Podesta Pressed on How Russians Knew to Focus on Purple States, But Clinton Campaign Didn't
How is it that Russian operatives meddling in the 2016 presidential election knew to target purple states, but the Hillary Clinton campaign did not?
That's the question former Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta was asked Sunday on "Face the Nation" in the wake of the indictment of 13 Russians and three Russian companies for alleged election interference.
Friday's indictment, which was signed by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, detailed numerous Russian operations across the U.S., including many in Rust Belt states that ended up being won by Donald Trump.
“How is it that these Russian operatives knew to focus on purple states like Michigan and Wisconsin and your campaign didn’t?” host Nancy Cords asked Podesta.
“Of course we spent a lot of time and energy and effort in all those states,” Podesta argued.
When Cords pointed out that Clinton herself did not spend much time in those states -- and did not visit Wisconsin at all -- Podesta insisted that they "spent a lot of effort" and had the necessary staff in place.
He said that Russian meddling may have "tilted" the election in Trump's favor, but his biggest issue is with how Trump has reacted to revelations about how complex and well-organized the meddling was.
"If this is 'information warfare,' then I think he's the first draft-dodger in the war," Podesta said. "He has done nothing but tried to undermine the Mueller investigation, he hasn't implemented the sanctions that were passed by the Congress and that he signed in reaction to the activities in the 2016 election. We learned this week, he's ordered no effort to try to get the intelligence community to get together to try to prevent further activities in the 2018 election."
Watch the "Face the Nation" video below.