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Clinton Camp Calls Intelligence on Russian Election Hacking 'Compelling'

'Hillary Clinton conceded the election, and that has not changed, but 'this is something we thought was really important,' Jennifer Palmieri said in her first interview since the election.
IMAGE: Hillary CLinton
Hillary Clinton at the Children's Defense Fund's Beat the Odds celebration Nov. 16 at the Newseum in Washington, D.C.Cliff Owen / AP

Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign has dropped its reluctance to challenge the election results because Russia "certainly succeeded in interfering" with the electoral process, a top campaign official told MSNBC on Monday night.

"Hillary Clinton conceded the election, and that has not changed," Jennifer Palmieri, the Clinton campaign's top spokeswoman, told Rachel Maddow — in her first interview since the election.

Until now, the campaign has declined to back several efforts by third parties questioning the legitimacy of the Election Night outcome.

But Palmieri said calls to declassify U.S. intelligence on Russia's alleged connection to hacks of U.S. political institutions' email and computer systems were "compelling" enough for the campaign to break its silence and join the fray.

NBC News reported Saturday that the CIA has concluded that Russia mounted a covert intelligence operation to influence the election specifically to help Donald Trump win.

Seven Democrats on the Senate Intelligence Committee sent a classified letter last week urging the Obama administration to declassify more of what the intelligence community knows about the alleged operation.

Related: Why the CIA Thinks Russia Wanted Trump to Win

"I think it's compelling that senators that have been briefed on this information asked the White House to declassify it," Palmieri said. "I trust that they know that it's worthy for the public to know about."

Earlier Monday, Clinton's campaign chairman, John Podesta, threw his support behind a request by 10 members of the Electoral College who asked National Intelligence Director James Clapper for an intelligence briefing before electors meet next week to certify Trump's election.

"Never before in the history of our Republic have we seen such an effort to undermine the bedrock of our democracy. This is not a partisan issue and we are glad to see bipartisan support in the Congress for an investigation into Russia's role," Podesta said.

"The bipartisan electors' letter raises very grave issues involving our national security," he said. "Electors have a solemn responsibility under the Constitution and we support their efforts to have their questions addressed."

Palmieri, previously a very public face of Clinton's campaign as communications director, has kept a low profile since the election, choosing not to speak out on efforts to challenge Trump's victory.

Friday night, after The Washington Post reported that the CIA believed Russia had tried to sway the election, Palmieri tweeted that the news was "soul crushing."

On Monday night, Palmieri said "it's hard to know" whether Russia won the election for Trump.

"But I think that, yes, they certainly succeeded in interfering," she said.

"This is something we thought was really important to weigh in on," she said.