Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election. This is a fact. It’s a fact we knew, but that a lot of people have been in denial about. Russia tried to screw up our elections.
This was a major effort. It was cyberwarfare. It started during the primaries. It continued after the election. It is espionage, and it happened and Russia did it. These are facts.
Right now, both pro- and anti-Trump forces are claiming victory on social media over the Mueller indictments. MAGA Twitter is bragging that were no collusion indictments or allegations. Resistance Twitter is claiming vindication for the Mueller investigation as a worthwhile endeavor. As long as people are taking credit, here’s someone who should be: Senator Ben Sasse.
Mueller just put Moscow on notice. This ought to be a wakeup call to Washington: Putin’s shadow war is aimed at undermining Americans’ trust in our institutions. We know Russia is coming back in 2018 and 2020 we have to take this threat seriously
He is right, of course. The resistance folks are sniping that they knew this over a year ago. The maga that he’s changing his tune from blaming Trump. They’re both wrong. It’s what he said all along.
Just a few days ago, for example.
“Russia is just getting started and the hacks, forgeries, and influence campaigns are going to get more and more sophisticated.”
He said it last March, too.
“The Kremlin isn’t attempting an influence campaign to make Americans believe that the sky is green or the grass is blue… The Kremlin wants us to believe that our society is as corrupt as the thugocracy that Putin and his cronies are trying to advance.
He also said it December of 2016. And by the way, note the President named.
US Senator Ben Sasse, an outspoken critic of Russian President Vladimir Putin and proponent for strong American cybersecurity, issued the following statement regarding the Obama Administration’s response to Russian hacks.
“Too little, too late: these meager steps will not decisively change Putin’s calculation that his aggressions are worth the risk. A year ago, the Administration should have led a comprehensive review of our offensive and defensive cyber doctrines, instead of offering media-driven spin. We cannot afford to be in the same place a year from now — our adversaries must be deterred by knowing that cyber attacks will be met with swift and decisive responses.”
Speaking of people who said Russia was doing this to sow chaos and mistrust and discontent as far back as December of 2016…
I hasten to repeat here that this is the kind of thing Russia is capable of, prone to do, and even slyly winks at doing. The fact that the CIA hasn’t produced one of those TV cop show cork boards with faces in a flow chart connected by yarn is not an indication that there is no evidence. In the field of intelligence, evidence isn’t always something you stick a thumbtack in and grimace at over a hot cup of joe in the bullpen.
I was also right about whether it changed the outcome of the election.
Even if the Russians tried to influence or disrupt this election, even if they did it with the explicit goal of getting Donald Putin Jr. elected, even granting every possible premise the Democrats are desperately clinging to in their deplorable basket of sore-loserism, there is one question that hasn’t been answered. Was it enough to change the result?
So I’m just going to rely on my common sense, personal judgment, and position as an obsessed 24/7 consumer of every tiniest morsel of election news this year and say “well obviously hell no.”
NO, it just wasn’t enough. They couldn’t possibly do enough. If there was voter fraud, it wasn’t enough to change the outcome. If there was voting machine tampering, it just wasn’t enough to sway the outcome.
You know who else was right? The intelligence community. I’m sure everyone with short memory (read: everyone on the internet) has forgotten, but when the intelligence agencies all agreed that the Russians had tried to mess with and influence our election, a lot of Republicans and conservative pundits crapped all over it and didn’t buy it. But the intelligence agencies were correct.
Still, despite the CIA’s established antipathy to Republicans, there is a broad consensus (something that actually does matter in the field of intelligence,… think of it like multiple fire stations triangulating the location of a forest fire) that Russia engaged in cyberattacks, hacking, or cyberespionage against American institutions.
This may seem like one of those posts I do periodically where I remind people about things they said weren’t so that actually were so, and that’s because it is. It is one of those posts. The CIA and Ben Sasse and Caleb Howe said Russia interfered with the election, and they did. We said they did it to sow distrust and discontent, and they did. We said it wasn’t enough to change the outcome and it (probably) wasn’t.
As for collusion, well… yep. On top of that one, too.
Russia isn’t your friend, folks. This isn’t new information.