Hillary Clinton’s campaign on Saturday said that it would participate in a recount initiated by Green Party nominee Jill Stein in Wisconsin and said it would take similar action if a recount was initiated in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
The campaign has taken a number of steps since election day to review election results and has not found “any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology,” Marc Elias, the campaign’s general counsel, wrote in a statement on Medium. The campaign had not planned to call for a recount, Elias wrote, but now that one is underway, it felt an obligation to participate. The extent of the campaign’s participation was not immediately clear.
“Now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides,” Elias wrote. “If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well.”
Stein filed for a recount in Wisconsin on Friday after quickly raising more than $5 million to challenge election results there and in Michigan and Pennsylvania all key states that Clinton lost in the presidential election. Stein’s call for a recount came after data scientists publicly raised questions about discrepancies in election results.
Elias wrote that the Clinton campaign had been consulting with a number of experts to understand irregularities in election result data and had attempted to “systematically catalogue and investigate every theory that has been presented to us within our ability to do so.” The campaign has also staffed post-election canvasses the processes by which election returns are officially certified, which includes double checking tallies from election night.
Elias wrote that the campaign was participating in a recount knowing that it was unlikely to change election results. As of Thursday, Clinton was roughly 30,000 votes behind Trump in Michigan and Wisconsin, though the gap was closing.
“We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states—Michigan—well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount,” he wrote. “But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.”
Kellyanne Conway, Trump’s campaign manager, called the Clinton campaign “sore losers” in a statement to Bloomberg on Saturday.
“After asking Mr. Trump and his team a million times on the trail, ‘Will HE accept the election results?’ it turns out Team Hillary and their new BFF Jill Stein can’t accept reality,” Conway said. “Rather than adhere to the tradition of graciously conceding and wishing the winner well, they’ve opted to waste millions of dollars and dismiss the democratic process. The people have spoken. Time to listen up. #YesYourPresident.”
President-elect Trump also condemned the recount in a Saturday statement.
“The people have spoken and the election is over, and as Hillary Clinton herself said on election night, in addition to her conceding by congratulating me, ‘We must accept this result and then look to the future,’” Trump said.
He went on to claim that the recount was an attempt by Jill Stein to enrich herself.
“This recount is just a way for Jill Stein, who received less than one percent of the vote overall and wasn’t even on the ballot in many states, to fill her coffers with money, most of which she will never even spend on this ridiculous recount,” Trump said.
This article has been updated to include statements from Conway and Trump.
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