Electoral College Votes After Russian Hacking Revelations Throw Doubt on Trump's Legitimacy

Live Blog: Electoral College

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Join us for Impact Tap’s live blog on the electoral college.

December 19, 2016 2:07 PM
Latest update 5 years ago
When Trump wins, he'll be no more ready for the trials that await him

If and when the electoral college follows through with Trump's win, the inexperienced and blustery president-elect will still be on a head-on collision with reality. Today's events underscore the towering issues that face POTUS: in Turkey, the Russian ambassador was killed by an anti-Assad gunman, opening up the specter for further retaliations from Russian which has already committed war crimes in the Syrian civil war; also, in Berlin, a truck plowed into a Christmas market, killing 9. It's unclear if incident was an imitation of Nice, where an ISIS-inspired assailant used a truck to murder Bastille Day revelers. But minutes after today's events, a regional head of AkD - the hard-right nationalist party that traces its origins back to Nazism - referred to the victims as "Merkel's dead."

Lynette Zimmerman: GOP Voters "Hoodwinked" by Trump

In her latest op-ed, Key Elements Group LLC President and CEO and Impact Tap editor Lynette Zimmerman discusses the ways in which president-elect Trump has deceived his voters.

An excerpt:

There’s no way around it. Trump fooled his voters.

In interviews around the country, people expressed a desire to shake things up, and viewed the reality star candidate as an outsider who could fill the white house with an anti-establishment spirit that would change the dynamic in business-as-usual Washington.

What they received instead was more of the same, with a large dosage of incompetence thrown in for added measure.

Trump’s cabinet is a walking contradiction. After calling Hillary Clinton too cozy with Wall Street to hold the presidency, he appointed Gary Cohn – president of Goldman Sachs – as his chief economic advisor.

Trump's massive defeat in popular vote underscores failed nature of the electoral college

While a shocking plurality of GOP voters falsely believe Donald Trump won the popular vote, he in fact lost by more than initially expected. Clinton ended up with more than 2.8 million votes over the spectacularly unqualified Trump.

These figures have renewed the debate on the electoral college, which is an arguably dated system designed to prevent demagogues like Trump from ascending to the white house. Evidently, the institution has outlived its initial purpose. 

Here's a helpful explanation of this bizarre institution that is largely responsible for delivering the election to the losing candidate.

The magic number: 38

In order for Trump to be defeated today, a full 38 electors for the GOP wold have to vote against their party's candidate. While a couple have announced plans to vote for no one, the fact is that Trump remains nearly certain to secure the requisite number of votes needed to win. 

Trump to postpone divestment from business holdings

Essential before entering the white house, Donald Trump has gone along with plans to sell off his business interests...at least ostensibly. The "blind trust" that has been discussed would keep the interests within his family, who have played a massive role in the political transition team for the Trump campaign. 

Vox has laid out a very helpful guide to Trump's numerous conflicts of interests: from legal battles in Argentina, to environmental battles in Ireland, they really run the full gamut. How this could all be tidied up by inauguration is a little baffling. The fact remains that if and when the electoral college confirms Trump's victory, he could easily stumble into an impeachment down the line. 

Breaking: Russian Ambassador to Turkey Killed

In a stunning development on the international stage, the Russian ambassador to Turkey -  Andrei Karlov - has been killed while giving a speech at an art gallery in Ankara. The gunman purportedly yelled “Don’t forget Aleppo, don’t forget Syria!” after gunning down the emissary.

Russia has had a massive presence in the ongoing conflict in Syria, helping the Assad regime commit a number of war crimes against the country's inhabitants. In an already fraught diplomatic environment, these will likely only lead to more contentious relations among the major powers involved in the crisis.

McCain on Russian Hacking: They Could "Destroy" Democracy

Senator John McCain of Arizona has crossed the aisle and teamed up with Senator Chuck Schumer to call attention to the dangers of interference in US election by foreign powers. McCain went on CNN to discuss just how dangerous such actions can be. Russian interference in the 2016 election - in which Russia-employed hackers divulged DNC emails and secrets - is a hot topic right now regarding Trump's legitimacy as president-elect. 

Just the beginning...

According to Chris Geidner over at Buzzfeed, even if today's electoral vote confirms Donald Trump as POTUS, this is only the first step in what will certainly be stiff resistance every inch of the way: 

Efforts to undermine Trump’s presidency by Democrats and those Republicans who believe Trump is unfit for office — or violating his oath of office — almost certainly will continue, a cascading series of constant challenges.


Today, electors across the country will gather in state capitals to cast their votes for president. Trump will most likely remain the victor - but in the wake of the Russian hacking scandal and the candidate's defeat in the popular vote, there is renewed focus on the electoral college and its purpose. Join us for development throughout the day. 

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