Washington – Rep. Jim Himes said President-elect Donald Trump’s dismissal of U.S. intelligence agencies was “the last straw” that prompted the lawmaker to send out an incendiary tweet Sunday night saying Trump is “unhinged” and the Electoral College should stop him from becoming president.
In his tweet, Himes, D-4th District, said members of the Electoral College, which formally meets on Dec. 19 to officially cast its votes for president, must stop an unqualified individual from taking the oath of office. He wants the electors to vote for Hillary Clinton instead.
“We’re 5 wks from Inauguration & the President Elect is completely unhinged. The electoral college must do what it was designed for,” Himes tweeted.
He sent out the tweet just after Trump put out one of his own, bashing NBC’s Nightly News on Sunday after it aired a report that took a critical look at his split with the intelligence community.
Trump is not sitting for daily briefings and rejects the CIA’s assessment that Russia hacked Democratic operatives to help him win the election.
“Just watched @NBCNightlyNews – So biased, inaccurate and bad, point after point. Just can’t get much worse, although @CNN is right up there!” Trump said.
Himes said he knows “it’s unlikely” the electors would switch their votes, but felt he had to do something anyway.
“I’m not happy the Electoral College exists,” Himes said. “I’d rather the voters directly pick our president.” But since it does exist, Himes said it should do its job “and keep someone who is a danger to the country from becoming president.
“This guy is not just unqualified, he’s a danger,” Himes said. “Since Election Day, he has done nothing to indicate that he’s going to take this job seriously.
Referring to criticisms aimed at Vice President-elect Mike Pence by the cast of the musical hit Hamilton, Himes, a member of the House Intelligence Committee, said Trump “is a guy who doesn’t think it’s important to be briefed on national security but thinks its important to go after the cast of a Broadway play.”
Trump’s dismissal of the intelligence services “is the last straw,” Himes said.
Ten electors who have similar concerns about Trump published an open letter to Director of National Intelligence James Clapper on Monday, demanding a briefing on Trump’s ties to Russia before the Dec 19 vote.
But it’s unlikely any effort to sway the GOP electors to ditch Trump for another candidate would succeed. Democrats would need to sway 37 electors to abandon Trump, and so far, only one GOP elector has publicly announced his intent to defect from Trump.
The Electoral College consists of 538 electors. A majority of 270 electoral votes is required to elect the president. A state’s electors are equal to the number of members in its congressional delegation. Connecticut has seven, all pledged to Clinton since she won the state.