At least one former CIA agent thinks that a new vote in the 2016 election is the way to handle the Russian hacking scandal that has blown up in recent days. According to Robert Baer, who worked with the CIA, he thinks that Russia meddled in the election. However, it may be impossible to know how much Russia did (or didn’t) impact the results of the results. Indeed, it may be possible that a new vote, perhaps a better-monitored vote, might be the only way for America to move forward.
As AOL News reports, the former CIA agent who supports a new vote in the 2016 election believes that if any other democratic nation faced an election scandal of this magnitude, they would respond by calling for new elections to dispel concerns. And he concurs.
“I’ll tell you, having worked in the CIA, if we had been caught interfering in European elections or Asian elections or anywhere in the world, those countries would call for new elections. And any democracy would. And I just, I don’t see it any other way.”
Despite the fact that he supports the idea of a new vote in the 2016 election, former CIA agent Baer did concede that he doesn’t know how a “re-do election” would work, particularly when juxtaposed with the rules and regulations of the U.S. Constitution. Even so, he wants to see the evidence that the CIA and other organizations have collected to determine that the Russian government meddled in the 2016 election process.
“I’m deeply disturbed by the fact that the Russians interfered, and I would like to see the evidence.”
While the former CIA agent called the alleged Russian interference a “fact,” there is not a full consensus among the nation’s 17 intelligence agencies that Russian hacking/meddling, in fact, took place during the election, particularly to the extent to warrant a new vote.
Despite lacking 100 percent definitive proof of election tampering, it has been widely reported that the CIA and other government agencies gave a closed-door briefing to the POTUS and select senators in recent weeks regarding the likelihood of Russian hacking. According to their findings, the Russians meddled in the election, and they did so to help Donald Trump win. The evidence that they presented at the briefing was so compelling that, afterward, the White House announced a full investigation into the election process and Russia’s alleged hand in determining the winner.
President Obama reportedly wants the report completed before he leaves office in January. It is unlikely that an outgoing president will be able to force a new vote in the 2016 election, but at least one former CIA operative believes that it would be the best way to ensure that the results of the old vote were the will of the American people.
In addition to supporting a new 2016 vote, the former CIA agent thinks that it’s important that Electoral College electors are made aware of the CIA findings before they cast their ballots on December 19, thus (theoretically) cementing Donald Trump’s victory.
As for Donald Trump’s stance on the new CIA findings and the results of the old vote, he reportedly doesn’t give much credence to the results of the investigation by the U.S. intelligence community. As USA Today reports, the current president-elect has “showed ambivalence” toward the CIA and U.S. intelligence in general since his victory by almost totally refusing to attend intelligence briefings, which are given daily.
So far, Trump has bothered to be briefed just four times since his November 8 victory.
While at least this one former CIA agent supports a new vote, Donald Trump doesn’t seem to believe that the CIA even knows what it’s talking about. The president-elect has taken to Twitter and news channels to express his disdain for the CIA and the U.S. intelligence process that has determined he may have won because Russia lent a hand.
On social media, Trump had this to say about the CIA investigation.
His transition team also had a statement about the CIA; they didn’t mention the potential of a new vote.
“These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. ‘Make America Great Again.'”
Intelligence agencies, including the CIA, fired back against the Trump team’s adamant dismissal of the veracity of U.S. intelligence findings, reports NBC News. At least one current official called it “concerning” that the president-elect has chosen to “impugn the integrity of U.S. intelligence officials.”
While stopping short of calling for a new vote, Representative Adam Schiff, the senior Democrat of the House Intelligence Committee, had this to say about the president-elect’s bizarre and historically unprecedented dismissal of the CIA findings.
“[The integrity of the electoral process is called into question] when President-elect Trump and his transition team minimize or dismiss the intelligence assessments themselves. Even more damaging are comments that impugn the tens of thousands of Americans who are at work every day of the year, many in great physical danger, to protect us and to provide our national leadership — regardless of political party — with the best information possible.”
At this point, it is still unknown how the recent intelligence community reports may influence the 2016 election. It has been reported by the New York Times that Hillary Clinton has given her blessing to brief Electoral College electors on the results of the Russian hacking investigation. Will that lead to a new vote as one former CIA agent supports?
What do you think? Did Donald Trump win fair and square? Could Russia have swayed the electoral votes in his favor? Do you think that former CIA agent Robert Baer is correct in supporting a new vote?
[Featured Image by Andrew Harnik/AP Images]