In a bold but warranted move, Josh Earnest, White House Press Secretary, has suggested that President-elect Donald Trump knew Russia was behind the hacks on Democrats before the election.
“There’s ample evidence that was known long before the election and in most cases long before October about the Trump campaign and Russia — everything from the Republican nominee himself calling on Russia to hack his opponent. It might be an indication that he was obviously aware and concluded, based on whatever facts or sources he had available to him, that Russia was involved and their involvement was having a negative impact on his opponent’s campaign.”
If we all remember, Trump gave a speech back in July that included an invitation for Russia “to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,” in reference to Hillary Clinton’s deleted emails, adding, “I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press.”
When confronted with the statement last summer, Trump said he was just being sarcastic, but in Earnest’s opinion, Trump “encouraging them to keep doing it,” suggests he knew what they were doing.
Earnest when on to say:
“It was obvious to those who were covering the race that the hack-and-leak strategy that had been operationalized was not being equally applied to the two parties and to the two campaigns. There’s one side that was bearing the brunt of that strategy and another side that was clearly benefiting from it. Now, I know there’s a lot of reporting that there may be some disagreement in the intelligence community about whether or not that was the intent — that’s a question that they should ask and a question that they may attempt to answer — but there certainly was no doubt about the effect.”
This, of course, is in contrast to Trump’s reaction to the CIA report which was released last week which confirmed Russia was responsible for the hacking in a successful attempt to sway the election to a Trump victory. Trump told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday,
“I think it’s ridiculous, I think it’s just another excuse. I don’t believe it.” Concluding, “They have no idea if it’s Russia or China or somebody. It could be somebody sitting in a bed someplace.”
He also tweeted Monday,
Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
It was brought up before the election, Donald – by you. And now we know why.
Watch Josh Earnest speak from the White House on the matter:
Featured image by Scott Olson/Getty Images