Kellyanne Conway was asked about a planned recount in Wisconsin on CNN’s State of the Union Sunday morning, and criticized proponents of the effort for dragging out the election. Apparently only her boss was allowed to do that.
“The idea that we’re going to drag this out now, where the president-elect has been incredibly magnanimous to the Clintons and to the Obamas is pretty incredible,” she told host Dana Bash.
It’s quite the change of heart for Conway, who barely a month ago made the rounds on news shows proclaiming that her boss wouldn’t concede until the election results were verified.
“He’s saying that until the results are actually known, certified and verified, he’s not going to concede an election,” she told George Stephanopoulos in late October. “He just doesn’t know what will happen.”
Trump was thoroughly criticized after the final presidential debate for refusing to say whether he would accept the results on Election Day. Now that the roles have reversed, however, Trump himself inveighed against the proposed recount in a trademark Twitter tantrum Saturday night.
On Friday, Stein formally initiated a recount in Wisconsin after raising more than $6 million to fund the operation. Last week, a prominent group of computer scientists and election lawyers made waves when they spoke with New York magazine about possible discrepancies they discovered in three key swing states where electronic voting machines were used. J. Alex Halderman, the director of the Center for Computer Security and Society at the University of Michigan, expanded on the New York article with a post on Medium in which he called the possibility of a hack unlikely, but not impossible.
“Were this year’s deviations from pre-election polls the results of a cyberattack? Probably not,” he wrote. “I believe the most likely explanation is that the polls were systematically wrong, rather than that the election was hacked. But I don’t believe that either one of these seemingly unlikely explanations is overwhelmingly more likely than the other.
The Clinton campaign itself resisted calls from its most ardent supporters to initiate recounts after the New York magazine article, instead conducting internal investigations into any potential discrepancies. But after the Stein campaign’s successful fundraiser, Marc Elias, a lawyer for the Clinton campaign, said it would cooperate.
“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,” he wrote on Medium.
To call the possibility of a recount overturning the results of the election remote would be an understatement. But for the Trump campaign to criticize the effort, after months spent calling for foreign governments to hack into their political opponents, suggesting their supporters commit voter fraud, and promising to fight the results themselves, is pretty incredible.
Meanwhile, Clinton’s ever-expanding lead in the popular vote has grown to more than 2 million votes.