair interview isn’t just common media practice, it’s smart.”

WikLeaks released a damaging batch of DNC emails back in July just before the Democratic National Convention revealing how much the party wanted to sabotage and work against the party’s other primary candidate Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders. Then DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz’s damaging emails forced her to resign as the party’s head.

This is not the first time WikiLeaks unearthed CNN helping the Clinton campaign during the primaries. This first time was with interim DNC Chair woman Donna Brazile. Brazile acquired two CNN primary debate questions and handed them over to the Clinton campaign. The revelation prompted CNN to cut ties with Brazile.

WikLeaks released 50,000 hacked emails since the beginning of October in an attempt to sway the election. The majority of the emails have been from the Gmail account of Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta. The emails not released in any order include both emails and internal memos and documents showing the Clintons’ used their political connections to gain favors.

The emails have shown a calculated Clinton campaign that has used the Democratic National Committee and the news media to get an advantage for Clinton in the primary and general election. The news media has downplayed the revelation but they are still damaging to the Clinton campaign and the DNC showing a manipulatively run campaign.

Politics November 7, 2016: WikiLeaks Chelsea Clinton’s husband used Clinton Foundation for hedge fund

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WikiLeaks Chelsea Clinton’s husband used Clinton Foundation for hedge fund

By Bonnie K. Goodman

HEMPSTEAD, NY - SEPTEMBER 26: (L-R) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on with husband and former U.S. President Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea Clinton after the Presidential Debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBC's Lester Holt. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

HEMPSTEAD, NY – SEPTEMBER 26: (L-R) Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton looks on with husband and former U.S. President Bill Clinton and daughter, Chelsea Clinton after the Presidential Debate with Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. The first of four debates for the 2016 Election, three Presidential and one Vice Presidential, is moderated by NBC’s Lester Holt. (Photo by Drew Angerer/Getty Images)

Another day another Clinton scandal exposed. The FBI might not be charging Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton over her private email server, but does not mean the Clintons’ are not without scandal and general abuse of power privilege. On Sunday evening, Nov. 6, 2016, WikiLeaks released another batch of 8,000 emails relating to Hillary and former President Bill Clinton. Among those emails was two indicating that daughter Chelsea Clinton’s husband, Marc Mezvinsky used his connections with the Clinton Foundation to secure money for his hedge fund.

Wikileaks released two specific emails between ex-Bill Clinton aide Doug Band to Clinton’s campaign chairman John Podesta and long-time aide Cheryl Mills who at the time was serving as Clinton’s Chief of Staff at the State Department. There was a memo from 2011 and an email from 2012 outlining how Mezvinky used the foundation’s donors to invest his hedge fund.

Mezvinsky invited prospective donors to a Clinton Foundation poker event to “court” his potential investors and was introduced to a “billionaire foundation donor” who contributed to his fund. Chelsea was also actively involved she phoned foundation donors inquiring if they would invest in her husband’s hedge fund.

Mezvinsky was working as an investment for Goldman Sachs, and he and two others were trying to gain enough capital and investments for a hedge fund. The three called their enterprise Eaglevale Partners. As Politico pointed out in their report, “The word among rich Clinton backers on Wall Street was that the family would look favorably on investments in Eaglevale.”

The emails are a part of the 50,000 hacked Podesta emails WikiLeaks has released since the beginning of October in an attempt to sway the election. The emails have shown a calculated Clinton campaign that has used the Democratic National Committee and the news media to get an advantage for Clinton in the primary and general election. The emails not released in any order include both emails and internal memos and documents showing the Clintons’ used their political connections to gain favors.

Politics November 6, 2016: November surprise FBI’s Comey announces Clinton will still not face charges over server

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November surprise FBI’s Comey announces Clinton will still not face charges over server

 By Bonnie K. Goodman

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2016. Comey is testifying on his July 5 recommendation that no charges be brought over US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton's use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying the investigation does not support a criminal prosecution. / AFP / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

FBI Director James Comey testifies before a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, on July 7, 2016.
Comey is testifying on his July 5 recommendation that no charges be brought over US Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton’s use of a private email server while secretary of state, saying the investigation does not support a criminal prosecution. / AFP / YURI GRIPAS (Photo credit should read YURI GRIPAS/AFP/Getty Images)

In an election cycle with never ending surprise, FBI Director James B. Comey whipped up a November surprise with barely two days left to Election Day. On Sunday afternoon, Nov. 6, 2016, Comey sent another letter to the chairman of Congressional committee announcing that they have reviewed the newly discovered emails and that the FBI is standing by their July decision not to recommend any criminal charges against the former Secretary of State over her usage of a private email server. The announcement is just as interfering in the election as Comey’s first letter on Oct. 28, and it has been met with criticism from Republicans as a close campaign enters its final two days.

In Comey’s second letter, he informed Congressional leaders that the second investigation had been completed, “Since my letter, the FBI investigative team has been working around the clock to process and review a large volume of emails from a device obtained in connection with an unrelated criminal investigation. During that process, we reviewed all of the communications that were to or from Hillary Clinton while she was Secretary of State.”

The FBI Director concluded, “Based on our review, we have not changed our conclusions that we expressed in July with respect to Secretary Clinton.” Attorney General Loretta Lynch disagreed with Comey’s first letter, but on Sunday, the Justice Department issued a brief statement, saying, “The Department of Justice and the FBI dedicated all necessary resources to conduct this review expeditiously.”

The Clinton campaign was relieved after hearing the news but defiant. Clinton spokesman Brian Fallon tweeted, “We were always confident nothing would cause the July decision to be revisited. Now Director Comey has confirmed it.” While Jennifer Palmieri, Clinton’s communications director told reporters, “We have seen Director Comey’s latest letter to the Hill. We are glad to see that he has found, as we were confident that he would, that he had confirmed the conclusions he reached in July and we are glad that this matter is resolved.”

Rep. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, was equally pleased with the results of the investigation and its timing. Schiff in a statement expressed,
“While the original letter should never have been sent so close to an election, the expeditious review of these emails should put to rest — once and for all — the irresponsible speculation indulged in by the Trump campaign and others. Voters can now make their decision based on the merits, and that decision should be simple: it is the choice between a woman superbly qualified to be commander in chief, and a man patently unfit for office.”

Not all Democrats were as content one told CNN “It opened a wound that cannot be quickly healed.” Dianne Feinstein, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, is still angry at Comey. In a statement, Feinstein said, “Today’s letter makes Director Comey’s actions nine days ago even more troubling. There’s no doubt that it created a false impression about the nature of the agency’s inquiry. The Justice Department needs to take a look at its procedures to prevent similar actions that could influence future elections.”

The Republicans, however, were less than impressed by the November Surprise that might ruin their argument to vote Republican so close to the election. The letter seemed like another election spoiler. Trump spokesman Jason Miller commented on CNN, “We thought that Director Comey and the FBI were wrong when they made their initial recommendation in July, and we think that they’re wrong now.”

Speaker of the House Paul Ryan dismissed the letter, saying, “Regardless of this decision, the undisputed finding of the FBI’s investigation is that Secretary Clinton put our nation’s secrets at risk and in doing so compromised our national security,” Ryan said in a statement. “Fortunately, the American people have the opportunity to ensure Secretary Clinton never gets her hands on classified information again.”

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus agreed with Ryan, stating, “None of this changes the fact that the FBI continues to investigate the Clinton Foundation for corruption involving her tenure as secretary of state. Hillary Clinton should never be president.”

GOP vice presidential nominee Mike Pence hammered Clinton at “a rally in an airport hanger in Hickory, North Carolina,” saying, “Mishandling classified information is a crime. Hillary Clinton said that she never sent or received any classified information and the director of the FBI told the Congress classified information was sent.”

Meanwhile, Republican nominee Donald Trump spoke very little about the letter at his rally in Minneapolis, Minnesota, which began minutes after the news broke. The GOP nominee, however, renewed his call of a rigged system, claiming, “Well, you have to understand it’s a rigged system and she’s protected.” Top Trump surrogate Newt Gingrich concurred on Twitter, accusing, “Comey must be under enormous political pressure to cave like this.”

In July, Comey announced his decision not to prosecute Clinton after a lengthy FBI investigation. Comey said on July 5, “Although there is evidence of potential violations of the statutes regarding the handling of classified information, our judgment is that no reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case.” Although Comey expressed, the FBI could not “find a case that would support bringing criminal charges on these facts,” he called Clinton’s handling of her emails “extremely careless.” Clinton has always dismissed the issue as merely a “mistake” of judgment.

Then on Friday, Oct. 28, Comey sent a letter to Congressional Committee Chairman informing them that the FBI uncovered new “pertinent” emails relating to the Clinton investigation in an unrelated case, and advised that the FBI would be reopening their investigation into Clinton’s private server. The FBI discovered 650,000 emails on the computer of disgraced Congressman Anthony Weiner in their investigation of his sending sexually inappropriate text messages to an underage girl.

Weiner is the estranged husband of Huma Abedin, Clinton’s longtime aide who was Clinton’s deputy chief of staff at the State Department and is now her deputy campaign chair. Abedin also had an account on Clinton’s server. Abedin denied knowing the emails were ever on her husband’s laptop; she had been cooperating with authorities on the matter.

Initially sources claimed the emails were not duplicates of those the FBI already reviewed, but it turns out they were all copies. FBI agents knew of the emails for two weeks before notifying Comey on Thursday, Oct. 27. The Bureau was granted a warrant to search the emails on Sunday, Oct.  30. The probe was supposed not to be complete before the election, but pressure from the White House forced the FBI to complete the investigation before. The FBI used computers programs to scan and the emails and compared with those they already they had in the possession.

Initially, Comey faced praise from Trump’s campaign but was attacked and criticized by Clinton her campaign, Congressional supporters, most Democrats and President Barack Obama for the timing of the letter. Democrats in Congress even threatened to investigate Comey and the FBI for the timing of the letter, which interfered in the election a long known taboo.

Former Attorney General Eric Holder who formally instituted a policy in 2012 preventing investigations from interfering with elections wrote an editorial in the Washington Post criticizing Comey. Holder joined 100 Justice Department writing an open letter telling Comey his “letter to Congress was inconsistent with prevailing department policy, that it broke with longstanding practices followed during past elections and that they were astonished and perplexed.”

Now the Republicans and still some Democrats are criticizing Comey with good reason. Comey has played with the voters’ emotions and the election. Clinton may have received her all clear before the election, but Clinton lost her lead the contest is now close between Trump and Clinton, with Trump eclipsing Clinton is some crucial battleground states. The first letter united Republicans and saw them rallying around the nominee. The electoral map shifted in Trump’s favor after the first letter, will the second letter flip it back to Clinton or will voters remain wary of a scandal and investigation prone Clinton. Only on election night will anyone know how much Comey’s October and then November Surprises affected the 2016 election.

comey-letter-11616

Politics November 6, 2016: New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet she leads in polls

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New scandal Clinton had her maid print classified emails documents, yet she leads in polls

By Bonnie K. Goodman

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 06: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during church services at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ on November 6, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With two days to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida and Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

PHILADELPHIA, PA – NOVEMBER 06: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during church services at Mt. Airy Church of God in Christ on November 6, 2016 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. With two days to go until election day, Hillary Clinton is campaigning in Florida and Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton is taking laziness and risking national security to a new level. On Sunday, Nov. 6, 2016, the New York Post dropped a bombshell; Clinton asked her maid in her house in Washington, DC to print for her emails and documents including classified docs during her tenure as Secretary of State. The NY Post is claiming their story comes from emails and FBI memos. The news comes just two days before the election as the race is close between Clinton and Republican nominee Donald Trump and just a week after the FBI’s Director James Comey announced they were reopening their investigation. Ironically, polls are still positive for Clinton with her lead growing in the campaign’s final days.

According to the report, Marina Santos is the maid at the center of the new controversy. Santos is a Filipino immigrant who works at Clinton’s home, Whitehaven and does not have or had a security clearance. According to the NY Post, Clinton had Santos print for her “drafts of her speeches, confidential memos and “call sheets” – background information and talking points prepared for the secretary of state in advance of a phone call with a foreign head of state.”

Emails show that Clinton routinely asked her staff and aides to forward documents to Santos so she could print them for her. Some of the examples include an unclassified email from 2011  where Clinton asked her longtime Huma Abedin, “Pls ask Marina to print for me in am.”  Abedin is the center of the FBI’s renewed investigation where all of her State Department communications that were also on Clinton’s private server were uncovered on her estranged husband’s former congressman Anthony Weiner’s laptop.

There are also three other emails that are labeled as classified under the level of confidential in which Santos is referred to print items all come from aide, Monica Hanley. One from 2012 had to do with the new president Malawi, the other from the same year had to do with Iran both times Hanley mentioned Santos printing them, first writing, “We can ask Marina to print this,” and the other time “Marina is trying to print for you.” Hanely also mentioned a State Department fax in a 2012 email, “to see before your Netanyahu mtg. Marina will grab for you.”

The FBI’s investigation notes always pointed out that Santos had access to these documents by accessing the SCIF room (sensitive compartmented information facility) set up in Clinton’s Whitehaven home. The FBI wrote from their interview with Abedin, Santos “collected documents from the secure facsimile machine for Clinton.” Some of the documents besides emails were “the Presidential Daily Brief” on national security issues.

Despite the revelation and Santos involvement, she has not been interviewed neither has her devices been subpoenaed by the FBI for review. The FBI never asked Santos to hand over the iMac she received the emails on or the printer she used. Santos also was responsible for downloading all of Clinton’s State Department emails onto the Secretary’s Apple MacBook laptop, and USB flash drive that has become conveniently missing throughout the investigation.

The FBI noted in the case summary, “The two copies of the Clinton e-mail archive (one on the archive laptop and one on the thumb drive) were intended to be stored in Clinton’s Chappaqua and Whitehaven residences,” and that it “does not have either item in its possession.” Hanley told the FBI the devices were lost, a sadly unbelievable excuse.

What is believable that Clinton may have had her maid print out documents. The latest batch of emails released by the State Department and uncovered by the FBI during their investigation were near duplicates that usually had a “please print” added to it. Clinton said she used the private server mostly as a convenience to use one phone for both her professional and personal emails, essentially admitting laziness. If Clinton was that lazy, she had to have her information stored on the State Department server, and have an assistant with security clearance print and fetch her documents, not her maid.

Despite these reports, and the renewed FBI investigation American voters still say they are voting for Clinton. Two new polls released Sunday give Clinton comfortable leads. The ABC News-Washington Post Tracking gave Clinton a 5-point advantage 48 percent support to Trump’s 43, while the NBC News and Wall Street Journal poll has Clinton with a four-point lead, 44 percent to Trump’s 40.

In the opposite spectrum the LA Times/USC Tracking which has had an essential tie between the candidate opens up to a five-point lead for Trump, with 48 percent to Clinton’s 43 percent. The most reliable poll in 2012, the IBD/TIPP Tracking has the race at a tie, one up for Trump in a four-way race with while Clinton has the one-point advantage in a two-way race. However, the election is a four-way race with voters inevitably casting their ballots for third-party candidates.

Why would anyone want to elect a president who is extremely careless with FBI investigations over their head and a Congress that is threatening impeachment? In a recent exchange on Twitter with former Politico reporter and author of “HRC: State Secrets and the Rebirth of Hillary Clinton” Jonathan Allen, he claims it is a “prioritization” about voters believing “Clinton is competent to run the country and that Trump is not.”

Being politically corrupt, however, is worse than any lack of readiness for the presidency. The two last presidents Republican George W. Bush and Democrat Barack Obama were criticized for not being ready enough for the presidency. Bush resolved the issue by surrounding himself with experience advisors and very hands on Vice President in the form of Dick Cheney, while Obama learned the lessons himself with the help of a Democratic Congress.

Trump too can surround himself with experienced advisors, and he has an accomplished running mate in Indian Governor Mike Pence, a veteran of Congress as well. Trump will also have a Republican Congress backing him up. As leaks from the Trump campaign’s final days prove, he can learn to listen and restrain himself. Maybe the outsider needs a learning curve, but at least he has never risked national security and classified documents as Clinton did as Secretary of State, indictment or not she was irresponsible, and that never makes anyone “competent to run the country.”

Politics November 4, 2016: State Department releases the last batch of Clinton emails before the election

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State Department releases the last batch of Clinton emails before the election

By Bonnie K. Goodman

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 04:  Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Eastern Market on November 4, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. 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)

DETROIT, MI – NOVEMBER 04: Democratic presidential nominee former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton speaks during a campaign rally at Eastern Market on November 4, 2016 in Detroit, Michigan. 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)

The State Department released the final two batches of emails from former Secretary of State and Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton’s tenure before the election. On Thursday, Nov. 3, 2016, the State Department released 357 emails or 1,250 pages while on Friday, Nov. 4 they released 74 emails or 280 pages. The emails are part of the 15,000 the FBI discovered over the course of their first investigation into Clinton potentially endangering national security by using a private server for her email communications.

The majorities of the emails released are near duplicates of the emails the State Department previously released but include another mostly insignificant chain. State Department Deputy Spokesperson Mark Toner explained the emails in a statement, writing, “For instance, a ‘near duplicate’ would be substantively identical to previously released emails, but for a top email in the chain stating ‘Please print.'”

The emails are being released as part of Freedom of Information Act lawsuit by the Conservative group Judicial Watch. Judicial Watch was responsible for the lawsuit that forced the State Department to release the approximately 30,000 work related emails Clinton handed over to the State Department in December 2014. Clinton deleted the same amount of emails. The FBI recovered these 15,000 emails while examining the server.

U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ordered the State Department to review 1,000 documents before the election. The State Department previously released “75 emails, or around 270 pages, on Oct. 7, about 112 emails or 240 pages on Oct. 21, and 357 on Thursday.” Of the 15,000 emails, 60 percent were personal emails, 37 percent, 5,600 were from her work, but many were duplicates. The State Department will review 500 pages each month after the election and then release those that are appropriate.

Politics November 4, 2016: Clinton has less than 270 Electoral College votes in latest CNN projection

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Clinton has less than 270 Electoral College votes in latest CNN projection

 
By Bonnie K. Goodman

cnn_road-to-270-battleground-map-update_11416CNN

Proving just how close this election has become CNN latest Electoral College projection has Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton dipping below the magic number of 270 in her column. CNN released their “Road to 270” map projection on Friday, Nov. 4, 2016, giving Clinton 268 Electoral College votes while Republican nominee Donald Trump moved to 204 votes as more states move into the battleground column with just four days before Election Day on Tuesday, Nov. 8.

According to the latest edition of CNN’s electoral map Clinton has 268 votes from solidly Democrat or leaning Democrat states, while Trump has 204 votes from solidly Republican or leaning Republican.

In the solidly Democrat column are the following states:
California (55), Connecticut (7), Delaware (3), DC (3), Hawaii (4), Illinois (20), Maine (3), Maryland (10), Massachusetts (11), New Jersey (14), New York (29), Oregon (7), Rhode Island (4), Vermont (3), Washington (12), Minnesota (10), New Mexico (5) (200 total)

In the leaning Democrat column are the following states:
Colorado (9), Michigan (16), Pennsylvania (20), Virginia (13), Wisconsin (10), (68 total)

In the solidly Republican column are the following states:
Alabama (9), Alaska (3), Arkansas (6), Idaho (4), Indiana (11), Kansas (6), Kentucky (8), Louisiana (8), Mississippi (6), Missouri (10), Montana (3), Nebraska (4), North Dakota (3), Oklahoma (7), South Carolina (9), South Dakota (3), Tennessee (11), Texas (38), West Virginia (5), Wyoming (3) (157 total)

In the leaning Republican column are the following states:
Georgia (16), Iowa (6), Maine 2nd Congressional District (1), Ohio (18), Utah (6) (47 total)

There are six battleground states; “Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Hampshire, North Carolina and the 2nd congressional district in and around Omaha, Neb.” While three states moved into the leaning Republican column; “Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, Ohio and Utah.” Before New Hampshire was in the leaning Democrat column and has now moved into battleground territory.

This shift in the map represents changing polls nationally Clinton and Trump either tie or Clinton has a narrow lead within the margin of error, but the state polling has shown a more dramatic and concrete shift. The states’ Electoral College votes matter more than national polls on Election night, and they determine who win and become the next president. Although the change shows momentum for Trump, many predictions are still claiming Clinton will win despite the October Surprise, the renewed FBI probe over her email server as Secretary of State.

Politics November 4, 2016: Paul Ryan makes it clear he plans to run for House Speaker again for 115th Congress

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Paul Ryan makes it clear he plans to run for House Speaker again for 115th Congress

By Bonnie K. Goodman