Political Editors / Jan. 6, 2017

Hacking Trump’s Election

Putin and Assange are not our friends, and they’re really helping Democrats.

Let’s get this straight — if anything related to illegal email activities impacted the 2016 election, it was the Benghazi investigation discovery of Hillary Clinton’s illegal email subterfuge — her endeavor to conceal her official communications from the public record by maintaining all those communications on an insecure private email server. That discovery fomented the greatest amount of distrust among her constituents, given her well-established record as a congenital liar. That’s the 800lb. — make that 8,000lb. — gorilla in the room Democrats and the Leftmedia ignore as they scramble to delegitimize Donald Trump’s election with stories of Russian hacking influence on the election.

James Clapper, Barack Obama’s outgoing Director of National Intelligence, testified before a Senate committee Thursday about alleged Russian hacking. “I don’t think that we have ever encountered a more aggressive or direct campaign to interfere in our election process,” Clapper said. And it went all the way to the Kremlin, he asserted: “We assess that only Russia’s senior-most officials could have authorized the recent election-focused data thefts and disclosures, based on the scope and sensitivity of the targets.” According to CBS, “Clapper reiterated the Obama administration’s public accusation that Moscow orchestrated the computer attacks that hit the Democratic Party and Hillary Clinton campaign operatives, leading to a WikiLeaks dump of embarrassing internal emails that ousted top Democratic National Committee leaders and destabilized Clinton’s campaign in the final months.”

So, if Clapper’s assessment is correct, one may fairly conclude that making the communications of key Democrat operatives transparent, including those of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta, former DNC chief Debbie Wasserman Schultz and her replacement, former DNC chief Donna Brazile, hurt Clinton’s campaign. One think Clapper did not make clear is when they first suspected Russian hacks of these email accounts – most likely long before they were posted by WikiLeaks and other groups.

But even then, the Leftmedia is just reframing what Clapper and other intelligence officials actually said. Clapper told Congress that suspected Russian hacking “did not change any vote tallies or anything of that sort,” adding that “there’s no way for us to gauge” whether the hacking affected voters’ choices. That won’t stop the narrative that the Russians wanted to help Donald Trump win. Never mind that the hacks occurred before he became the GOP nominee.

In fact, the most logical explanation for Russian surrogate hacker involvement is that they, and the groups that were publicly posting these communications, were seeking revenge for the Democrats’ efforts to subvert the campaign of their presidential candidate favorite, socialist Bernie Sanders. Further, let me assure you that the Russians and Chinese, and numerous other governments, access and read insecure email between Democrat and Republican leaders, 24/7.

Naturally, Trump is intensely skeptical of any accusation or insinuation that his election was unfair or unduly influenced, and as is his custom, he’s taken to Twitter to heckle the intelligence community for it.

But Caveat Emptor! Republicans should avoid embracing the subversive activities of Vladimir Putin and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks. One is the cold-blooded ruler of our geopolitical rival — a man whose journalistic critics and political opponents often end up dead. The other is what House Speaker Paul Ryan called a “sycophant for Russia” — a subversive leaker of classified information who doesn’t think twice about putting lives at risk. Neither is a friend of the United States or Liberty, and neither has our nation’s interests at heart. Whatever they’ve done has been for their own ends. And those ends include helping Democrats delegitimize the incoming U.S. president.

(Revised and updated.)

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