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No intel briefing for Electoral College electors, DNI says

Electoral College electors will not receive an intelligence briefing on Russian interference in the 2016 election, the Office of the Director of National Intelligence said Friday.

In a statement, DNI pointed to an October 7 announcement by US intelligence agencies that said they were “confident” of Russia’s involvement in efforts to hack information related to the election.

The statement also said that the intelligence community will brief Congress and make the findings available to the public once the review of potential foreign interference in elections since 2008 is available.

Earlier this month, a group of electors for Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — a minority among the 538 men and women who will officially vote for President-elect Donald Trump as president on Monday — called for a briefing ahead of the vote in an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper.

The 10 electors from five states asked Clapper for information on “whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations.”

The list of electors includes Christine Pelosi, a daughter of House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi, Rep.-elect Carol Shea-Porter and Terie Norelli, a former speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representatives.

Clay Pell IV, a Democratic politician from Rhode Island, also signed onto the latter. Pell is married to Michelle Kwan, the Olympic figure skater who worked on Clinton’s campaign.

On Monday, Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta, backed the electors who were asking to be briefed on the foreign interventions, which was the closest Podesta and Clinton’s former campaign infrastructure came to calling into question the legitimacy of Trump’s presidency.

“We believe that the administration owes it to the American people to explain what it knows regarding the extent and manner of Russia’s interference and this be done as soon as possible,” Podesta said in the statement.

At his last press conference of 2016 on Friday, President Barack Obama described the attempts for Russia to meddle in the US election as tightly controlled by the man at the top.

“Not much happens in Russia without Vladimir Putin,” he said. “This happened at the highest levels of the Russian government.”