Podesta: Russia "Could Have Tilted The Election in Donald Trump's Favor"


John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton's 2016 campaign, suggests that the indictments of 13 Russian nationals for waging an "information warfare" campaign against Clinton show that the Russians could have "tilted the election in Donald Trump's favor."

"If this is information warfare, then I think he's the first draft-dodger in the war," Podesta said about Trump.

JOHN PODESTA: We had more staff in Wisconsin than even President Obama had in 2012. But, but I think that begs the question, I think we, we focused on the places we thought were that were you know in contest, and at the end of the day, we fell short in those states. And I think that this active measures effort by the Russians could have tilted the election in, in Donald Trump's favor. But I think what the real issue is, is how he's reacted to that. And in that context, if we're - if this is information warfare, then I think he's the first draft-dodger in the war. I mean, he has done nothing but tried to undermine the Mueller investigation, he hasn't implemented the sanctions that he -- was passed by the congress and that he signed in reaction to the, to the activities in the 2016 election. We learned this week, he's ordered no effort to try to get the intelligence community to get together to try to prevent further activities in the 2018 election.

NANCY CORDES: Why do you think that is? Do you think it's because to do so would be to admit that somehow the Russians might have influenced this election?

JOHN PODESTA: Well, you know, I think that Mr. Trump's psyche is complicated and people have said a lot, a lot about it, but he certainly can't accept that this activity may have helped him, and I think he just constantly tries to move the ball away, including what was, I think, really a despicable tweet about the fact that he's blaming the FBI for investigating the Russia investigation and somehow relating that to the tragic killings in Florida. But you know who knows with Mr. Trump? But he clearly, I think, has failed in carrying out his duty as president of the United States, which is to protect our democracy.

NANCY CORDES: Midterm elections are coming up, and it's been reported that Democrats are telling your former boss, Bill Clinton, that in light of the Me Too movement, they, they think he should sit it out, he should be benched, and they're not looking for him to actively campaign for them. Is that true? And do you think that that's the right call?

JOHN PODESTA: Look, I think he remains, I think, a figure who is popular with a lot of Democrats across the country. And I think that people are calling him, candidates are calling him and asking for advice. But whether he's going to be an active participant, I think that's not you know really on the top of his mind right now. I think he's doing other things, and, and people make their own judgments about whether he can be helpful in the campaign.

NANCY CORDES: Do you think it's a good idea, very quickly, for him to sit it out?

JOHN PODESTA: Well, you know, look, I think that, that if I was advising a campaign and a candidate about what to do, I would, I would sort of judge whether he can be helpful. And I think some places he can be, and probably some places he's more of a lightning rod.

Watch Podesta's full interview on Sunday's edition of CBS's 'Face The Nation':

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