World War III: Democrats and America vs. Trump and Russia (Daily Beast link): Make no mistake, yesterday’s Washington Post revelation that the CIA has concluded that Russia was actively trying to elect Donald Trump as opposed to just “meddling with” the election, is a nuclear bombshell. And if the Post piece is Hiroshima, then today’s New York Times story, which adds the detail that Russian actors also hacked email accounts at the Republican National Committee but did not release those publicly as they did Democratic National Committee and Clinton campaign emails, is Nagasaki.
Hyperbole? Think again. A foreign government may have determined the outcome of a presidential election. And not Canada or Costa Rica, but Russia: the United States’ chief historic adversary and an oligarchy ruled by a tyrant who has systematically taken away rights. Bombshells don’t come much bigger.
Oh, wait; yes they do. On top of all the above, leaders of one of our two political parties—I’ll let you hazard a guess as to which one—argued against letting the American public know about all this before the election, reportedly saying it would be too partisan. That’s not hardball politics. That’s a hair’s breath away from treason.
The Post's report cites officials who say they have identified individuals connected to the Russian government who gave WikiLeaks emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and top Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta. One official described the conclusion that this was intended to help Trump as “the consensus view.”
The report highlights and exacerbates the increasingly fraught situation in which congressional Republicans find themselves with regard to Russia and Trump. By acknowledging and digging into the increasing evidence that Russia helped — or at least attempted to help — tip the scales in Trump’s favor, they risk raising questions about whether Trump would have won without Russian intervention.
They based that conclusion, in part, on another finding — which they say was also reached with high confidence — that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee’s computer systems in addition to their attacks on Democratic organizations, but did not release whatever information they gleaned from the Republican networks.
In the months before the election, it was largely documents from Democratic Party systems that were leaked to the public. Intelligence agencies have concluded that the Russians gave the Democrats’ documents to WikiLeaks.
Republicans have a different explanation for why no documents from their networks were ever released. Over the past several months, officials from the Republican committee have consistently said that their networks were not compromised, asserting that only the accounts of individual Republicans were attacked. On Friday, a senior committee official said he had no comment.
CIA Concludes Russia Interfered in U.S. Election to Help Trump Win (Slate link): The Central Intelligence Agency has apparently reached the conclusion that Moscow wasn’t just rooting for a Donald Trump victory, but actively worked to try to make it happen. According to a secret bombshell assessment that was first reported by the Washington Post, it is the “consensus view” of the intelligence community that the hacks and other cyberattacks that marked the presidential campaign weren’t just an effort to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system but rather an active campaign to install the Kremlin’s favorite candidate in the White House.
Leading the Republican charge to continue unofficially colluding with Russia to install Donald Trump as President is Senator Mitch McConnell (R-KY). In September – when confronted with classified evidence compiled by the CIA confirming Russia was interfering with the U.S. election process – McConnell chose partisanship over national security. He literally threatened to poison President Obama’s warning to the nation about that intelligence (had Obama chose to go public) by calling it political posturing to elect Hillary Clinton.
And then, after the election and Trump’s victory, Trump named Elaine Chao to his cabinet in a departure from his other cabinet appointments. While almost every other cabinet appointment had donated some amount of money to the Trump campaign, Chao stuck out as the only non-donor who actually had cabinet experience. Now the nation knows how McConnell was rewarded for his obstruction and unofficial collusion with Russia: his wife’s rise to power.
Mod: Are we allowed to call it treason yet?