Friday afternoon news broke that the CIA had a secret assessment stating “that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system.”
Intelligence agencies had previously said that they were pretty sure Russia was diddling with our elections, but mostly to “undermine our confidence” in the US electoral process. But now it turns out that the RNC was hacked along with the DNC. It’s just that information from the RNC was never released. Which, y’know, indicates a specific agenda.
The Obama administration brought the information to a bipartisan congressional group, urging them to release the intelligence. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, whose wife Ellen Chao is up for a job in the Trump administration, called it into question and threatened to accuse the administration of politicizing the CIA if the information was released.
- Washington Post: Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House
- New York Times: Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says
The Trump transition team had a response, of course.
These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’
So, US intelligence agencies did kind of balls-up that whole “weapons of mass destruction” thing back in 2001-ish. Right? Well, no. Not really. The CIA was basically ordered to go find evidence of WMD in Iraq to justify Bush’s war, and when they returned with mostly a lot of nothing, Bush trumped it up and pushed ahead anyway.
By the way, the election ended a month ago. One month. Thirty-four days. That is hardly a “long time ago.”
Also, Trump didn’t win in “one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history.” He fell in around the bottom third.
But yeah, we can get back to making America great again. I’d be happy for the electoral college to start by not electing Donald Trump president, but that’s just me.
There was a lot of response over the weekend, mostly culminating in promises to investigate. There was also a demand from ten Electoral College electors for an intelligence briefing on the issue, too.
The Electors require to know from the intelligence community whether there are ongoing investigations into ties between Donald Trump, his campaign or associates, and Russian government interference in the election, the scope of those investigations, how far those investigations may have reached, and who was involved in those investigations. We further require a briefing on all investigative findings, as these matters directly impact the core factors in our deliberations of whether Mr. Trump is fit to serve as President of the United States.
Where does all that leave us? Well, the Electoral College votes on the 19th – next Monday. It seems unlikely that they’ll vote for anyone other than Trump for president. So we’ll have a president who was probably handed a victory at least partially by Vladimir Putin’s Russia. I mean, if that idea doesn’t make your balls crawl up your throat, I don’t know what would.
- TPM: Trump’s Potential State Dept. Deputy Suggests Russian Hacking A ‘False Flag’
- The Atlantic: Five Questions About Russia’s Election Hacking
- NBC News: Intelligence Agencies Distressed by Trump’s Rejection of Findings on Russia
- Eric Garland: “A Patriot Game Theory,” a tweetstorm by Eric Garland, Storified by John Bordeaux.
- Josh Marshall: Let’s Not Pretend We Didn’t Know This
- Snopes: CIA: Russia Interfered With U.S. Elections
- TPM: Senate GOPer: I’m ‘Very Concerned’ About Russian Interference In Elections