In the early morning hours of November 9, as it became increasingly clear that Republican nominee Donald Trump would become the 45th president of the United States, President Barack Obama reportedly called Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and urged her to concede the race.
“You need to concede,” Obama told Clinton on a call around 1:30 a.m., according to a not-yet-released book, co-authored by White House correspondent for The Hill, Amey Parnes, and Bloomberg News Washington bureau chief, Jonathan Allen.
“There was a lot of discussion about Michigan and Wisconsin and whether the numbers could flip it,” one Clinton campaign source told the journalists.
All three states, traditionally Democratic strongholds, ultimately went for Trump on election night. But the trio of Rust Belt states were so close that some within the Clinton campaign reportedly wanted to hold off formally conceding the presidential contest.
Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta later went out and addressed supporters anxiously awaiting the results at New York City’s Javits Center, telling them all to “go home,” at what many thought would be the site of Clinton’s victory speech.
But before Podesta returned to Clinton campaign headquarters, Clinton suddenly had a change of heart.
“Just give me the phone. I’m calling him [Trump],” Clinton reportedly told campaign staffers.
Clinton privately conceded her loss to Trump that night, and hours later, she publicly conceded.
“Donald Trump is going to be our president. We owe him an open mind and the chance to lead,” Clinton said the morning of November 9.
Nearly three weeks later, the results in those three states — Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania — are still being questioned.
Green Party candidate Jill Stein on Friday filed for a recount in Wisconsin, and her team hopes to do the same in Michigan and Pennsylvania.
And last week, New York Magazine reported a number of computer experts and election lawyers urged Clinton to challenge the results in the same three states, claiming they may have been manipulated or hacked. The experts did not publicly offer any evidence to support their claim.
But Dan Pfeiffer, former senior adviser to President Obama, isn’t buying the hacking allegations. On Thursday, Pfeiffer tweeted that the amount of energy and money being “wasted” by Democrats on recounts in Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania is “mind boggling.”
Pfeiffer instead advocated for refocusing the party’s time and resources on the December 10 runoff election for U.S. Senate in Louisiana.
The amount of Democratic energy and money being wasted on recounts instead of trying to win the Louisiana Senate Race is mind boggling
— Dan Pfeiffer (@danpfeiffer) November 24, 2016
Louisiana state law requires a runoff election, since neither candidate, Republican John Kennedy or Democrat Foster Campbell, received 50 percent of the vote.
(H/T: The Hill)