Desperate Andrea Mitchell Badgers Ed Rendell for Possible Vote Recount

MSNBC’s resident Hillary Clinton super-fan, Andrea Mitchell, came across as particularly desperate Wednesday as she dedicated a segment of Andrea Mitchell Reports to dreaming of a possible recount in three key swing states. “Some Clinton supporters are trying to mount a campaign to ask for an audit in key states to see if a recount should be ordered,” she reported, “According to a group of election lawyers and computer scientists… there is quote, ‘Persuasive evidence that election results in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan may have been manipulated or hacked.’

The report Mitchell was staking her hopes and dreams on was broken by New York magazine, late Tuesday evening. According to the report, “Clinton received 7 percent fewer votes in counties that relied on electronic-voting machines compared with counties that used optical scanners and paper ballots.” They claim this means Clinton could have lost out on 30,000 votes in Wisconsin, where she lost by 27,000.

The report seemed to have given the mourning Mitchell new hope for Clinton to pull out a win. She was so hopeful that she badgered former Pennsylvania Governor Ed Rendell with repeated questions about it. “Look at that margin Pennsylvania. Almost 69,000 votes. Is there any way you could imagine her suddenly reversing that she would win Pennsylvania,” she began.

Rendell tried to let her down easy stating, “It would be very hard to do, Andrea.” He tried to explain that there probably wouldn’t be any earth shattering discoveries. “This statistical survey raises questions. But, boy, it's a real long shot,” he told Mitchell, “I wouldn't do an election challenge unless I found in district after district that there was a significant difference between what the actual vote of the machine was and what the reported vote was.

Mitchell even seemed to suggest that assurances made by the Department of Homeland Security about how protected the election systems were were inaccurate. “These machines are all internally connected so that hacking would be nearly impossible, we were told at least by Homeland Security before the election,” she said dismissively.  

She recalled how painful it was, on election night, when John Podesta came out and “Gave a stirring speech to rally the emotionally spent troops,” only to have the Clinton campaign strong armed by the Obama administration to concede. “Do you think there’s an appetite now after all has been said and done to re-open this,” she pressured Rendell.

The former governor again had to shoot her down. “I don't think there is. I mean, there are some people. I have been getting messages on the internet that we should do the audit, et cetera,” he explained, “But I don't think there is a real appetite for this.” He also seemed to grow tired of Mitchell’s nagging on the issue and brought that discussion to an end arguing:

And if there is nothing there, let’s put it to rest fast. Because, look, Mr. Trump deserves the right to build his team and to get the American people looking at what he's doing unimpeded by any of this. If there is something there, fine. But let's take a quick look and get this over with fast.

Transcripts below: 

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MSNBC
Andrea Mitchell Reports
November 23, 2016
12:24:21 PM Eastern

ANDREA MITCHELL: Hillary Clinton's margin has gone over 2 million votes a head of Donald Trump in the popular vote. A popular vote advantage that will not change the outcome of the election, which of course is determined by the Electoral College. Still, some Clinton supporters are trying to mount a campaign to ask for an audit in key states to see if a recount should be ordered.

According to a group of election lawyers and computer scientists cited Gabe Sherman in New York magazine, there is quote, “Persuasive evidence that election results in Wisconsin, Pennsylvania and Michigan may have been manipulated or hacked.”

Joining me now is Ed Rendell former Democratic Governor of Pennsylvania and former Democratic National chairman and an MSNBC political analyst. Let's try to examine this recount idea or audit idea to see if there should be a recount. If you look at the margins, Governor, in Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. She would need all three states. Look at that margin Pennsylvania. Almost 69,000 votes. Is there any way you could imagine her suddenly reversing that she would win Pennsylvania?

ED RENDELL: It would be very hard to do, Andrea. Particularly in Pennsylvania. Wisconsin and Michigan are closer. But, look. I think since there was so much chatter about the possibility of Russia hacking the results, et cetera, it's probably worth someone doing a quick study to do the actual vote count and what the reports were. This statistical survey raises questions. But, boy, it's a real long shot. I wouldn't do an election challenge unless I found in district after district that there was a significant difference between what the actual vote of the machine was and what the reported vote was.

MITCHELL: And, in fact, according to all the people at Homeland [Security] we talked to before the election, these machines are not online. These machines are all internally connected so that hacking would be nearly impossible, we were told at least by Homeland Security before the election. They're not on the internet, in other words.

RENDELL: Yeah. That would be a persuasive argument for not doing an audit. But, look, when someone raises a statistical study like this, it's probably a good idea to have someone look at it quick, down and dirty. Not an election challenge or a court challenge, but just to see if there is anything to these claims. My guess is there isn't. Look, no one wants Hillary Clinton to be president of the United States more than me. I think she would have been a great president. No one was more disappointed than I was. I don't think this is worth any full scale audit. But I think we can take a look at some divisions, see if there is any disparity. My guess is there probably wouldn't be or if there is a disparity it's small enough that it wouldn't make a difference.

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MITECHELL: You know, on election night or the morning after, 2:00 AM, whenever—it was around 2:00 AM cause we were all at the Clinton headquarters at the Jahvist Center. John Podesta came out and said to the crowd, a very disappointed crowd at that stage, “We are not giving up. Let's sleep for a couple of hours, let’s count every vote.” Gave a stirring speech to rally the emotionally spent troops. And then within 10 or 15 minutes Hillary Clinton conceded. And we’ve heard reports that it was because of the White House desiring for her to concede. There was a desire not to make a conflict more possible. That the president of the United States actually wanted her to concede, that the numbers just weren't there. Do you think there is an appetite now – Do you think there’s an appetite now after all has been said and done to re-open this?

RENDELL: I don't think there is. I mean, there are some people. I have been getting messages on the internet that we should do the audit, et cetera. But I don't think there is a real appetite for this. I think we lost and it's interesting. If someone was going to hack into machines in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan, why didn't they hack into machines in New Hampshire and Minnesota and Florida and North Carolina, et cetera. How did these forces know that Mr. Trump was going to carry Florida and North Carolina, but there was no need to do hacking in there.

So, look. It's probably worth since there are reliable computer scientists who said this, you may be right that these aren't machines on the internet. But let's take a look, let’s do a few of the divisions, not make a big deal about this. And if there is nothing there, let’s put it to rest fast. Because, look, Mr. Trump deserves the right to build his team and to get the American people looking at what he's doing unimpeded by any of this. If there is something there, fine. But let's take a quick look and get this over with fast.

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