Did Trump change his tune on Russian hacking?

Did Trump change his tune on Russian hacking?

Did Trump change his tune on Russian hacking?

President-Elect Donald Trump finally got the intelligence briefing everyone’s been waiting for. The intelligence agency big shots reported with confidence that Russia had hacked the DNC with the intent to disrupt the election.

The full unclassified report can be found here.

The agencies said they “assess Putin and the Russian Government aspired to help President-elect Trump’s election chances when possible by discrediting Secretary Clinton and publicly contrasting her unfavorably to him,” according to the report released Friday. “All three agencies agree with this judgment. CIA and FBI have high confidence in this judgment; NSA has moderate confidence.”

Trump had not been that accepting of this information until now. After his briefing he issued this statement:

“I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation.

“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 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. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful.

“Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office. The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”

So it seems that he has accepted the assessment of Russia’s involvement, but there will be no acceptance of any implication of influence. That’s a reasonable position; it would be impossible to discover whether any of the information coming out of the DNC actually influenced anyone’s vote. (And besides, it wasn’t made up fake news, so the real crime is just exposing truth). Catherine Herridge reports on the intelligence briefing (worth getting her impression of the report where she says, “You’ve got to take a lot on faith” in order to believe the conclusions):

I was already voting against Hillary, so it had no effect on me, but personally, I was hoping for much more from Wikileaks. The emails from the DNC were amusing and certainly confirmed everything we already knew about the Democrats, but they were very far from any smoking gun. Democrats seem to think the emails did a lot of damage (just take a look at the comments on the New York Times, about 100% anti-Trump) but if they did where are all the pollsters now? If that’s a question they think is sooooo obviously true, they would be citing all kinds of polls to back it up, just like all those polls on how Hillary was going to win were cited ad nauseam before Election Day. They’ve got nothing!

Trump has acquiesced on Russia’s involvement in the DNC hacking but I still have my doubts. I normally give the benefit of the doubt to our law enforcement and intelligence agencies in relying on their judgment. But their reputations have been compromised during Obama’s reign, and it is going to take a lot for me to regain the faith I have in the leaders of those agencies. James Comey made a fool out of himself this summer by overstepping his position to make a recommendation on prosecution of Hillary, and then started another kerfluffle by announcing a non-issue days before the election. DNI Clapper lied about datamining of Americans. The NSA Director, which seems to me the least political of all the big agencies, will only give this assessment moderate support. We know the agencies also have some very disgruntled employees for good reason – they aren’t being allowed to do their jobs. The intelligence analysts have been forced to rewrite and downplay various threats to make Obama look good in front of the JV team, ISIS, and the Benghazi talking points were massaged until they looked wet noodles. Finally, the fact that Obama did nothing despite knowing of hacking allegations for several months and but decided to make a big deal about it now, just goes further to show that it must not have been important until acting on it would benefit him.

Here is Julian Assange’s full interview denying that Wikileaks received any information from a Russian actor:


One thing helps to keep the situation a little lighthearted and that is the bald-faced hypocrisy of the Democrats crowing to accept the assessment of the intelligence agencies without question. These were the same people who jumped on the Bush administration for getting the intelligence wrong in Iraq, even though international allies all agreed with those assessments. Don’t you think they would have learned something from that? The only thing they learned is that sometimes all that crowing wears down the public. But they are failing to learn the bigger lesson – in the long run, those tactics lose. And that’s how you get Trump. Keep it up, and we’ll be seeing Republican control for a very long time.

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  • woot! says:

    Changing his tune?
    EVERYONE knows everyone hacks everyone!

  • Nina says:

    I don’t think he changed his tune at all. I like that he dings the DNC for getting hacked via Podesta’s idiotic P@ssw0rd but lauds RNC for their strong cyber security. And that he says voting machines weren’t tampered with.

    In fact the report in its entirety is full of probably, maybe, and points to a little known cable tv station (RT) as a big influencer. Huh?

    So the Russians made Podesta choose an idiotic password so the DNC could be hacked? Got it.

    The Russians had SO MUCH influence (via donations to a certain foundation maybe) that Hillary decided Wisconsin was a complete waste of time during her campaign? Got it.

    The Russians had SO MUCH influence that Hillary’s only campaign choices from early August to mid-September were mega dollar fundraisers at billionaire mansions?

    Wow. They. Are. Good.

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