Just like WMD's existing in Iraq as an excuse to invade the country, so it is here with the myth that Russia interfered in the presidential election in 2016 on behalf of Donald Trump. This was a story made up as an excuse for Hillary Clinton losing to Trump. That is not to suggest that the people next to Trump weren't compromised by Putin. But that is what they've done for decades.
Schiff said the sanctions should have come sooner and been stronger. Obama also should have let the voters know about Russia’s actions while the campaign was still under way, he said. “What I urged at the time was he should have spoken out to the American people and said, ‘This is what Russia is doing,’” Schiff said.
Trump also questioned why Obama administration officials took no action on Russia before the election. “Since the Obama administration was told way before the 2016 Election that the Russians were meddling, why no action? Focus on them, not T!” he said in a Twitter posting to his 32.8 million followers.
The Democratic Party and mainstream media have become increasingly consumed with the narrative that Donald Trump’s election win is largely influenced by Russian hacking.
The narrative is centered around two hacks–the hack of a DNC server that led to the release of embarrassing emails during the Democratic National Convention, and the hack of John Podesta’s email which led to several embarrassing moments for the Clinton campaign in October 2016. Both are supposedly the result of the Russians.
The Russia story is back in the headlines once again after reports surrounding former President Barack Obama’s attempts to “punish” Russia for its interference.
However, there is still a cloud of doubt hanging over the DNC’s Russia narrative on the breach of the DNC servers.
The analysis that alleged that Russia was behind the DNC server breach was carried out not by the U.S. government, but by the private security group CrowdStrike.
CrowdStrike is the sole source of this claim, with their June 2016 report, “Bears in the Midst: Intrusion into the Democratic National Committee” being the basis of the DNC’s Russian hacking allegations.
Exactly. The Russians have been doing this for years. That's what they do. And it's up to governments to protect us from it. Those who propound the Russian election hacking theory make it sound like it began in 2016. And that they directed all their efforts towards getting Hillary and the Democrats.
As the multi-pronged attack on the election unfolded, the Obama administration’s response was slow and deliberative to the point of paralysis. There was a lag between when the Russians did something, and when it was reported to the administration. There was the fact that the administration was focused on election infrastructure but not on the fake news mill, zigging when the Russians zagged. And there was the careful attention to the details of making sure that no laws were broken in the intelligence-gathering—say, in dealing with incidental collection of data on Americans. “There was a lawyer at every meeting,” said the former administration official. “That’s partly why it was hard for us to figure out what was going on.”
And then there was Obama’s mysterious reluctance, as described by many of his advisers, “to put his thumb on the scale” and influence the election, even as he and Michelle Obama were campaigning for Hillary Clinton all over the country and coining anti-Trump memes like “Come on, man.” What difference would a thumb on the scale have made when he already had his other nine fingers on it?
Former President Obama’s Homeland Security secretary on Wednesday defended his response to Russian interference in the 2016 election, arguing the last administration’s careful characterization was intended to ensure it was not seen as taking sides in a political fight.
...Former Secretary Jeh Johnson denied that there was any “delay” in informing the American people of Russian meddling when he and former National Intelligence Director James Clapper on Oct. 7 said the theft and release of the Democratic National Committee emails were part of a widespread campaign “intended to interfere with the U.S. election process.”
It was not until January that the Obama administration issued a separate declassified intelligence report that assessed Moscow was attempting to tip the election in President Trump’s favor.
...Johnson stood by previous testimony that there was no evidence any votes were changed — but said that he could not assess whether the outcome of the election had been influenced, arguing that determination required “a social scientist or a pollster.”
FRANKEN: He hasn't talked to Spicer about Russia meddling. He hasn't talked to Jeff Sessions about it. We have to stop this from happening again.
SCARBOROUGH: Right. So let me ask you, why didn't we stop it the first time? Why didn't the Obama administration in September tell us? Because it seems to me we had a right to know in September that the Russians had invaded our country in a sense, in a cyberwar and they were trying to influence our elections. I would have liked to known that in September.
FRANKEN: I actually think that the president thought that since Trump was saying the election was rigged, he didn't want to seem like he was putting his thumb on the scale.
SCARBOROUGH: But he was Campaigner in Chief.
FRANKEN: I know, but he didn't want to look the Thumber in Chief.
FRANKEN: So I think that was part of it. Also they're dealing with it and they were weighing a lot of different options, cyberattacks on them. They obviously didn't play it right. Look where we are now.