U.S. intelligence just released an explosive public report detailing the extent of Russia’s alleged involvement in the 2016 presidential election.
In the report, the CIA and FBI are said to have “high confidence” in the assessment that Vladimir Putin’s government ordered actions to influence the campaign directly. The National Security Agency (NSA) had moderate trust in the assessment.
The statement reads as follows:
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin order an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.
- We also assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him. All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.”
— Gideon Resnick (@GideonResnick) January 6, 2017
On Friday, following his briefing, Trump went out of his way not to address the implication that Russia influenced the election in his favor. Instead, the President-elect chose to issue a more generalized statement about the importance of cyber security, even taking a swipe at the Democratic National Committee by praising the “strong hacking defenses” of the Republican National Committee. His statement read in full:
“I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation.
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful.
“Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office. The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”
Trump’s continued denial of the facts brought directly to him by the U.S. intelligence community goes far beyond a narcissist trying to protect his image, it borders on treason.
It’s clear that Trump is scared to death of getting to the bottom of the Russian hacking. He’s denied, deflected and attacked like someone with something to hide. And perhaps something to lose should the truth be revealed.
Featured image via Mark Makela/Getty Images