Trump is going down because he conspired with Putin to defraud not only the American people but our Government. Trump is a sycophant for Putin and worse than Benedict Arnold. Benedict Arnold was never leader-elect of the free world. It’s just a matter of time now! See the patriotic USA Today article below.
Trump is way off on Russia hack report: Max Boot
| 2h ago
Donald Trump on Dec. 28 in Palm Beach, Fla. and Vladimir Putin on Dec. 23, 2016 in Moscow. bOTO / DON EMMERT AND Natalia KOLESNIKOVADON EMMERT,NATALIA KOLESNIKOVA/AFP/Getty Images ORIG FILE ID: AFP_JI301 AFP AFP_JI301 A GOV USA FL DON EMMERT
(Photo: Don Emmert and Natalia Kolesnikova, AFP/Getty Images)
Photo: Don Emmert and Natalia Kolesnikova, AFP/Getty Images
In the normal course of business, it’s hard to get America’s fractious intelligence agencies to agree that 2 + 2 = 4. So the unclassified version of the intelligence community assessment about the hacking of the Democratic National Committee is all the more remarkable. In it, the FBI, the CIA, the NSA wrote with a “high degree” of confidence (itself rare in the intelligence world) that “Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election” in order “to help President-elect Trump’s election chances.”
Yes, the intelligence community has made mistakes in the past, most notoriously regarding Iraq’s weapons of mass destruction. But in this case it is obvious the spies have such a high degree of proof — including, one suspects, electronic intercepts of conversations and human intelligence reports to go along with forensic investigation of the hacked computers — that there is no disputing their bottom line.
Even Donald Trump, who has consistently refused to admit that the DNC was hacked by the Russians rather than by some 400-pound coach potato, felt compelled to issue a statement after receiving the classified version of the assessment that did not doubt its conclusions. And yet even then he would not admit that the culprit was solely Russia. His statement referred not only to Russia but also to “China, other countries, outside groups and people” that “are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee.” He’s right that China and other states consistently engage in cyber-espionage, but Russia is unique for leaking emails in order to influence the outcome of an American election.
Trump’s statement further claimed “there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.” It’s true there was no tampering with voting machines, but how can Trump state so confidently that the Russian hack had “no effect” on the outcome of an election which was decided by 80,000 people in three states? If the hack was so inconsequential, why did Trump hype the resulting information — about how the Democratic National Committee supposedly favored Hillary Clinton in the primaries — to try to convince Bernie Sanders supporters not to vote for Clinton in the general election? Why did he constantly bring up WikiLeaks in the final month of the campaign and say the group had “done a job” on Clinton?
One suspects Trump of a guilty conscience given that by Saturday he was back to blaming the victims rather than perpetrators for the hack. “Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place,” he tweeted. As investment manager Patrick Chovanec quipped: “This is like G. Gordon Liddy saying DNC should have installed better locks.”
Trump has often expressed admiration for Putin and never criticized him. Recently, for example, he tweeted his congratulations — “Great move on delay (by V. Putin) — I always knew he was very smart!” — when the Russian strongman refused to react in kind to President Obama’s expulsion of 35 Russian diplomats in retaliation for the Russian hacking. That pattern did not change even after the release of the damning intelligence community report. Trump had not one word of disapprobation for the Russian meddling in our election. Instead, he tweeted: “Having a good relationship with Russia is a good thing, not a bad thing. Only ‘stupid’ people, or fools, would think that it is bad!”
In truth no American wants a bad relationship with Russia. But many of us have concluded that a good relationship is impossible until Putin stops invading neighboring countries (Georgia, Ukraine), stops committing war crimes (Syria), and stops trying to undermine Western institutions — something he is doing not only in the U.S. but across Western Europe with his support of extremist parties such as the National Front in France and even coup plotters in Montenegro.
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Trump, however, doesn’t offer the slightest objection to Russia’s egregious misconduct, and that in turn raises the question of why not? Is it simply admiration for the Russian dictator on the part of a president-elect who has said in the past that Putin’s Russia is “hot stuff” and that “what he’s done for Russia is really amazing”? Or is there something more sinister going on?
The New York Times has just published a damning investigation showing the extent to which Jared Kushner, Trump’s consigliore and son-in-law, is heavily dependent on shadowy Chinese and Russian financiers closely linked to their governments. Might the Trump Organization be equally compromised? We have no way of knowing, because Trump is so opaque about his finances. But his adherence to a slavishly pro-Putin line, if it continues in office, will certainly raise such suspicions.
Max Boot, a member of USA TODAY’s Board of Contributors, is a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations. Follow him on Twitter: @MaxBoot
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