The secret CIA report that the Russian government was involved in influencing the Presidential elections in the United States has produced predictable responses from every interested party. Democrats (and some Republicans) are crying foul and demanding action. Donald Trump’s camp is labeling it a nothingburger and telling people to move on. Mainstream media is in their constant post-election state of rage. Most Republicans are steering clear.
Donald Trump has had the most predictable reaction. He is denying and insulting just as he is wont to do when anything seems to be an attack on him. For once, he should make the most strategically sound move and go against his own character. In this particular situation, he should lead the charge to ask questions, find answers, and condemn any wrongdoing that is identified.
The outbound President has already called for an investigation. Trump should take it a step further, encouraging an investigation but also demanding that it be done as quickly and transparently as possible. Whether the Russians influenced the election or not, he would gain from this move. An investigation is going to happen whether he wants it to or not. He should get ahead of it and declare that “Donald J. Trump officially calls for an immediate intense investigation into allegations that the Russian government participated in an attempt to damage the sanctity and accuracy of the American election cycle in 2016. Furthermore, President-elect Trump demands that the results of the investigation be made as public as quickly as possible to put to rest any concerns about his historic victory.”
By calling for the investigation to be transparent, he’ll leave no avenue for the left or the media to attack him. That won’t stop them; they’ll attack regardless. By taking the high road, he’ll endear himself to those would admire his bold stance on a subject that could possibly damage him.
Reduce doubt about Russian dealings
If he doesn’t call for an investigation, it will appear that he has something to hide. This will cause doubts to surface with any future dealings he has with the Russians. There are already questions being asked about his former campaign manager Paul Manafort. There are even questions being raised by some Republicans about his potential Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson.
By calling for a transparent investigation, he’ll again reduce the left’s and media’s ability to call him out on future Russian deals. This is going to be important if he’s able to forge a strong relationship with Vladimir Putin as many suspect he’ll do.
Prevent future influences
Let’s face it. Chances are pretty strong that the Russians DID attempt to influence the election. In fact, it’s probably not the first and almost certainly won’t be the last election they try to influence. Americans need to know what they’re doing. We need to be better prepared so that future elections will be more difficult for them to hack.
The Russian question will pop up in every election regardless of whether or not Trump demands a transparent investigation. If he handles this properly, he’ll be on the right side of the interrogation table. He wants to be the one asking the questions rather than the one answering them. If Russia or any other nation attempts to hack an election, it behooves Trump and every American to know how they may attempt to do so.
Maintain the law and order narrative
This issue won’t stop with elections. If Trump continues to discourage the conversation and insult those who call for an investigation, every action towards law and order will be tainted. Law and order demands that we deport criminal illegal immigrants. Law and order dictates that we should defend our law enforcement officials. Law and order calls for originalists to sit on the bench.
All of these arguments for law and order get tainted if he won’t allow the same spotlight to shine on concerns surrounding him.
An investigation is already underway. There’s nothing that can be gained if he continues to condemn it. However, by embracing it and even calling for it to be transparent, he can mitigate the damage. It’s likely that most Americans believed the Russians attempted something to influence the election. By supporting an investigation, he can push most Americans towards the narrative that they tried but the end results were the same: he won with or without Putin’s help. That’s the narrative that he should be promoting.