Politics

Book Claims Obama Told Clinton To Concede

| by Robert Fowler

A leaked excerpt of an unreleased book chronicling the 2016 presidential race has asserted that President Barack Obama called Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton on Election Night, urging her to concede to President-elect Donald Trump.

The unreleased book, written by The Hill's Senior White House Correspondent Amie Parnes and Bloomberg News Washington Bureau Chief Jonathan Allen, cites three sources from Clinton's inner circle to back up the anecdote, reports The Hill.

The leaked excerpt alleges the Clinton campaign was unwilling to concede late into Election Night, as the returns indicated Trump had broken the Democratic firewall in the Rust Belt and was set to win Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.

Sources say President Obama personally called Clinton at 1:30 a.m., telling her "You need to concede."

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By this point, Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta had told supporters at the planned victory party to go home without indicating whether their team was ready to throw in the towel. Reportedly, Clinton aides were still holding out hope that the reliably Democratic states would turn around.

"There was a lot of discussion about Michigan and Wisconsin and whether the numbers could flip it," said one anonymous source. "If anybody knew what actually happened that night, no one would have conceded."

Allegedly, President Obama's phone call had proved decisive in convincing Clinton in accepting defeat. As campaign aides continued to deliberate, Clinton decided to concede to Trump.

"Just give the me the phone," Clinton allegedly told aides. "I'm calling him."

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On Nov. 9, Clinton officially conceded the presidential race in New York.

"Donald Trump is going to be our president," Clinton said, according to CNN. "We owe him an open mind and a chance to lead."

In a personal aside, the former secretary of state addressed all of the young women who had supported her campaign.

"And to all the little girls who are watching this, never doubt that you are valuable and powerful and deserving of every chance and opportunity in the world to pursue and achieve your own dreams," Clinton said.

Trump campaign spokesman Jason Miller took to social media shortly after the speech to praise Clinton for her magnanimity.

"Very classy speech from [Clinton]," Miller tweeted out. "Important step in bringing our country together."

On Nov. 28, White House press secretary Josh Earnest confirmed to reporters that Obama had called Clinton on Election Night.

"I don't have anything to add to characterize the content of the phone conversation," Earnest said. "I can tell you the president did call Secretary Clinton on Election Night, but I can't shed any light on the content of their conversation."

Three weeks after the election, the three states the Clinton campaign held out hope for turning around continue to be contested, with former Green Party candidate Jill Stein raising money to initiate recounts in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin, citing concerns of voting machine tampering.

The Clinton campaign has consented to having lawyers collaborate with Stein's effort, but allies of the former secretary of state have signaled she believes it is a waste of time.

"I wouldn't give a dollar to Jill Stein," Adam Parkhomenko, a Clinton aide, told The Associated Press.

"Believe me if there was anything I could do to make Hillary Clinton the next president of the United States I would," said former Democratic Gov. Ed Rendell of Pennsylvania. "But this is a big waste of time."

Clinton's general counsel, Marc Elias, has disclosed that the campaign had conducted its own investigation into the three states' election results and found no "evidence of manipulation."

Elias has asserted that Clinton has consented to having lawyers participate in Stein's effort to make sure her interests are represented and to satisfy intense pressure from her supporters to "ensure that an accurate vote count will be reported."

Sources: AP via CNBC, CNN, The Hill (2) / Photo credit: Sarah Burris/Flickr

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