January 6, 2017
Thankfully someone is doing something about Donald Trump’s questionable rise to power.
A few days ago, President Barack Obama retaliated against the interference of the Russian government in our 2016 Presidential Election. The White House issued a statement “Russia’s cyber activities were intended to influence the election, erode faith in the US democratic institutions, sow doubt about the integrity of our national process, and undermine confidence in the institutions of the US government. These actions are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.”
President Obama took action. He sanctioned Russian diplomats and gave them and their families 72 hours to leave the United States.
This action also was supported by prominent Republicans. House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement agreeing with the President’s demands while two US senators, McCain and Graham called for stronger sanctions against Russia.
Are these sanctions a response to the alleged Russian hacking of the Democratic National Committee (DNC) last summer? WikiLeaks released almost 20,000 private emails from the DNC, an action which was certainly designed to interfere with the election.
Today the Office of the Director of National Intelligence (NSA) released a recently declassified report on Russian hacking operations in the United States. This report provides all the detail to back up the charges made by Hillary Clinton’s in the presidential debates. As she noted then, “the Russian government has engaged in espionage against Americans…, as seventeen of our intelligence agencies have confirmed, to influence our election.” Trump’s response to these facts raised by Clinton in the debate was to dance around the issue. He denied knowing Putin, but he said he wanted to become friends with Russia. It is a fact that Russia did support Donald Trump as the Kremlin’s choice for President of the United States. Some have quibbled with the actual number of intelligence agencies involved, but there can be no arguing with the NSA report issued today. It’s all there for everyone to read: the attempt to discredit Secretary Clinton, the Russian efforts to undermine her future presidency, and cyber attacks which released DNC emails.
It’s all in this report in vivid color and stark black and white. Russian interference in the election process is clear. The next question to be answered is whether Donald Trump colluded with the Russian government to plot the downfall of Secretary Clinton.