Seriously, all of Donald Trump’s pre-election whining about the election being “rigged” had me convinced that he never intended to win, didn’t want to win, and was laying the groundwork for the big loss to Hillary.
Even if he’d lost, he’d have his built-in audience for TrumpTV, right?
His cries of a rigged election didn’t get him out of having to do a real job, but they did serve another purpose.
According to Jeh Johnson, former Secretary of Homeland Security, it caused the DHS hold back information on Russian interference in the election process.
Johnson told the House Intelligence Committee the Obama administration was in a rough place when deciding how much to tell the public about Russia’s activities during the campaign. The outgoing administration didn’t want to seem like it had its thumb on the scales for the Democratic candidate, Hillary Clinton, when Trump was claiming regularly the election would be rigged.
“One of the candidates was predicting the election would be rigged in some way,” he said, “so we were concerned that making a statement that we would be in and of itself challenging the integrity of the election process.”
The news of Russian interference was released in October 2016. After the election, U.S. intelligence felt comfortable with revealing Russia’s preference for Trump.
Johnson pushed back against California Democratic Rep. Adam Schiff’s assertion that the Department of Homeland Security delayed in communicating the seriousness of Russia’s interference to the public. He listed a litany of public statements he released in September and October before the vote and said he couldn’t be as forthright as possible due to the nature of the investigation.
“Many would perhaps criticize us for taking sides,” he said.
Waiting certainly didn’t help.
This is one of those situations where there wasn’t going to be a winner. Hillary supporters are going to blame Johnson and the DHS for not revealing that Russia was, in fact, trying to “rig” the election – for Trump. Trump supporters are going to say this is fake news, Johnson is “deep state,” and so forth.
There is no sanity in politics.