The Senate Intelligence Committee released a new analysis today – the committee is still controlled by Republicans and this has the feel of a “bad news dump on a Tuesday that half the world is planning their holiday” – in which the committee agreed with reports issued by the intelligence community that President Vladimir Putin personally approved Russian meddling in the 2016 election. The Committee also stated that Russia’s influence campaign was designed to help Donald Trump win.
This contradicts this House finding that – of course – though Russia meddled, they didn’t mean to help anyone, even though the evidence is quite clear that Russia acted on Trump’s behalf. Indeed there’s no question that the Russian government, through spies, held a meeting with the Trump campaign at Trump Tower in June of 2016. Though the Trump campaign maintains the meeting was entirely innocent, it says a great deal to me that the all upper echelon campaign managers attended the meeting, but the candidate did not. There is only one reason to keep the candidate out of the meeting, and that is protection from something you suspect is wrong.
The text of the new analysis – brought by Rawstory – reads:
“We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the U.S . presidential election. Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump,”
Trump will do one of two things. Either he will ignore the report entirely, or somehow characterize it as the product of people out to get him personally, since “everyone knows that collusion is a hoax.”
Well, it is nice to have that assessment out prior to Trump winging off to meet his teammate and likely boss.
Oh, it is also nice to see the noose tighten, ever so slightly, day by day, the plan becomes more clear, or at least more official. All predicate steps needed to rid ourselves of this conflicted nightmare forever.
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