It was something that was widely speculated on during the run up to the election. The WikiLeaks release of DNC emails, while Republican emails were left alone struck many as “suspicious.”
WikiLeaks’ founder, Julian Assange, has denied Russia’s involvement in the information WikiLeaks released to the public, and has explained away the lack of emails from the RNC or Donald Trump by saying that nothing revealed in Trump’s emails could be worse than what he openly and publicly spewed with regularity.
Ok. That I believe.
Still, an investigation has been ongoing and the reports coming out should have people concerned.
“Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials,” the Post reported.
According to one unnamed senior U.S. official, it was the “consensus view” of the intelligence committee that Russia’s goal was to get Trump elected, the Post reported.
The Trump transition team questioned the credibility of the CIA in response to the report.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the Trump transition team said in a statement. “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.'”
This is not to say that the Russians hacked into voting machines, as some have suggested. There’s no proof of that, although there have been some irregularities with voting machines reported across the country.
The question is, what would be the purpose of Russia involving themselves with a U.S. election?
The obvious answer is Trump’s repeated allusions of warming to Russia and allowing Russia to take a more dominant role in world affairs, particularly in Syria.
They very likely see Trump as a ready puppet to the Kremlin, with neither the will nor the intellect to oppose them.
Retired general Micahel Hayden, who served as CIA director during the Bush administration, was critical of Trump’s refusal to accept the conclusion of the intelligence community.
“To have the president-elect of the United States simply reject the fact-based narrative that the intelligence community puts together because it conflicts with his a priori assumptions. Wow,” Hayden said at an event in Manhattan, according to CNN. “The data matters.”
On Friday, President Obama ordered the nation’s intelligence agencies to conduct a full review of attempts by foreign hackers to influence U.S. elections, which he hopes can be completed before he leaves office on Jan. 20.
And as Hayden pointed out, it is a dangerous precedent to have a president who will brush off information from the intelligence community, simply because it isn’t suited to the narrative he wants to push.
We already know Trump is blowing off security briefings, in favor of tweeting and rallies designed to cater to his fragile ego.
Combine that knowledge with these new revelations and nobody should be moving into 2017 without that cold knot of dread in the pit of their stomach.