On Friday, President-elect Donald Trump was fully briefed by the heads of the nation’s U.S. Intelligence community (which he’s a “big fan” of, by the way, loves the show 24 but the old one not so much, just the new one with the Black guy.) After receiving all the information and sitting down to carefully deliberate the ramifications of the report with his national security team, Trump released 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.
In his astounding statement, Trump managed to elevate the term “muddying the waters” to a whole new art form. By mentioning Russia and including other countries and “suspects,” as though it’s unclear who was behind the cyberattack, Trump has crossed a dangerous line.
Never has there been a more clear example of a president or future president’s concern for his image and reputation over the safety and security of the country he’s tasked to safeguard. Trump’s petty vindictiveness shines through as he takes a cheap shot at the Democratic National Committee, by implying that the Republican National Committee had “strong hacking defenses” as opposed to the DNC.
Trump continued this narrative later Friday night when he tweeted:
Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017
The truth is that both the DNC and RNC’s computers were successfully hacked according to the declassified public intelligence report, however, the Russians only elected to release the DNC’s information. It’s unclear what their intentions are regarding the information they obtained from the RNC’s servers.
On Friday night, MSNBC’s Rachel Maddow did not mince words, saying that Trump, “blatantly, and overtly, bluntly, simply lied about what is in the report.”
He put out a written statement about what he learned in the briefing. And he blatantly, and overtly, bluntly, simply lied about what is in this report. Right before this report got publicly released so we could check ourselves and see that he was lying.”
Maddow added that she doesn’t normally “get weirded out” by events in the news but “this puts a shiver down my spine.”
And she’s right to fill that sense of unease; it’s one thing to discuss the possibility of Trump lying directly to the American people about matters of national security, but it’s another thing entirely when that mistrust is confirmed. Donald Trump continues to put the U.S. in danger and is willing to weaken its national security through his pointless “reforms” so that he can preserve his eggshell ego. At this rate, Trump will either be tried for treason, or impeached for incompetence, before his term is over.
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