Up until now, Russian President Vladimir Putin has sided with Trump and his loyalists, stating that there was no Russian involvement in the hack of Democratic National Committee emails, or attempts to influence the 2016 U.S. election.
This is something U.S. intelligence agencies have widely disputed, insisting that, indeed, Russia is behind the leaks.
And it’s not even a new thing, or confined to just the U.S. They have a history of cyber-meddling, here and in other western nations.
Now, Putin is putting a delicate “spin” on his previous insistence of innocence.
Maybe it wasn’t the Russian government, but “patriotically minded” private citizens of Russia.
While Mr. Putin continued to deny any state role, his comments to reporters in St. Petersburg were a departure from the Kremlin’s previous position: that Russia had played no role whatsoever in the hacking of the Democratic National Committee and that, after Mr. Trump’s victory, the country had become the victim of anti-Russia hysteria among crestfallen Democrats.
Raising the possibility of attacks by what he portrayed as free-spirited Russian patriots, Mr. Putin said that hackers “are like artists” who choose their targets depending how they feel “when they wake up in the morning.”
“If they are patriotically minded, they start making their contributions — which are right, from their point of view — to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia,” he added.
And that certainly wouldn’t be Trump.
Trump has left no doubt that he is a Putin fan. He has praised the former KGB agent as a strong leader, even before he entered the race for the presidency, and he and members of his team have repeatedly made the case for forging stronger bonds with Russia.
It’s things like this that add to the suspicion surrounding Trump and his team now. Trump’s family business, and far too many of his associates have ties to Moscow.
Yet, here we are, with Putin and Trump mirroring the statements of the other.
Putin suggested earlier in the week, while talking to the French newspaper, Le Figaro, that it was even possible that U.S. intelligence had created the illusion of foreign involvement in the hacks.
“I can imagine that someone is doing this purposefully — building the chain of attacks so that the territory of the Russian Federation appears to be the source of that attack,” Mr. Putin said. “Modern technologies allow to do that kind of thing, it’s rather easy to do.”
“I think that he was totally right when he said it could have been someone sitting on their bed or somebody intentionally inserted a flash drive with the name of a Russian national, or something like that,” Mr. Putin told Le Figaro, referring to Mr. Trump. “Anything is possible in this virtual world. Russia never engages in activities of this kind, and we do not need it. It makes no sense for us to do such things. What for?”
I could go on and explain the benefit for Russia to have A) an ally in the White House, which Trump has made very clear he is prepared to be, and B) someone so inexperienced and inept, any halfway shrewd foreign dictator could dupe him into acting against his nation’s best interest.
I could do that, but sadly, there are too many who actually believe this is all a game of 48th dimensional chess that mere mortal minds cannot grasp.
So go back to sleep. As faith “leader” and member of Trump’s council on faith, James Robison put it: Our nation has a “father” in Trump. We can trust him, right?