America’s top lawmakers were given a secret CIA briefing that declares that Russia interfered in this year’s presidential elections on behalf of Republican nominee Donald Trump against Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton. Tonight’s revelatory news comes hot on the heels of President Obama’s announcement that he will assemble a complete intelligence report about Russian hacking and propaganda activities today. The Washington Post reports:
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. “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,” said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. “That’s the consensus view.”
Intelligence agencies have identified individuals with connections to the Russian government who provided WikiLeaks with thousands of hacked emails from the Democratic National Committee and others, including Hillary Clinton’s campaign chairman, according to U.S. officials. Those officials described the individuals as actors known to the intelligence community and part of a wider Russian operation to boost Trump and hurt Clinton’s chances.
Only a week after the election, the head of the secretive NSA gave a very public interview to the Wall Street Journal where he tacitly indicated that Russia helped Donald Trump. Tonight’s revelation that the CIA believes Donald Trump was a direct recipient of aid intended to assist his Republican campaign for the presidency goes beyond the NSA’s coy admission and well beyond pre-election intelligence reports in identifying the reason for the blizzard of hacked emails.
In October, seventeen federal intelligence agencies released a brief saying that Russia was openly interfering in this year’s elections and that the orders came from the highest levels of their government, i.e. from dictator Vladimir Putin. Tonight’s report that Putin favored Trump isn’t surprising to anyone following the story of this year’s elections, where the Republican denied having a relationship with the Russian dictator even though he told MSNBC the opposite in 2013.
On the eve of the election, three bombshell reports emerged – that Trump had a secret server to communicate with Russia, that a Western intelligence official provided a major dossier to the FBI which was being investigated, and the FBI leaked that it had been investigating Trump. At the end of last month, Vice News reported an unusual receipt of “the Glomar Response” when asking the FBI if it was investigating Donald Trump. It’s extremely rare for the FBI to use that kind of response.
That’s a special kind of refusal to confirm or deny information notice which uses a national security exemption generally believed to expose that something secret is in fact happening at a federal agency..
Throughout this year’s presidential contest, Donald Trump cuddled up closely to Russia and its strongman leader in ways undreamt of by any American politician. Founding father Alexander Hamilton intended the Electoral College to be a circuit breaker, to keep foreign agents from becoming “ascendant in our counsels” by corrupting an American president.
It’s about time that the true nature of Trump’s deception and lies, and his reception of a massive information warfare campaign from the Kremlin gets fully revealed before the Electoral College meets to cast their votes.
Watch Donald Trump beg Russia to hack his opponents’ emails and lie about knowing Vladimir Putin:
Watch Trump say emphatically, twice, that he has a relationship with Vladimir Putin in 2013 to MSNBC’s Thomas A. Roberts:
Grant Stern is an Editor-At-Large for OccupyDemocrats and published author. His new Meet the Candidates 2020 book series is distributed by Simon and Schuster. He's also mortgage broker, community activist and radio personality in Miami, Florida., as well as the producer of the Dworkin Report podcast. Grant is also an occasional contributor to Raw Story, Alternet, and the DC Report. Find out more at grantstern.com.