Tag Archives: Russian election attack

Trump reaction to intelligence on Russian attack appears highly instructive

If you’re the president of the United States and your intelligence gurus give you information about a hostile foreign power’s effort to undermine our electoral system, you would want to blow the whistle on the foreign power. Isn’t that right?

Not if you’re Donald John Trump, the current president.

He wants to keep it secret. He didn’t want Congress to know about a report from the intelligence community that Russia had launched another attack on our election. Trump was so adamant about keeping it secret that he fired the acting director of national intelligence, Joseph Maguire, because he had the nerve to spill the beans to congressional overseers that Russians are working to help Trump win re-election.

Nope, can’t do that, Joe. Trump then brought in a fierce loyalist, Richard Grennell, to become the new acting DNI. Grennell is going to do Trump’s bidding.

This is all being reported with extreme credibility by The New York Times.

Donald Trump is demonstrating to us all yet again how fundamentally dangerous he is as the president. He wants to obstruct Congress from knowing this information not because of any concern over the integrity of the electoral system. Oh no. His reason is because he fears that congressional Democrats are going to use this information against him as he campaigns for re-election.

How many ways does this guy have to demonstrate that he is interested only in his own political backside? How many times does he have to show that he cares next to nothing about protecting our political institutions against foreign interference?

How many times does he have to violate his oath of office in order for Republicans in Congress to become as enraged at this guy’s conduct as the rest of us?

I have to say it again, with gusto: Donald Trump is not fit to serve as president of the United States. The nation needs for him to lose the next election. The nation needs as well to be protected from this guy’s abuse of power.

Donald John Trump is an existential threat to all the values we cherish as a nation.

Election security becomes a highly critical ‘back story’

An essential element of the impeachment and Senate trial of Donald John Trump, the current president of the United States, is being pushed toward the back of the proverbial shelf.

I refer to election security. Specifically, the security of our sacred rite of citizenship against foreign interference.

You know the story. Russia attacked our electoral system in 2016, the same day that Donald Trump invited the Russians to look for the “missing emails” produced by former Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton, who was Trump’s presidential campaign foe that year.

Then the president, immediately after Robert Mueller III released his findings into a two-year-long investigation into the Russia hack and interference, placed a phone call to Ukrainian President Volodyrmyr Zellenskiy. He asked Zellenskiy for a “favor,” which was to launch an investigation into Joe Biden, a potential foe for Trump in 2020. Yes, the president asked a foreign government for political help. He wants to “cheat” his way to re-election.

How in the name of cybersecurity can we stand by and let this happen?

I am acutely aware that government cyber geeks are hard at work trying to provide fool-proof locks against this kind of intrusion. What troubles me in the extreme is that the individuals at the highest levels of our government are stone-cold silent on this matter.

Donald Trump, the intended beneficiary of the 2016 Russian election attack, continues to dismiss the interference. He disparages intelligence analyses that says, “Yes, the Russians did it!” He calls that phone call to Zellenskiy “perfect.”

It was “perfect” only insofar as he delivered a clearly defined message to a foreign head of state. He wanted a “favor” and asked that government to attack our electoral system — again! 

What measures are we taking to protect our election system throughout its massive network?

Russian attack should ‘concern … every American’

Robert Mueller III’s testimony today before two congressional committees was full of signature moments that have drawn analyses and commentary from individuals who are a lot smarter than I am.

Still, I want to offer this brief perspective on a statement that jumped out at me. It wasn’t an original thought that Mueller offered today, but was a repeat of his the final words of his nine-minute presentation this past May.

He said today as he said then that the Russian attack on our electoral system in 2016 should be of “concern for every American.”

Every American! That means you, too, Donald John Trump.

The attack, though, does not seem to “concern” the president of the United States. It certainly should concern him.

Mueller today told the nation — and the world! — that the Russian attack was “sweeping and systematic,” which, again, was what he said in his 448-page report. He told House Judiciary and Intelligence committees the same thing today.

How in the name of national security does one persuade the president that “every American” includes the man elected to lead that nation. He is the man who benefited directly from Russian efforts to influence the 2016 election outcome. He is the man who should be horrified at the prospect that our sacred electoral system is vulnerable to the kind of attack that the Russians launched — and are, in Mueller’s words, doing so “at this moment.”

Trump, though, is not acting like someone who shares the concern of Mueller, not to mention many millions of Americans.

How is it that Donald Trump and his political base of loyalists can justify their looking askance at what amounts — at some level — to an act of war against our political system?