Intelligence officials have warned lawmakers that Russia is interfering in the 2020 election campaign to help President Trump get reelected, according to three officials familiar with the closed-door briefing.
The officials, who asked for anonymity to discuss sensitive intelligence, said Thursday that the briefing last week focused on Russia’s efforts to influence the 2020 election and sow discord in the American electorate. The intelligence warning was first reported by the New York Times and the Washington Post.
A senior administration official told the Associated Press that the news infuriated Trump, who complained that Democrats would use the information against him. Throughout his presidency, Trump has dismissed the intelligence community’s assessment of Russia’s 2016 election interference as a conspiracy to undermine his victory. The official spoke on the condition of anonymity to describe the private meeting.
A day after the Feb. 13 briefing to the House committee, Trump berated the then-director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, and he announced this week that Richard Grenell, a Trump loyalist would replace Maguire.
Moscow denied any meddling. Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov said Friday that the allegations are “paranoid reports that, unfortunately, there will be more and more of as we get closer to the elections [in the U.S.]. Of course, they have nothing to do with the truth.”
House Speaker Nancy Pelosi tweeted, “American voters should decide American elections — not Vladimir Putin.” She added that all members of Congress “should condemn the President’s reported efforts to dismiss threats to the integrity of our democracy & to politicize our intel community.”
Wait: there’s more Russian U.S. election interference underway at the same time!
Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) on Friday, Feb. 21, acknowledged that U.S. intelligence officials briefed him about Russian attempts to interfere in the Democratic primary race to help his campaign, reported the Washington Post.
According to the Post, President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers have also been informed of the Russian attempts. Sanders, in a statement to the press, disavowed the alleged interference from Kremlin to help him win the 2020 election.
“I don’t care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president,” Sanders said. “My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president, I will make sure that you do.”
“In 2016, Russia used internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020. Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters,” he added.
Uh Oh! Bernie has made one fatal mistake: he has burst into a significant lead in the Democrat push to win the White House. And Bernie’s not the hand-picked Democrat the Democrat Party machine has chosen to assume the role of the “next” Barack Obama.
So what happens now that has happened? The Russians always get involved in whatever election is coming up!
The same thing that happens every four years! There is plenty of history to support the theory of Democrat Party leadership, pulling out the stops to use everything in their arsenal to beat whoever is their “chief election nemesis of the day.” They used it in 2016. They didn’t win the White House for Hillary, but their efforts resulted in a three-year, $40 million investigation of President Trump’s campaign because “sources said” Trump was colluding with Vladimir. He wasn’t. Trump won.
Are they at it again, or is Russia a real election-tampering threat?
Let’s break that down:
- “Intelligence sources” briefed members of Intelligence committees on methods that Russia used to throw the 2016 election to Trump. That’s according to Democrats who were in the room when those briefings were held.
- Democrat after Democrat and even some Republicans stated again and again, “There is uncontroverted proof that Russia attempted to impact the 2016 election.”
- Interim Attorney General Rod Rosenstein informed Congress and the world after a DOJ investigation that “any outside election influence impacted not a single vote in 2016 by Russia or anyone else.”
Wait a minute! Everybody declared emphatically that the Russians elected Mr. Trump. And evidence they have proved the Russian meddling gave Trump the win.
What did they do? What did their efforts change? How many votes were impacted? How did Russians change those votes?
I’ll venture a guess: Russian influence in the 2016 election was two-fold: buying Facebook ads that ran pro-Trump online ads. They, too, bought Facebook anti-Hillary ads to denigrate the former Secretary of State. Those ads influenced 63 million voters to choose Donald Trump over Hillary Clinton.
IT DID NOT HAPPEN!
I have asked and asked for this: If there have been attempts by Russia or any other foreign country to impact the results of our elections directly, Americans should have those facts presented to us. That the intelligence agencies feel it is their job to deal with that information — if it ever happened secretly. It’s disingenuous for them to “say” something’s right and not “prove” it’s right to Americans.
Until they present evidence proving otherwise, I don’t believe any election hacking has taken place.
How would that actually play out anyway? Remember this: there is no national U.S. network system in which federal elections are handled. Election voting is dealt with in total by the individual states. That means there are systems for each of the 50 states, one for Washington D.C., Puerto Rico, and several territories. Each is separate with no internet connections and no way to coordinate in any way. Voting methods and even types of voting machines vary from state to state. If Russia was successful at getting into a voting machine, it not being connected to all other machines would fail any election hacking attempt.
But there IS election coordination. Where does it originate and who is responsible? Who stands to gain if it is even possible to change outcomes of federal elections?
The “Rest of the Story”
Anytime in politics, you question sources and methods for controversies, you can find the answers fairly easily. Do so from the bottom up. “Hmmm. What does that mean?”
Assume for a moment Russia really wishes to impact U.S. elections. “If” they are doing so, they must have a purpose and also the desired result. The first thought of most Americans is, “They want Donald Trump to win because he will go easier on Russia than any other candidate.”
In 2016, almost every Democrat preached that Putin was helping Trump beat Hillary because he was in Putin’s pocket. Their conspiracy has been soundly debunked. No other American President has been tougher on Putin and Russia than has Trump — economically and politically. Think about it: Trump rebuilt the U.S. military putting it back in the #1 international spot. Putin certainly wouldn’t want that to happen. He and Russia would have been far better with Hillary at the helm. She would have continued Obama’s track of “defanging” our military.
For the 2020 election, would Putin build a platform under Bernie Sanders? That seems more likely than a platform for Trump for the same reasons as that 2016 picture we just looked at — not because Bernie would do Russia any good but because Trump who is so tough on Russia would be unable to do anything further to hurt Russia.
Conclusion: other than the same social media ad campaigns by Russia in 2016’s election, Russia’s not helping Bernie OR Donald in 2020!
With both conspiracy theories in the American marketplace at the same time, what is happening regarding election interference by Russia? Russia doesn’t care. They want confusion in the electorate that causes distrust in the U.S. election system. Think about it: if the Russians can cause Americans to no longer trust the fidelity of the election system, Americans will always question if who in the White House was truly elected.
“Trust in Leadership” is something Putin never experienced from the Russian people. He knows how tough it is to govern with that cloud of doubt always overhead. He licks his chops to think of the chaos in our Republic that Americans just thought we controlled. Anytime we think there’s cheating in a U.S. election, Russia wins.
The bottom-line in all this is we don’t know if any nation is after our election process other than for typical reasons that have existed for decades. Nor do we know who is doing it if it’s happening.
There’s only one unanswered question in this puzzle: Why then would these stories be leaked in 2016 and 2020 if there’s no real opportunity for anyone to hack our election system?
Answer: someone DOES stand to win, and win big, no matter who wins or who loses the 2020 presidential election: The U.S. Mainstream Media!
The “Chaos” Culprits
Who needs chaos in elections as much as the Media? Look at what happened before, during, and since the 2016 election of Donald Trump. The Lamestream Media have had a field day in the news. Hardly a day goes by in which they are not lambasting President Trump or someone in his administration. There is a “Trump story of the day.” And those stories are always negative.
What could be better for the Media than to have the ability to sow seeds of contempt to drive a wedge of political divisiveness between conservatives and liberals? That gives mediocre networks and newspapers fuel for stories that might return to them whatever glory in reporting they had before Obama came to D.C. THEY HAVE NO CREDIBILITY!
We previously revealed the private news website operated by a group of major liberal news journalists that can be accessed by only other journalists. They have coordinated news stories. An everyday leaked tidbit of Russia news each day locks-in readers, listeners, and viewers. With that comes ratings that consistently surpass any they had in the past.
What’s their objective? MONEY! But not only money — control of what people think about the U.S. political system.
That may be the most critical result of all. Think about it: if the Media can convince a majority of the population something that is NOT true IS true, it makes it easier to sell to that public that something is evil. Those conspiracy thoughts grow. And with that growing audience comes the windfalls of larger audiences along with money, respect, and power over Americans.
“Information begats Power.”
Hitler knew that, Stalin knew that, Mussolini knew that, Mao knew that, Democrats KNOW that, and Vladimir Putin certainly KNOWS that.
I’ll end with this: do you know who in the United States (besides media moguls) knows that? Donald Trump. And he knows how to use it to his benefit.
Am I the only one to ever consider this scenario as “the” obvious explanation for why U.S. intelligence specialists would, in the same week, report to the President that Russia was tampering with the 2020 election for HIS benefit and then tell Bernie Sanders the Russians were tampering on HIS behalf?
Puzzle it through: it certainly makes 2+2=4, in this case, a plausible conclusion!