President-elect Donald Trump and his transition team made it abundantly clear on Friday evening that they have no interest whatsoever in taking seriously the CIA’s stunning report that Russia interfered in the U.S. election in Trump’s favor.
The CIA report became public early this past Friday, a report revealing to the nation that the intelligence agency had found concrete, specific evidence that certain ranking members of the Russian government had worked to influence the results of the U.S. presidential election.
These Russian government officials, according to the CIA, hacked into and stole files from American political interests such as the Democratic National Committee, leaking the documents to the long controversial organization Wikileaks — all with the explicit purpose of propagating a smear campaign against Hillary Clinton’s bid for the presidency.
After all, there was never any doubt throughout the months leading up to election day that Trump, if elected, would be much, much more willing and ready than Hillary Clinton to suck up to Russian interests.
So how did Trump respond to this controversy sparked by the Friday news from the CIA? Sure, it hurts his standing as an already controversial president-elect, but surely Trump is at least remotely interested in upholding American democracy, to the point of being willing to acknowledge the investigation into Russia’s interference in the election as serious?
Trump responded with the following statement, released to the media by his transition team, and speaking of the CIA:
‘These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and “Make America Great Again.”‘
Trump team releases statement on claims of foreign interference in US election: pic.twitter.com/uZQizVoxa6
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) December 10, 2016
No, Donald, just no. You know what else ended a “long time ago”? Saddam Hussein. Saddam Hussein is dead, having been held accountable for his crimes.
And as a matter of fact, it wasn’t the CIA who ever said he had weapons of mass destruction in the first place, thus prompting the Iraq War. Rather, that was members of the Bush administration such as former Vice President Dick Cheney.
If Trump and his inner circle won’t take this issue seriously, what else will they refuse to take seriously?
A historically hostile foreign government has literally just been found to have made a significant — and successful — attempt to influence the organization of the American government, molding it according to its liking.
Yet, the best the Trump team can do to respond to that is to re-vomit up its campaign slogan, adding in a false, hyperbolic claim about the size of Trump’s win in the process. Trump definitely seems to have an almost pathologically egocentric obsession with size. If you recall, he was at the center of a rather surprising discussion about male anatomy during the Republican presidential primary season.
Seriously, however, Trump’s inability to take the issue of Russia meddling in the U.S. election seriously does not bode well for how effectively he will deal with any of the even more serious threats that may face the United States while Trump serves as president for the next 4 years.
Featured Image via Drew Angerer/ Getty Images