Over the last few days, disturbing news regarding the potential involvement of the Russian government in the election of Donald Trump has been brought to light by the CIA. However, Hillary Clinton warned Americans months ago about the possibility.
During the third presidential debate, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump squared off for the final time leading up to Election Day. Ultimately, Donald Trump pulled off an Electoral College win (despite losing the popular vote by millions of ballots), and since his victory, there have been numerous questions about Russian involvement in the election process.
According to the CIA, Russian involvement was deliberately designed to help Donald Trump win.
As PoliticusUSA reports, Hillary Clinton said that very thing while debating Trump for the last time. She accused Russia of helping propel him to victory, and she called on Donald Trump to rebuke Putin and the Russians for their alleged involvement in the 2016 election cycle. Donald Trump refused, and despite multiple reports that the CIA has uncovered credible evidence that Russia manipulated the election, he is still refusing to condemn Russia or even concede that the CIA is — or, at least, could be — correct.
Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
Donald even insinuated that the CIA is incapable of determining who was behind a hack, even through investigation, while asking why the issue wasn’t brought up before the election.
Unless you catch "hackers" in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn't this brought up before election?— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) December 12, 2016
Unfortunately for Trump, Hillary Clinton did bring it up. She brought it up directly to Donald Trump — even called him a “puppet” for Putin — during the third debate. Check out the exchange in which Clinton calls out alleged Russian hacking of the election and calls on Donald Trump to stand against the affront to the sovereignty of the American presidential election.
During the debate, Hillary asked point-blank for Donald Trump to condemn the alleged Russian hacking and to tell the American people that Putin wouldn’t help him get into the White House. Trump responded by evading Clinton’s statements and addressing “open borders” instead.
“Will Donald Trump admit and condemn that the Russians are doing this and make it clear that he will not have the help of Putin in in this election, that he rejects Russian espionage against Americans, which he actually encouraged in the past?”
When Hillary Clinton said that Trump would be Putin’s puppet if elected POTUS, he responded, “You’re the puppet.”
During the third debate, (a debate that CNN reported Hillary Clinton won), Donald Trump never acknowledged that Russia might be playing a role in the U.S. election. He certainly never called out Putin or admitted the possibility that Russian hackers could be helping him win, despite Hillary asking him to do both.
But win (the electoral college) he did.
During the third debate, HRC spoke at length about Russia and Wikileaks and how Putin was having a hand in this election. This. Isn't. News.— TiaS (@EbonyShiksa) December 10, 2016
"6. Is Russia behind the leaks?— Kevin Kinkade (@PsychoMortician) December 12, 2016
Despite Hillary stating at the third debate that 17 intelligence agencies... https://t.co/mOatcxHdNt
I think Trump's ego couldn't accept that Russia wanted a "puppet" as HRC pointed out in the third debate. Hence his denials. https://t.co/D9qLxXyPwW— Stephen Robinson (@SER1897) December 12, 2016
Trump slams CIA intelligence that Russia influenced election, yet refused to say he would accept election results in third debate ????— Drew Hamilton (@DrewHamilton1) December 10, 2016
U.S. investigators know the people connected with the Russian government who released the DNC’s emails to Wikileaks.— Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 10, 2016
Were you at the third presidential debate by any chance? Someone mentioned it then. https://t.co/Z40t4nziOn— Jon Rosenberg™ (@jonrosenberg) December 12, 2016
Fast forward to December 9, just a little over a month after Election Day. That was when the White House announced that President Barack Obama has launched a “full investigation” into Russian hacking activities leading up to the 2016 presidential election, even as far back as the 2008 election.
“The President has directed the Intelligence Community to conduct a full review of what happened during the 2016 election process. It is to capture lessons learned from that and to report to a range of stakeholders. This is consistent with the work that we did over the summer to engage Congress on the threats that we were seeing.”
What’s more, Obama is demanding the investigation be completed quickly, and he reportedly expects a full report prior to leaving office in January.
The White House announcement comes following a closed-door briefing that reportedly took place over a week ago. In that briefing, the CIA and other intelligence agencies reported to the POTUS and select senators that the consensus is that Russia did, in fact, meddle in the 2016 general election. What’s more, the intelligence community largely (though not unanimously) believes that Russia interfered in the election to keep Hillary Clinton out of the White House and help Donald Trump get in.
“It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected That’s the consensus view.”
As the New York Times reports, even Republican senators are now wary of the way Donald Trump secured his presidential victory. Republican Senator (and former presidential candidate) John McCain appeared on CBS This Morning on Monday, calling for a Senate investigation into the alleged Russian election hacking. He said that there is “no doubt about the hacking,” even going so far as to call Russia’s meddling “another form of warfare.”
The Electoral College is also jumping on board the Donald Trump Russian hacking bandwagon. Just a week before they are slated to cast their official votes for POTUS and confirm the Donald Trump win, 10 electors have called for their own intelligence briefing regarding Donald Trump and what Russia allegedly did to help put him in the White House.
“We intend to discharge our duties as electors by ensuring that we select a candidate for president who, as our founding fathers envisioned, would be ‘endowed with the requisite qualifications.’ As electors, we also believe that deliberation is at the heart of democracy itself, not an empty or formalistic task. We do not understand our sole function to be to convene in mid-December, several weeks after Election Day, and summarily cast our votes.”
Reportedly, Hillary Clinton is on board with giving electors their requested intelligence briefing.
As the fallout from the Russian hacking scandal continues to grow, Donald Trump continues to deny that Russia had any part in the U.S. election process, something that is reportedly worrisome to intelligence officials.
Regardless of how the hacking scandal plays out, Hillary Clinton called it two months ago. And she did so publicly, at a presidential debate watched by 71.6 million viewers (not counting those who streamed it online).
What do you think? Should the CIA leave this alone and let the Trump transition take place smoothly, regardless of what kind of hacking may have occurred during the election? Do you believe that Hillary Clinton was correct during the third debate and that Russia helped propel Donald Trump to victory? Let us know in the comments below.
[Featured Image by David Goldman/AP Images]