By now most of you have seen reports from both The Washington Post and The NYTimes essentially confirming what we already knew: Russian hackers acted to interfere with the Presidential election. This wasn’t really new to any of us. What may have been new to many of us was that — in addition to hacking the Democrats — the Russians also hacked the Republicans. However, not only did the Russians withhold data they received from Republican hacks, but the Republicans knew they’d been hacked and said nothing (that’s not entirely true. One guy admitted the Republican National Committee had been hacked but retracted his statement a few hours later).
And a final "told ya so." Remember that gop congressman who accidentally said the RNC was hacked in September? I said he let the truth slip. https://t.co/OhrByorhvk— John Aravosis (@aravosis) December 10, 2016
That’s not only evidence that Russians worked to get Donald Trump elected, but it also seems to demonstrate an effort by the Republicans to hide the fact, perhaps even in coordination with the Russians. Even if the GOP didn’t actively work with the Russians, they certainly coordinated to take advantage of the hacks.
Even more worrying is this:
The Post’s report cited Republicans who expressed skepticism about the available evidence when presented with it in September, including Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.).
The CIA gave this report to Congress in September. And Republicans stopped it from being made public. https://t.co/mF2GirQehq— Caroline O. (@RVAwonk) December 10, 2016
The leader of the Senate knew what was going on, and he sought to bury it. This month, Donald Trump nominated McConnell’s wife to be the Secretary of Transportation. Draw your own conclusions.
Evan McMullin — a Republican former CIA operative out of Utah who ran for President as an Independent — seems to be the only politician willing to point out what all of this really means:
Even former GOP representative, right-wing radio host and garbage person sees what’s going on here:
Congressional Republicans, the evidence of Russia tampering with our election is too great now to ignore.— Joe Walsh (@WalshFreedom) December 10, 2016
Do the right thing.
Donald Trump’s transition team released a statement concerning the reports, and it is horrifying:
Corrections:— Katie Mack (@AstroKatie) December 10, 2016
1) No, they are different people. Also they are the CIA.
2) It's been about a month.
3) No; 46th biggest out of 58 ranked.
4) 🙄 pic.twitter.com/lJEDuyPTue
Donald Trump is siding with the Russians and dismissing the intelligence of the CIA, the very people charged with supplying him intelligence for the next four years (should he bother to listen). Trump thinks the hacks came from a guy from Jersey or the Chinese.
The political effect of these stories should be incredibly destabilizing. Already down by nearly 3 million popular votes, there’s now actual evidence showing that the Russians interfered to get Donald Trump elected and there’s even the potential that Trump coordinated with them. That should be delegitimizing for a Trump presidency. That should give the Electoral College pause, and maybe it would if the Congress and the Media were actually highlighting exactly how troubling this is.
So far, Chuck Schumer has demanded an “inquiry” next year.
“Senate Democrats will join with our Republican colleagues next year to demand a congressional investigation and hearings to get to the bottom of this. It’s imperative that our intelligence community turns over any relevant information so that Congress can conduct a full investigation.”
Meanwhile, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell will not comment on the story, and as of this writing, I haven’t even seen other Senate Democrat leaders like Elizabeth Warren, Dick Durbin, Barbara Boxer or Corey Booker comment on the story.
Meanwhile, a GOP Senator from Texas is completely dismissing this:
All this "news" of Russian hacking: it has been going on for years. Serious, but hardly news— JohnCornyn (@JohnCornyn) December 10, 2016
How are the other media outlets covering a story that makes Watergate look tiny by comparison:
USA Today leads with this headline, which essentially promotes Trump’s view that the CIA made all of this up.
Unsurprisingly, Fox News isn’t even covering it. The closest they come is the very last news headline on their home page, which mentions: “Obama orders probe of Russian influence on election.”
ABC News makes no mention of it in their top fold:
The Wall Street Journal? Nada.
Breitbart is still obsessed with Hillary.
The Drudge Report? Spinning it as “Fake News.”
In fact, this is exactly what Donald Trump is doing now. He’s using “fake news” as a cudgel. Now that the media has finally, successfully created concerns about fake news, Trump is characterizing legitimate news as fake news, as he did on Twitter last night at 3 a.m.
Reports by @CNN that I will be working on The Apprentice during my Presidency, even part time, are ridiculous & untrue - FAKE NEWS!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 10, 2016
Yes, CNN did report based on an interview with Kellyanne Conway!
Kellyanne Conway said it. pic.twitter.com/fGc2Fk7g1Z— Jon Lovett (@jonlovett) December 10, 2016
Now, not only do we have to battle fake news, we have to battle real news that’s being characterized as fake by the Trump transition team.
Add to that the fact that Trump’s top choice for Secretary of State now has strong ties with Russia:
Trump's top choice for secretary of state, Exxon chief Rex Tillerson, has strong ties with Russia https://t.co/5RkNOWobr3— The New York Times (@nytimes) December 10, 2016
I don’t know what else to say. The dots are all there. A five year old could connect them. Donald Trump — with the benefit of the Russians — stole the election, and most of the mainstream media and members of Congress are, so far, ignoring the implications of an impending constitutional crisis.