Recently on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Nancy Cordes asked John Podesta about Hillary Clinton’s campaign strategy. Cordes questioned how Russians knew to go after “purple states” which the Hillary campaign seemed to not do.
Partial transcript as follows:
CORDES: But it does beg the question, how is it that these Russian operatives knew to focus on purple states like Michigan and Wisconsin and your campaign didn’t?
PODESTA: Well, of course, we spent a lot of time and energy and effort in all those states.
CORDES: Hillary Clinton herself did not spend much time in those states.
PODESTA: We — you know, we had — Tim Kaine was there. Barack Obama was in — and she spent enormous time in Pennsylvania and Michigan.
PODESTA: And — and we spent a lot of effort. We had more staff in Wisconsin that 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 a contest. And — 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 Donald Trump’s favor.
But I think what the real issue is, is, you know, how he’s reacted to it. 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 sanction that — that he — was passed by the Congress and that he signed in reaction to the — in — to the activities in the 2016 election. He’s — we learn 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.
CORDES: Why do you think that is? I do think that it’s because to do so would be to admit somehow the Russians might have influenced this election?
PODESTA: Well, you know, I think that Mr. Trump’s psyche is complicated. And people have said a lot about — 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.
PODESTA: But at — you know, I — who knows with — with Mr. Trump. But he’s — he clearly, I think, has failed in carrying out his duty as president of the United States, which is to protect our democracy.