Now that I'm back from CES, I'm able to do a bit of catching up on the news. And it was gritted teetch that I listened to Trump's comments about the Intelligence Services report. They were brazenly untrue -- and that isn't remotedlly a subjective opinion but something that can be stated as fact, since an overview of the report was released and we can actually see what it actually says.
For starters, there was Trump saying --
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat [sic] National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines.”
In fact -- fact -- the report states specifically and clearly that they didn NOT make an assessment on the effect of the Russian efforts to hack and manipulate the election.
Reinforcing that, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the Senate Armed Services committee in his testimony that he could not “gauge the impact [the hacks] had on the choices the electorate made.”
That's pretty clear.
And then there's Trump statement after his briefing about whether the RNC was hacked, as well as the Demoratic National Committee. His statement falsely claimed --
“There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful,”
In fact, the report says otherwise. The report says that the RNC was hacked -- was -- but that the Russians only chose to release hacked-information about the Democrats. Indeed, it was this fact (fact) that helped them draw the conclusion that the Russians were actively trying to influence the election for the Republicans.
But why bother with the truth when a lie -- sorry, lies -- support you better??.
1/9/2017 10:51:47 am
KellyAnne Conway and others have now repeated the lie that the report says that the hacking had no impact. The report does say that the vote "tallies" weren't affected, but obviously that's a reference to the counting of votes. It is obviously not within the purview of any of the intelligence services to even attempt to estimate the impact of the Russian interference. But as others have pointed out, Trump spoke about leaked emails and other material on at least 164 occasions during the campaign, so clearly he thought this would have some impact. In addition, it's worth noting that neither Trump nor Conway nor, for that matter, any of the other ennablers of Trump, have any basis for asserting that the hacks had no impact. At best, there is no evidence one way or the other at this point. But given how close the vote was in key states, it's not unreasonable to assume that the hacks did have an effect. Was this alone enough to alter the outcome? We are unlikely to ever have survey or polling evidence that is compelling on this, but my gut is that, without the Russian hacks, the outcome may well have been different. More importantly, we have to wonder why Russia so favored Trump. There are certainly possible strategic reasons for Russia to have this view, but we don't know whether they view Trump as beholden to Russian interests because of his financial entanglements, since he has refused to make the necessary disclosures. That the Republican Congress is content to leave this issue alone is, simply put, disgraceful.
1/9/2017 04:20:51 pm
Don, I agree will all you say, including your last word. Disgraceful. I'll add a few things in a brief post.
Leave a Reply.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
Feedspot Badge of Honor