Team Hillary: Yeah, there's no evidence the election was hacked -- but we're joining the recount anyway; Update: Conway responds, "What a pack of sore losers"

Before the election, Democrats from Hillary Clinton down insisted that even the suggestion that American elections could get hacked or rigged was a monstrous insult and a threat to the Republic. After losing in a sweep that went all the way down to the state legislative level, Democrats changed their tune, questioning the legitimacy of the results and spreading conspiracy theories about Russian hackers. Over the holiday weekend when few paid attention, however, both the White House and Hillary’s campaign retreated from the fever swamps, admitting that no evidence exists of rigged or hacked elections anywhere:

“We stand behind our election results, which accurately reflect the will of the American people,” a senior administration official told POLITICO late Friday.

“The federal government did not observe any increased level of malicious cyber activity aimed at disrupting our electoral process on election day,” the official added. “We believe our elections were free and fair from a cybersecurity perspective.”

In fairness, the White House never did participate in the fever-swamp nuttiness. While they haven’t exactly been speaking loudly, they have been consistently supporting the legitimacy of the results, perhaps a bit more aware of the potential hypocrisy between pre- and post-election stands on questioning the outcome of the election. Most other Democrats have been more shameless about it, working through the Green Party and Jill Stein to get a statewide recount in Wisconsin while mostly keeping their own hands clean.

This morning, on what may be the least-followed news day of the year, even Team Hillary admitted the obvious:

On Saturday, the Clinton campaign broke its long silence on the issue with a statement from the campaign’s general counsel, Marc Elias.

In a post on Medium, Elias confirmed that independent experts had briefed the campaign on potential irregularities that could be the result of hacking, but he said that ultimately the campaign found no “actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology.”

Still, Hillary’s campaign is more than happy to go along for the ride on recounts:

Because we had not uncovered any actionable evidence of hacking or outside attempts to alter the voting technology, we had not planned to exercise this option ourselves, but now that a recount has been initiated in Wisconsin, we intend to participate in order to ensure the process proceeds in a manner that is fair to all sides. If Jill Stein follows through as she has promised and pursues recounts in Pennsylvania and Michigan, we will take the same approach in those states as well. We do so fully aware that the number of votes separating Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton in the closest of these states — Michigan — well exceeds the largest margin ever overcome in a recount. But regardless of the potential to change the outcome in any of the states, we feel it is important, on principle, to ensure our campaign is legally represented in any court proceedings and represented on the ground in order to monitor the recount process itself.

Oh, now it’s the principle of the matter, eh? Funny, when the candidate herself spoke out about Donald Trump’s hesitancy, the principle at play sounded much, much, much different:

So … what’s changed since then? Well, Team Hillary admits that there’s no evidence of tampering or hacking in the states they lost, but they lost the election, so now it’s perfectly OK to dispute the election results in exactly the same manner Trump reserved for himself in this debate. All due respect to Elias, but principle has nothing to do with this.

That statement is all about being a sore loser, especially given Elias’ admission that the gaps in all three states are too large to overcome with just a recount. The only way they can win is to disenfranchise large numbers of Trump voters by aggressively challenging the ballots. Not only will they be cheerleading Jill Stein’s efforts to do that, Elias has committed Hillary Clinton and her organization to participating in that mission. I’d call this shameful, except that no Clinton ever felt shame for manipulating the system to their own ends without regard to principle or even past statements.

Addendum: Principle, eh?

Update: Fact check – True:

To be clear, the recount is actually part of the democratic (small-D) process, but it’s the very part of the process that Hillary Clinton called “a direct threat to our democracy.” Sore losers, indeed.

Update: Earlier, I discussed this at length on Twitter. Might as well include this data here, too, although please note a later correction on Pennsylvania. Vote data comes from David Wasserman’s Cook Report spreadsheet.