Clinton campaign chairman testifies in
House Russia probe
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[June 28, 2017]
By Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Hillary Clinton's
campaign chairman, John Podesta, on Tuesday appeared before the U.S.
House of Representatives Intelligence Committee, which has begun
interviewing witnesses in its probe of how Russia may have influenced
the 2016 election.
Committee members declined to comment on the discussion to reporters as
they left the panel's secure hearing room. Podesta stopped and commented
"They asked me to come forward to give to the best of my knowledge what
I knew about that, and I was happy to cooperate with the committee in
their investigation of Russian interference with the democratic process
in the United States," he said.
Republican President Donald Trump, who defeated Clinton in the election,
recently has accused former Democratic President Barack Obama of doing
too little to address Russian cyber attacks while he was still in the
On Monday, Trump demanded on Twitter that investigators apologize for
looking to Russian interference and possible collusion with his
campaign. He accused Obama of having "colluded or obstructed," without
providing evidence. [nL1N1JN12O]
Asked whether he thought Obama had done enough, Podesta said, "I think
the president and the entire administration were dealing with an
unprecedented incidence of the weaponization of the fruits of Russian
cyber activity and making the best judgments they could on behalf of the
During the 2016 campaign, hackers penetrated the Democratic National
Committee's email server and separately stole emails from Podesta's
personal account. The emails were then posted online and used to
embarrass Clinton, including by Trump, who frequently used their content
as political ammunition.
[to top of second column]
John Podesta, chairman of the 2016 Hillary Clinton presidential
campaign, addresses the crowd at Democratic U.S. presidential
nominee Hillary Clinton's election night rally in New York, U.S.,
November 9, 2016. REUTERS/Carlos Barria
U.S. intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia was behind the
hacking and that it was seeking to boost Trump's chances of winning
the White House.
Russia has denied trying to influence the election, and Trump has
dismissed such allegations as sour grapes by Democrats and their
supporters unable to come to terms with his surprise victory in
The House intelligence panel is conducting one of several
investigations into Russian meddling in the election and possible
collusion with members of Trump's campaign, as is Department of
Justice Special Counsel Robert Mueller.[nL1N1IC249]
The House panel began bringing in witnesses for interviews this
week, and a few more are expected before lawmakers leave Washington
by Friday for their weeklong July 4 holiday recess.
(Reporting by Patricia Zengerle; editing by Jonathan Oatis)
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