The Washington Post reports tonight that the CIA has concluded in a secret assessment that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help Donald Trump win the presidency, rather than just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, according to officials briefed on the matter.
In other words, their hacking of e-mails, their feeding Wikileaks, had nothing to do with an attempt to muddy the waters and make Americans suspicious of our electoral process. It was an overt attempt to hand the Presidency to Donald Trump.
Even worse, the bi-partisan “Gang of 12” — a group that includes House and Senate leaders, as well as the chairmen and ranking members of both chambers’ committees on intelligence and homeland security, was briefed on these CIA findings in September.
In a secure room in the Capitol used for briefings involving classified information, administration officials broadly laid out the evidence U.S. spy agencies had collected, showing Russia’s role in cyber-intrusions in at least two states and in hacking the emails of the Democratic organizations and individuals.
And they made a case for a united, bipartisan front in response to what one official described as “the threat posed by unprecedented meddling by a foreign power in our election process.”
The Democratic leaders in the room unanimously agreed on the need to take the threat seriously. Republicans, however, were divided, with at least two GOP lawmakers reluctant to accede to the White House requests.
According to several officials, McConnell raised doubts about the underlying intelligence and made clear to the administration that he would consider any effort by the White House to challenge the Russians publicly an act of partisan politics.
Some of the Republicans in the briefing also seemed opposed to the idea of going public with such explosive allegations in the final stages of an election, a move that they argued would only rattle public confidence and play into Moscow’s hands.
Sen. McConnell was worried about an effort by the White House to appear as if they were invoking Russia to influence voters. Sen. McConnell had no problem, you may recall, with FBI Director Comey raising an alarm about e-mails found on Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s laptop computer — something known about for some time before being released eight days before the election. You might also recall that those e-mails turned out to contain nothing of interest involving Hillary Clinton’s use of a private server during her tenure as Secretary of State.
Also, now that the election has been handed to Donald Trump, the President-elect has rewarded McConnell by making his wife the Secretary of Transportation.
What should be done about this? What can be done about this? Democrats in the Gang of 12 favored making the info available to the public. Republicans were against making the info public at the same time as they were hawking the Wikileaked e-mails of Clinton campaign manager John Podesta.
The fair thing to do would be to declare this election null and void. Declare a national emergency. Appoint a neutral caretaker government to keep things running. Hold a new election. Never mind waiting until 2020. Given Trump’s mercurial performance to date, we might not have a Republic in 2020.
It is an extraordinary thing to know that our former moral enemy has rigged the election to hand the power of Commander-in-Chief to a man who has no idea how to do the job. It will require extraordinary measures to fix this problem before it becomes a national tragedy that tears this nation apart once and for all.
There must be some way to keep Russia from handing the highest office in our nation to their stooge, Donald J. Trump. It’s up to the brightest bulbs in the marquee of freedom to figure out a way to save our nation from becoming a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vladimir Putin.