Adam Schiff Discovers Who Was President During Russian Meddling and Donald Trump Takes Notice

Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, speaks after a closed meeting on Capitol Hill, Tuesday, June 6, 2017, in Washington. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)

In my view, there were two salient findings in the unsealed indictment brought in by special counsel Robert Mueller on Friday. First, the Russians began laying the groundwork for their low-level meddling in 2013. Second, it is very obvious that the FBI was aware of their activities from 2013 through the end of the 2016 presidential campaign. All of this, as I posted, begs the question of why, if this was an existential threat to the republic, did Barack Hussein Obama allow it to continue?(See my post on the subject)

Adam Schiff, darling and intellectual godfather of the never-Trump movement and the #Resistance, was at a forum at the Council on Foreign Relations yesterday and he addressed that subject.

Russians are equal-opportunity malevolent actors they’re not Republicans and they’re not Democrats…

Actually, Democrats are also equal-opportunity malevolent actors, but let’s get on with the transcript.

they’re just designed in their foreign policy, in their cyber policy, to undermine the United States.

Like I said, Democrats.

They view the world as a zero-sum game where anything that’s good for us is bad for them and vice versa. I do think though that in fairness some of the responsibility is also attributed to the Obama administration for not establishing a more forceful deterrent. I think it goes back to the Korean hack of Sony in which there was a minimal response. I think that others around the world watched that and determined that cyber is a cost-free intervention. There will always be a certain level of plausible deniability with cyber because even though we’re quite good at attribution now, we’re never going to want to fully show our hands about how we know who did what. But you don’t need to show your hand as long as you can establish a deterrent. And you don’t need to necessarily respond to a cyber attack with another cyber response. I think the response in North Korea should have been an informational response. The North Koreans hate it when South Korea responds with information about how terrible their regime is that I think if we had embarked on an informational response would have been in deterrent to further North Korean meddling.

With all due respect, this is an insane idea. My lord, we labeled them as part of the “Axis of Evil” and that didn’t change their behavior. We should have unleashed–or authorized Sony to unleash–a massive and disproportionate cyber response to the North Korea hack—targeting the North Korean government and foreign entities that deal with them–and said nothing about it whatsoever. They would have connected the dots damned quick. Factually, I think linking the Russian adventure in 2016 to the Sony hack is just crazy pants. There was a hacking analog in 2016 to Sony and Russia had been linked to cyber attacks in several places, particularly on NATO members Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. And they had a very good idea of what a U.S. response to a hack would be. They also knew what a U.S. response to political meddling would be.

And with the Russians we should have called them out much earlier. Senator Feinstein and I were the first to make an official attribution but it’s not the same coming from two members of Congress, from the same party, as it is from an administration. And while I respect the motive in terms of the administration, they didn’t want to be seen as meddling…

Again, this is just a blatant lie. The Russian activity was known years before Schiff said a word about it. In 2014, Devin Nunes was warning about how Russian meddling in the politics of Eastern Europe was going to find its way to the United States.

the American people had a right to know what was going on and could be trusted to do the right thing with it and they should have defended being more public and aggressive at the time at least in my view

But, this is an amazingly lucid statement from a usually deranged Schiff.

And President Trump noticed:

On the merits, Trump is exactly right.

Stylistically, I’m not a fan of this kind of thing, but saying stuff in this manner gets much more attention in the media than saying it diplomatically. Or, in the words of Al Capone, “You can get much farther with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone.”