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Report: Electoral College members won't get Russia intelligence before vote

Some electors had asked to know what role, if any, the Russians played in Donald Trump's election victory.

By Doug G. Ware
Report: Electoral College members won't get Russia intelligence before vote
The Electoral College will cast and certify their official votes for president on Monday, finalizing the results of the race that elected Donald Trump. However, 55 members of the college who asked for an intelligence briefing on potential Russian interference before they cast their votes will not get one, National Public Radio reported Friday. File Photo by Ron Sachs/UPI | License Photo

WASHINGTON, Dec. 16 (UPI) -- More than 50 members of the Electoral College will not be briefed on potential Russian interference in last month's presidential election, sources said Friday.

Fifty-five electoral members -- the ones who actually cast and certify the votes to elect U.S. presidents -- signed a letter this week requesting to be brought up to date on accusations that the Russian government attempted to sway the election in Donald Trump's favor.

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Theoretically, the electors could opt against putting Trump in the White House, as they are not bound to vote the way their states did. However, such a scenario would be unprecedented.

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Many Democratic advocates have voiced support in recent weeks for the electoral members to go against state voters' wishes -- particularly in light of a recent investigation by the CIA that concluded that Russia attempted to intervene and sway the election. FBI Director James Comey has agreed with the CIA's assessment.

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In all, 54 members of the 232 Democratic electors and one Republican member asked for an intelligence briefing on the matter before they cast their official votes Monday -- specifically wanting to know what role, if any, Russian interference played in Trump's victory.

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Friday, National Public Radio cited sources in reporting the electors will not receive such a briefing.

In their letter, the voting members requested intelligence on the matter from Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, the top U.S. intelligence official who also agreed with the CIA's conclusion.

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In his final press briefing of the year Friday, President Barack Obama slammed Russia and its leader, Vladimir Putin, for attempting to meddle in the U.S. election.

"The Russians were responsible for hacking the DNC and, as a consequence, it's important to review elements of that and prevent that interference in the future," Obama said. "This was not a complicated espionage scheme. It just took off -- and that concerns me."

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Trump and his transition team, though, have dismissed the notion that Russia acted in his behalf.

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Once the Electoral College casts its votes Monday, the results of the election will be final.

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