With an election recount underway in Wisconsin, and with possible recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan in the pipeline, many politicians and pundits have vociferously weighed in on the effort. Donald Trump is, unsurprisingly, angry. Jill Stein is, unsurprisingly, championing the recount (after all, her team initiated it). But what has Hillary Clinton said about the recount?
Clinton has remained silent on the matter, leaving the posturing to her surrogates. But even Clinton's camp has ben relatively guarded in speaking about the recount.
The recounts have been spearheaded by the former Green Party presidential candidate — not Clinton — because she wants to "ensure the integrity of our elections." Speaking to CNN, Stein defended her recount campaign by saying, “When evidence emerged the system was being hacked all over the place, my conviction only strengthened that this was something we have to do.”
Since the day after the election, when she gave her concession speech, Clinton's Twitter account has been relatively silent, with only four tweets since Nov. 9. And while Clinton has not herself commented on the recount, her most recent tweet was a retweet of her campaign's general counsel Marc Elias' Medium post, which explained why her campaign would participate in the recount. However, participate is a lot different than taking charge.
Elias has arguably been the most prominent voice out of the Clinton camp to comment on the recount. In an interview with the Washington Post, Elias aimed to make explicitly clear that Clinton did not push for or promote this recount, but would participate "it’s a recount involving our election. We made clear that we were not planning to initiate any recounts." He also stressed:
We do not expect to challenge ballots, or delay the electors from being certified by the state. Our role will be to observe the process and ensure that Secretary Clinton and her voters’ interests are protected and that there is an accurate vote count.
Elias went on to say that hacking of the election could have been possible, but that the campaign's independent investigation turned up no evidence of it. Because of the known hacking of the Democratic National Committee's and Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta's emails, the campaign chose investigate the election results themselves.
We have received lots of information and opinions from many experts—including data scientists and computer security experts—that hacking of the system is possible. We did not receive any evidence that it actually happened.
Many Clinton surrogates appear to be of the opinion that this recount isn't a great use of time. David Brock, a Clinton ally said, “Recounting votes is as American as apple pie. There’s nothing wrong with the effort, but it’s not somewhere where I would put the political energy of my groups, and I’m not." Instead, he said they are focused on "watch-dogging" the Trump transition.
Other Clinton supporters have focused more on how Trump threw a virtual tantrum on Twitter on Sunday in reference to the recount, tweeting that he actually did win the popular vote, if you "deduct the millions of people who voted illegally."
One former senior Clinton aide told Politico that these comments show his true colors and the pervasiveness of his thin skin, saying "his inability to cope with the majority of the country voting for someone else is, well, a lot of us view it as a window into his heart." Christina Reynolds, Clinton's former deputy communications director, alleged that Trump was making a spectacle of the recount in an effort to distract from the potential conflicts of interest being investigated surrounding his foreign business interests.
It's unlikely that Clinton will comment directly about the recount until it is over, but the message from her camp is clear: we don't really care.