White House Initiates Review of Electoral Process Integrity

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WASHINGTON – (NewsBlaze) Democrats reeling from the loss in the Presidential Race are going to get a “deep dive” review of whether Russian espionage efforts or other actors contributed to possibly deteriorating the integrity of the electoral process. However, the White House stressed on Friday to reporters that the aim is not to challenge the outcome of the election.

“I want to be clear here that this is not an effort to challenge the outcome of the election, that we have acknowledged who won the election. It wasn’t the candidate that the President campaigned for. And so the President has actually gone out of his way to make sure that we are providing for a seamless transition of power. So we’re not calling into question the election results. We are taking seriously our responsibility to protect the integrity of those elections,” stated Deputy White House Press Secretary Eric Schultz.

The review that the White House laid out would be broader in scope than just reviewing the recent past election that it would review other foreign actors not just those in Russia. Observers have noted that there were hacks of both the McCain and Obama campaigns in 2008.

“Well, I think these agencies will have to take a look at what we saw in 2008, 2012, and 2016. So I think that this is going to be a deep dive, that this will be a review that is broad and deep at the same time. And so they’re going to look at where the activity leads them to look at. In other words, again, like I mentioned, in 2012 there was no noted episode of this nature, but knowing what we know now, using the tools that we have now, we can go back and see if there was anything that was missed back then,” Schultz remarked.

According to administration sources, the current review is different is different from a current ongoing FBI investigation because it will because it will encompass all foreign actors back to 2008 and it will be a major priority for President Obama before he leaves office.

“It’s a huge priority. This is a major priority for the President of the United States. He directed his intelligence community and national security officials to take this on. He expects that report to be issued to him before he leaves office. You’re right, there’s going to be a lot of work to be done. But like you’ve also said, there’s already been a lot of work done about the episode this year in 2016,” Schultz added.

Reporters pressed Schultz on the point as to urgency of the review being because of Donald Trump taking office. On this, Schultz would offer no comment except that additional congressional action and funding are needed.

“I don’t think it’s a controversial statement to say this will be a challenge for the next administration and the next Congress. We hope that Congress puts a little bit more muscle into funding a lot of the requests for better resources and better support. But, yes, this will be a problem that outlives this administration,” Schultz remarked.

The review is expected to be completed by Inauguration Day, and the White House is hopefully to provide transparency.

“So we’re going to make public as much as we can. Obviously, you can imagine a report like this is going to contain highly sensitive and even classified information, perhaps, so when that report is submitted we’re going to take a look. We want to make sure we brief Congress and relevant stakeholders, like possibly state administrators who actually operationalize the elections,” Schultz remarked.

Randy Foreman is the NewsBlaze White House Correspondent, reporting from inside and outside The White House and around the beltway in Washington, D.C.