The Smoking Gun: Putin’s Specific Instructions for Active Measures Against the United States During the 2016 Presidential Election

The Washington Post reports (emphasis mine):

The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

Specifically:

Early last August, an envelope with extraordinary handling restrictions arrived at the White House. Sent by courier from the CIA, it carried “eyes only” instructions that its contents be shown to just four people: President Barack Obama and three senior aides.

The White House debated various options to punish Russia, but facing obstacles and potential risks, it ultimately failed to exact a heavy toll on the Kremlin for its election interference.

But it went further. The intelligence captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation’s audacious objectives — defeat or at least damage the Democratic nominee, Hillary Clinton, and help elect her opponent, Donald Trump.

At that point, the outlines of the Russian assault on the U.S. election were increasingly apparent. Hackers with ties to Russian intelligence services had been rummaging through Democratic Party computer networks, as well as some Republican systems, for more than a year. In July, the FBI had opened an investigation of contacts between Russian officials and Trump associates. And on July 22, nearly 20,000 emails stolen from the Democratic National Committee were dumped online by WikiLeaks.

Miller, Nakashima, and Entous’s excellent, detailed reporting now tells us exactly what Putin’s guidance to his subordinates was. It also tells us what his strategic objective was: to elect Donald Trump to the presidency of the United States. It is important to be very, very, very clear here about what this reporting tells us. It confirms that not only did Putin order active measures against the United States, specifically during the 2016 presidential election. He did so specifically to damage Secretary Clinton and elect President Trump.  As I wrote in July 2016 we are at (cyber) war. And again in March 2017 – we are at war. The only question now is what do we do about it?

ETA at 1:05 PM EDT

The US government has specific actionable intelligence, that is assessed to be of high confidence, that a hostile foreign power has attacked and continues to attack the United States for its own ends. This is a national security problem. And every part of the solution, including election system reforms, need to be understood within the discussion national security responses and solutions to the threat we face.

238 replies
  1. 1
    Corner Stone says:

    YYYEEEAAAARRRGGGHHH!!!

  2. 2
    Immanentize says:

    I say we ignore this and argue about Nancy Pelosi.

  3. 3
    germy says:

    good lord, how will oliver stone spin this?

    Oh wait, I know. The same way herrdrumpf will spin it. “fake news”

  4. 4
    Mnemosyne says:

    My one big fear — and it was probably Obama’s fear as well — is that this is a fake document, or can be presented as fake, like the Bush National Guard letters that had real information but were not originals.

    If the Republicans can convince the media that this is a fake, or at least doubtful, then we’re totally fucked.

  5. 5
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    As I wrote in July 2016 we are at (cyber) war. And again in March 2017 – we are at war. The only question now is what do we do about it?

    Absolutely nothing. Nothing will happen. Putin could be caught planting a bomb at the new World Trade Center tower and Trump would let him go. They’re besties.

    Cue tweet defending Putin in 3..2..1..

  6. 6
    rikyrah says:

    Don’t want to hear anything about what 44 should have done.

    I’ve said it before…44’s flaw has always been that he’s a good, decent LOYAL AMERICAN.

    REMEMBER THIS..

    He went to the ZEGK and Turtle and requested that they show a JOINT FORCE against hostile forces attacking American sovereignty.,

    THEY PHUCKING REFUSED.

    THEY CHOSE NOT TO.

    BECAUSE THEY ARE TRAITORS TO THIS COUNTRY.

    And, don’t even pretend that the Democrats would have backed up 44.

    Harry Reid? Yes.

    And, a handful of others, sure.

    But, the purity ponies.
    The professional left?

    GTFOH.

    Nope.

    So, there would have been 44 out there….by himself, with few others..

    the MSM up HIllary’s emails azz, not willing to cover the story, taking the Turtles and the right-wing claims that it’s not true…

    Phuck outta here on what 44 coulda shoulda done.

    The CIA got the information to the right folks – the FBI.

    And, they phucked it up.

    PS-Something that came to me…these breaches were voter purges. We thought that they came from good old Voter ID voter suppression. I no longer believe that. I believe that these voters were purged from Russia.Yep. You can’t do it in a state that isn’t close. But one that is close and has Voter ID for reasonable cover? Yes

  7. 7
    Boussinesque says:

    Holy shit. I really wish there was some mechanism in our government to call a new election, given how completely tainted this last one is. And oh yeah, all those people saying that the Russia thing was just sour grapes to excuse a loss by the Hillbeast? They need to shut the fuck up right now, forever.

  8. 8
    cervantes says:

    I’ll tell you what we do about it — nothing. Because the beneficiaries of the crime are now in power. And I’m pretty sure that if the Dems ever do win again, they’ll be looking forward, not backward.

  9. 9
    Mnemosyne says:

    Also, I have to say, this is one hell of a Friday news dump.

  10. 10
    JPL says:

    According to the article, the cyber operation that was ordered by President Obama is continuing.

    U.S. intelligence agencies do not need further approval from Trump, and officials said that he would have to issue a countermanding order to stop it. The officials said that they have seen no indication that Trump has done so.

    This weekend’s tweets should be interesting.

  11. 11
    Boussinesque says:

    @rikyrah: dropping truth bombs like it’s going out of style. Preach it!

  12. 12
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Boussinesque: Its just FAKE NEWS! Don’t you know? Wikileaks, Trump, top GOP officials all say so! Even the liberal Greenwald says so!

  13. 13
    germy says:

    President Trump has a new morning ritual. Around 6:30 a.m. on many days — before all the network news shows have come on the air — he gets on the phone with a member of his outside legal team to chew over all things Russia.

    The calls — detailed by three senior White House officials — are part strategy consultation and part presidential venting session, during which Trump’s lawyers and public-relations gurus take turns reviewing the latest headlines with him. They also devise their plan for battling his avowed enemies: the special counsel leading the Russia investigation; the “fake news” media chronicling it; and, in some instances, the president’s own Justice Department overseeing the probe.

    His advisers have encouraged the calls — which the early-to-rise Trump takes from his private quarters in the White House residence — in hopes that he can compartmentalize the widening Russia investigation. By the time the president arrives for work in the Oval Office, the thinking goes, he will no longer be consumed by the Russia probe that he complains hangs over his presidency like a darkening cloud.

    It rarely works, however. Asked whether the tactic was effective, one top White House adviser paused for several seconds and then just laughed.

  14. 14
    Mnemosyne says:

    @rikyrah:

    We still have useful idiots on the Professional Left like Glenn Greenwald insisting this is all just “Russophobia” and made-up paranoia. 😡

  15. 15
    MJS says:

    @Mnemosyne: There is apparently no news that cannot be spun to have liberals/progressives/Dems “totally fucked.” Guess what – we’re already totally fucked. You can’t be more totally fucked.

  16. 16
    germy says:

    His next tweet should be interesting.

  17. 17
    Aimai says:

    @cervantes: really–Keep blaming the dems?

  18. 18
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:

    I think that the real problem is that the millyunayuhs and billyunayuhs have captured the Democratic Party and promote neoliberal corporate shills who object to immediate single payer, free college and nationwide $15 minimum wage…

  19. 19
    Ryan says:

    “The only question now is what do we do about it?”

    Maybe Trey Gowdy can expand his past investigation of Hillary’s email to include the DNC’s?

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    Adam, I’ve stated a few times this is being argued about through the viewpoint of domestic politics. However, IMO this issue should have been addressed as a national security issue. I think I understand your position on this matter but wanted to ask if you would agree or disagree with that premise as a starting point?

  21. 21
    Timurid says:

    It’s a smoking gun but not the smoking gun…

  22. 22
    Boussinesque says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: Greenwald can DIAF; unremitting skepticism towards anything that helps liberals plus credulous acceptance of anything that helps fascists isn’t a good look, and never has been.

  23. 23
    Mike in DC says:

    We should say that sanctions will not be lifted so long as Putin is in power alive.

    We won’t, but that succinctly captures how I feel about this.

  24. 24
    MJS says:

    @germy: I do not believe for one second that lazy-as-fuck Trump is awake and functioning at 6:30 a.m.

  25. 25
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cervantes:

    Okay, Eeyore. I think the problem is more that the right-wing funded media is going to try and cloud the story, but you do you and pre-emptively blame the Democrats for the actions of the Republicans.

    Do you really still not understand why Obama had to make the decision to move forward on Iraq? Two names for you: Feinstein and Harman.

  26. 26
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes: And handing over complete control to a bunch of unproven misfits is the only way to save the Democrat Party, I mean Democratic

  27. 27
    cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: Greenwald has never been “on the left,” professional or otherwise. He’s a libertarian.

  28. 28
    Trentrunner says:

    @rikyrah: Don’t disagree, generally, but:

    Obama was a ref who was successfully worked; he put too much emphasis on whether it would look “political.”

    His decision-making on this was also skewed by his assumption that Hillary would win.

    This is one time when Obama’s vaunted–and justified–cool analytical skills failed him.

    Now this attack will be effectively buried, we will live with the consequences for generations, and the threat will continue in future elections.

    Thanks, Obama.

  29. 29
    Rey says:

    Where is Mike Pence and mama (his wife)? Practicing raising his right with the left hand on the bible??

  30. 30
    Corner Stone says:

    @germy:

    The calls — detailed by three senior White House officials — are part strategy consultation and part presidential venting session, during which Trump’s lawyers and public-relations gurus take turns reviewing the latest headlines with him. They also devise their plan for battling his avowed enemies

    I hope they got an incredibly large retainer up front for this engagement. Because this effort to chew up billable hours is going to lead to yooge write offs or write downs. If they get paid at all.

  31. 31
    cervantes says:

    @Mnemosyne: And to what party do Feinstein and Harman belong? I don’t take your point.

  32. 32
    hovercraft says:

    @rikyrah:
    PREACH!

  33. 33
    Cacti says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    We still have useful idiots on the Professional Left like Glenn Greenwald insisting this is all just “Russophobia” and made-up paranoia.

    I think GG is less “useful idiot” than actual asset of the Russian Federation.

  34. 34
    🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷 says:

    @Boussinesque: He never was a liberal

  35. 35
    Mnemosyne says:

    @cervantes:

    And to what party do Feinstein and Harman belong? I don’t take your point.

    You don’t take the point that Democrats felt they had to protect powerful Democrats like Feinstein and Harman, but don’t have anyone who needs similar protection in the Russia scandal?

  36. 36
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷:

    Fight the power, man. The new standards at DNC will include a lot of man buns, ironic hipster mustaches and giant beards in view…

  37. 37
    MCA1 says:

    It’s breathtaking for those of us who care to grasp the full implications beyond partisan day-to-day, even though we all sort of knew this to be the case all along. But I think even these revelations don’t move the needle in terms of how our institutions and citizenry react.

    Republicans have currently set the goalposts at “if there’s not an avalanche of concrete evidence that Trump specifically asked Putin to do this and offered to help the hackers, then it’s a nothingburger from whining Democrats who just can’t believe they lost.” Show me the collusion or it’s all just a witch hunt! And those goalposts are not anchored and weigh very little. If and when direct collusion is shown, it will immediately shift to “there’s no evidence to show any of this swayed any actual votes away from your terrible candidate, anyway, sore losers.”

    And on top of that, they’ve convinced themselves that Russia’s their friend now, and American liberals are worse. We’re Putin’s client state. As long as he’s on board with keeping Democrats out of office, they’re down with that.

  38. 38
    tpherald says:

    And the party in power in our Fed Govt does not care

  39. 39
    hovercraft says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also, I have to say, this is one hell of a Friday news dump.

    Remember that this comes as the White House is quietly putting pressure on ZEGS and the house to water down the sanctions bill that just passed the senate 98 to 2. The media needs to ask them whether in light of this, the are going to punish Putin.
    Edited for spelling

  40. 40
    Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes says:

    @Rey:

    I often wonder how they had children. Does he call her “mother” during sex?

  41. 41
    Boussinesque says:

    @🌎 🇺🇸 Goku (aka Junior G-Man) 🗳 🌷: I have a friend who has claimed repeatedly that GG has an extremely rigid moral compass on one issue (I can’t recall if he said “privacy” or something else), and was basically completely useless on anything else. I always thought his take was full of shit, so I’m wondering what his reaction to this bit of news will be.

  42. 42
    Jack the Second says:

    @Trentrunner: The difficulty is that countering an attack on our political system is political – but not countering it is also political. You are either affirming or denying the political aims of foreign agents.

    And unfortunately, people judge “positive action” more harshly than “negative action”.

  43. 43
    gene108 says:

    I do wonder how right-wing media and the Religious Right will spin this for vindicating Trump. The Fundies are very much behind Trump and view him as the Great White Hope to end abortion, repeal the Johnson Amendment, and make their dreams of Christo-Fascist America come true.

    There really is no way for us to get past the noise the right-wing media spews out, which really weakens the signal of how truly corrupt and corrupted Trump is because of the Russian interference.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne: This is US Intel Community captured SIGINT. This isn’t a kerning question.

  45. 45
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Trentrunner:

    It may have been. There may also have been a need to completely verify that the intelligence was authentic, which takes much longer than most people realize. It would have been totally fucking disastrous if Obama acted on the intelligence and it turned out to be a forgery, as I mentioned above.

    Given the Republicans’ history of ratfucking with faked documents (“kerning,” anyone?) I think that verifying the authenticity of this document was Job One.

  46. 46
    MJS says:

    @Le Comte de Monte Cristo fka Edmund Dantes: How anyone of an age to have either seen or be aware of “Psycho” can call their wife “mother” is beyond me.

  47. 47
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    It shouldn’t be, but the Republicans are going to try and turn it into one. As I said above, I’m guessing that’s why Obama didn’t use this bombshell during the election — it would have been even worse for it to turn out to be fake, or even look like a fake.

  48. 48
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Ryan: Actually he and Grassley in the Senate are preparing to do just that.

  49. 49
    kindness says:

    We should all watch Dr. Strangelove over the weekend. Slim Pickens rocks it! Not trying to step on Johnny Depps’s action or anything but what if the CIA took Putin out (on the down low of course)? What is the worst that could happen? The new KGB takes out Trump? While I would not cry over that I would cry over any of the cretins in the line of succession who would take on the job of POTUS.

  50. 50
    Timurid says:

    Everything that Obama, Comey and bunch of faceless people in law enforcement and IC did wrong was based on one fundamental mistake, the belief that Trump had no chance to win. They thought that they had all the time in the world to walk down the hill and fuck ’em all. After 11/9 they were suddenly out of time, and there was no Plan B that had a chance of working.

  51. 51
    BBA says:

    Whatever. Nothing matters anymore.

  52. 52
    amk says:

    putin: I toldja guyz we can safely bet on murkans’ total idiocy and the idiot murkan media’s easy manipulation.

  53. 53
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Corner Stone: Without a doubt. We have specific actionable intelligence, that is assessed to be of high confidence, that a hostile foreign power has attacked and continues to attack the United States for its own ends. This is a national security problem. And every part of the solution, including election system reforms, need to be understood within the discussion of it being a national security problem.

  54. 54
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    This is a big news dump. It’s also one of the better articles written on the Obama team’s response, because it is closer to analysis than to blaming. I am seeing plenty of the latter on Twitter. The problem with blaming is that it relies on magical thinking. This kind of cyberwarfare is new, and the political complications on this specific instance enormous. Nobody has worked out strategies for dealing with something like this.

    So the blaming goes something like this:
    1) The Russians hacked the election in several ways.
    2) The Obama adminstration knew about it.
    3)…..
    4) Problem solved!

    I am working on a post that may take several days on the strategy surrounding cyber(warfare? interference? Not even sure of a word.). There are basic and fundamental ways in which this operation differs from what we have called war in the past, and we need to be thinking about them.

    The first things we could do is strengthen security around our voting apparatus and to all act like Americans. Paging Mitch McConnell.

  55. 55
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: It is one of two smoking guns. There is a search on to see if the second one actually exists.

  56. 56
    Doug! says:

    Adam, what’s your take on how the Obama administration reacted to it? I realize hindsight it 20-20 and all that of course.

  57. 57
    Cheryl from Maryland says:

    @rikyrah: It is comments like this one that make me wish Balloon Juice had a like button. America is not safe in the hands of those (looking at you tRump, Ryan, McConnell and the rest of the GOP) when they choose victory over foreign interference and are still NOT willing to do anything to stop it.

  58. 58
    Timurid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    And every part of the solution, including election system reforms, need to be understood within the discussion of it being a national security problem.

    B-b-but federalism! One unintended benefit of the janky and decentralized system of voting at the state level is that there are so many moving parts of different shapes and sizes. For that reason, comprehensively rigging the 2018 and 2020 Congressional elections will be very hard. But a Presidential election is a different story. Instead of trying to alter many millions of votes, attackers can simply target a few key states and districts. One big problem with the Electoral College aside from its obsolescence and irrationality is that it is a critical security risk.

  59. 59
    amk says:

    @rikyrah: And the nuts here will still say it’s all kenyan’s fault. fuck’em.

  60. 60
    different-church-lady says:

    @Boussinesque:

    They need to shut the fuck up right now, forever.

    Actually they need to be called what they are: Putin’s Tools.

  61. 61
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    this is all just “Russophobia” and made-up paranoia.

    That’s worthy of an Elvis Costello lyric.

  62. 62
    Another Scott says:

    [whoops:] Cheryl writes:

    The problem with blaming is that it relies on magical thinking. This kind of cyberwarfare is new, and the political complications on this specific instance enormous.

    Emphasis added.

    And that’s why I think that Corner Stone’s comments about the need to separate this from politics are “magical thinking”. Politics is how we collectively decide to create and change the system that governs our common lives. You can’t separate this stuff from politics.

    Of course a way should have been found, if at all possible, to come together outside of partisan politics and get to the bottom of the hacking and the cracking and the interference before the November election. But it was impossible when McConnell and the rest of the GOP decided that Party counts for much more than Country.

    I also agree with rikyrah that blaming Obama is counter-productive.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  63. 63
    different-church-lady says:

    @cervantes:

    Greenwald has never been “on the left,” professional or otherwise. He’s a libertarian an asshole.

  64. 64

    Castigating Obama or Pelosi for their real or imagined flaws is counterproductive. As is wasting time on what T voters will do or think.

  65. 65
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Scott: That’s a garbage take. The paean to “everybody is blaming Obama for Trump winning!” is a bullshit defensive crouching maneuver. I’m not speaking for anyone but myself but I am not blaming Obama. I am, however, very angry that we let domestic politics make decisions on a national security issue. Bipartisanship was not needed.

  66. 66
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    I thought this was well known by now. I guess it carries more weight now that there’s hard evidence. Never the less I don’t think it would have made much of a difference in the outcome of the election had it been splashed on every front page in the lead up to November 9. The people who voted for Trump would have just ignored it.

  67. 67
    Tom says:

    @Mnemosyne: I’m sorry – what’s useful about Glenn Greenwald?

  68. 68
    JPL says:

    @Another Scott: Unfortunately MSM, didn’t take your advice. I’m surprised they just don’t say, Obama wanted Trump to win also.

  69. 69
    The Moar You Know says:

    I also agree with rikyrah that blaming Obama is counter-productive.

    @Another Scott: He had choices. He chose just about the worst course of action possible. I wouldn’t blame him for the attacks, but for choosing a grievously wrong course of action, yes, there is blame there.

    Can’t learn from mistakes if you don’t acknowledge them.

    I am, however, very angry that we let domestic politics make decisions on a national security issue. Bipartisanship was not needed.

    @Corner Stone: Better put than I did.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Yep. Too many people with too little experience opining on just how difficult these things are. It was an excellent, in depth article.

  71. 71
    The Thin Black Duke says:

    @Corner Stone: I’m sorry, but for the idiots who voted for Trump or Jill Stein or None Of The Above, this news wouldn’t have made a damned bit of difference.

  72. 72
    different-church-lady says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    I am seeing plenty of the latter on Twitter.

    Twitter is one of the tools the Russians used.

    So the blaming goes something like this:
    1) The Russians hacked the election in several ways.
    2) The Obama adminstration knew about it.
    3)…..
    4) Problem solved!

    3 is “Fire Nancy Pelosi”, apparently.

  73. 73
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Tom:

    I’m not saying he’s useful to us. He’s very useful to Russia and the Republicans since he has a pretty good-sized following on the left.

  74. 74
    Boussinesque says:

    @Tom: the ordered nature of the molecules in his body represent a bulwark against entropy and the eventual heat-death of the universe? To be fair, this is also true of a 3-foot cube of solid waste, which is still probably more useful than GG

  75. 75
    Mnemosyne says:

    @The Thin Black Duke:

    I’m completely comfortable blaming Trump voters for this outcome. As Kay keeps saying, they made a bad hire, and now we’re all suffering for their poor decision-making.

  76. 76
    Cermet says:

    @kindness: Are you sane? Killing the leader of a country that has thousands of ICBM’s each with twenty or more warheads that each can destroy a city. Right.

  77. 77
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug!: Similar to Cheryl Rofer’s in terms of process. This is the perfect example, if not the Ur example, of a wicked/ill structured problem. In terms of response, I would have preferred a more robust response all the way around, but that is with what I know now. I wasn’t read on to this. I don’t have all the information even with this reporting. And I don’t know what else the President was being shown about Russia at the time that may or may not have influenced his decision making.

  78. 78
    piratedan says:

    stated this before in previous posts… so now we have the SIGINT dropped that confirms our worst fears… that yes, we’re at War and apparently we have 5th column in place running things in America… because, that way the rich stay rich, Putin has a free hand (or freer hand) to try and work without pushback on the world stage. the GOP stays in power to do the things in the best interest for those who control them, the moneyed and powerful. At least those that preferred a rigged game, social niceties be damned and allows those other factions within the GOP to legislate hate, bigotry, theocracy upon the rest of us, appropriating whatever words they see fit in Orwellian fashion.

    I guess the questions are these…

    1) will we be allowed to attempt to take the country back via the electoral process
    2) if the answer to 1 is no, wtf do we do next?

    at this point, it appears that there’s enough circumstantial evidence to arrest the entire GOP leadership for treason.

  79. 79
    Felonius Monk says:

    Maybe Trump will shit himself to death over this revelation. But then, can our waste disposal systems handle the ensuing onslaught of orange waste.

  80. 80
    Corner Stone says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: That’s fine. We also had 50% voters who did not vote, for whatever different reasons. Not out to chase down racists or buffoons, or racist buffoons. Anyway, not arguing we would have gained any single vote. Point being the same.

  81. 81
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Immanentize: Or whether Bernie would have won the election.

    @Cheryl Rofer: I’d like to hear why President Obama and his key advisers didn’t think it made sense to release information to the public about Russian meddling. What was the logic behind that? But I don’t want to speculate as I assume there was a good reason for what appears to be non-action or muted action.

  82. 82
    Betty Cracker says:

    @The Thin Black Duke: True. But didn’t we sorta have the right to know that the Russians were trying to help Trump win before we voted? Harry Reid wrote an indignant letter to Comey after the latter dumb fuck inserted himself into the race at the last minute, implying that the Russians were trying to help Trump win. I recall very serious people tut-tutting over that and wondering aloud if Reid was bluffing like he had regarding Romney’s taxes in 2012 or even if he was off his rocker.

    Well, now we have a much clearer view of the extent of the meddling. I’m not blaming PBO, per se; hindsight is 20/20 and all that jazz. But it seems pretty goddamn clear now that the correct path would have been to let the voting public know what was going on.

  83. 83
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Felonius Monk: Why? What difference will this revelation make to his hardcore supporters or to Republicans as a whole? They will support him no matter what. I include “lefties” like Glenn Greenwald who keep claiming that the Russian interference story is a hoax. To be honest, Trump supporters aren’t going to give up on him. Can’t say the same about those on our side who are shouting for Pelosi’s head on a spike.

  84. 84
    randy khan says:

    @Timurid:

    The deep belief that Hillary would win played a huge role in this election. And, as someone who works in Washington, I can tell you that *everyone* there believed it – it’s hard to overstate how shocked the town was on November 9.

    That said, I don’t think that was a factor in how Ryan and McConnell reacted. It was pure party politics, as I’m sure they both believed that the revelation that Russia was intervening in the election to support Trump would tank not just Trump but the Republicans in general. If even a couple percent of normal Republican voters had not shown up on Election Day, the Senate would have flipped and at least some House seats would have been at risk.

  85. 85
    Corner Stone says:

    @Felonius Monk: Death by Evacuation? Interesting theory. Newsletter for subscription?

  86. 86
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: National security is not done under the Federalism rubric.

  87. 87
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    idiots on the Professional Left like Glenn Greenwald

    Yes, Greenwald is an idiot. No, he is not of the Professional Left. He is a libertarian fascist, whether he knows it or not.

  88. 88
    D58826 says:

    Malcolm Nance wrote an entire book about it that came out in the late summer of 2016 – HACKING OF AMERICA

    but shrill hil and her e-mails

  89. 89
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @amk: Sadly yes because no amount of Russian interference could have convinced me to vote for anyone other than Secretary Clinton but here we are. Putin bet correctly that many voting Americans are idiotic and would thus vote for the most unqualified, outrageous buffoon to ever have run for President. Huge sigh.

  90. 90
    Corner Stone says:

    @D58826: Who is that? Is that the same guy who wrote, “12 Ways to A Demilune Table”?

  91. 91
    sharl says:

    @Corner Stone: I agree with this, but I think it points to a bigger issue: How much consensus even exists these days on what it means to be a loyal/patriotic American? Much of that post-WWII consensus was pretty strong up until, I dunno, maybe the early/mid 90s (I’m using the Clinton impeachment attempt as a rough benchmark, fwiw).

    There was a time when the Clinton impeachment attempt and Trey Gowdy’s kangaroo court bullshit would not have been tolerated by either major party. With living memories of WWII now mostly faded, what kind of sociopolitical glue should provide us with some cohesive bonding? In this regard, Hitler and Tojo were sooo useful. Do we need a new foreign boogeyman? Dubya and his crowd certainly seemed to go that way with Saddam, who never threatened the U.S., but could be beaten militarily (in the short term). Now we have a real threat, though of a nature we’ve never seen before on this scale (though it’s a different story for Eastern European nations that were former Soviet satellites).

    I can’t tell whether Trumpkins are generally unconcerned about this Russian interference, or are just too embarrassed to admit it. Kay lives among them, so maybe she has some well informed insights. I was just with my family for a week, including a couple of Trumpkins, but the topic never came up (my nephews, on the other hand, are definitely NOT Trumpkins; a certain amount of it may be generational). I would have asked family about it if this latest Russia news had come out before my trip…

    I haven’t even touched on domestic economic issues, like this horrible AHCA thing (or whatever the Senate GOP called it). Again, WWII brought a lot of people of different classes together (white folks that is; black folk were allowed to fight and die, but got no benefits upon their return). I think this desire to find popular demons – Saddam, Muslims, Iran, etc. – plays such a powerful role in our national zeitgeist, that it overshadows the need to discuss finding a more rational basis for unity, preferably one that doesn’t involve sending young people to fight in new and interesting places. Gonna be a long and hard slog for that though, and I don’t see that we’ve even started on that journey.

  92. 92
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    What difference will this revelation make to his hardcore supporters

    None, whatsoever. But Trump really seems to get un-nerved by these reports about Russian interference especially when they point to his election being somewhat, if not entirely, illegitimate.

  93. 93
    Timurid says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We might agree on that, but good luck convincing the GOP…

  94. 94
    MomSense says:

    @Trentrunner:

    Obama put too much emphasis on whether this would look political? Where have you been? The GOP and the villagers turned every damned thing the Obamas did into being political. He ordered orange juice at a diner? What? Real Americans order coffee at diners!

    Obama convened a briefing with the “Gang of Eight” and the intelligence agencies, SOS, etc. Confronted with evidence by 17 intelligence agencies that Russia was taking active measures to influence our election and asked to participate in a joint statement on the subject, McConnell’s response was to threaten that if Obama went public he would run a media campaign saying that the Obama administration was attempting to sway the election for the Democrats.

    Were you paying attention to the news then? How do you think our media would have covered it? We now know they were sitting on the Steele dossier all summer and fall and not a peep about that. Can you imagine if it had been Bill C. with some hookers at a Ritz Carlton? Verified or not that shit would have been on cable 24×7.

    Yeah we are all frustrated but to go back and pretend that Obama could have/ should have done more is a fantasy. You go to cyber war with the media you have not the media you would like to have.

  95. 95
    The Moar You Know says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Cyberattack is something any company that deals with the internet has had either to respond to, without preplanning, or game out beforehand. Since we work in defense IT, we have a game plan. If the IC didn’t have one for this kind of incident coming from a foreign power, they deserve to all lose their jobs. I would certainly lose mine without a plan in place.

    Of course, that being said, given the circumstances my game plan will prove amusing to some:

    1. Disconnect all devices and the main trunk coming in. Every last one, computers, printers, security cameras, etc. You don’t know what got hit yet, nor what is compromised, nor what has had some nasty surprises left behind (there always will be at least one).
    2. Immediately copy all log files to a disposable USB drive – one permachine/device to avoid cross-contamination – to be viewed on a non-network connected burner computer later.
    3. Inform all management immediately via phone (NOT EMAIL). Do not leave voicemails, track them down and talk directly to them.
    4. Call the FBI.

    Guess it kinda comes unglued on #4 for Team Obama.

    There’s more, of course. The process spans several months under optimal conditions and is expensive.

  96. 96
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @D58826: I wrote how many posts about it, starting in late Spring/early Summer of 2016?

  97. 97
    Jeff says:

    “Whom the gods would destroy, they first make mad with power.”
    Charles A. Beard

  98. 98
    Corner Stone says:

    The WHPC should not cover the briefing. This is letting the WH define the terms of engagement and defining down the norms. Just walk away.

  99. 99
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Timurid: I understand your point.

  100. 100
    artem1s says:

    So Putin robbed the US by hacking the DNC during the general election. Or at least attempted a robbery. thing I keep coming back to is, did Putin also rob the US during the primaries. How much did they actively influence or try to influence who the nominees were. No, not Bernie. How is it that a candidate with no ground game and no party help won the nomination for the GOP primary? Putin hacked the general so he could put his hand picked winner of the GOP primary in the WH. Only difference the leaders of the GOP didn’t care all that much and didn’t report the crime.

  101. 101
    Jeffro says:

    @rikyrah: would you happen to have a cigarette on you? Because I could use one after that – thanks!

    Mueller is coming for you, Trumpov.

  102. 102
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Another Scott: Yeah. With everything put together, it was an almost impossible problem. Maybe you could even drop “almost.” However, in my post I will separate the two, because that is the only way you can see how impossible it was.

  103. 103
    Bobby Thomson says:

    @Mnemosyne: Glenn has his own reasons for not wanting people to look at Russia.

  104. 104
    Kay says:

    And we were reading Podesta’s rice recipes. This has to be the biggest missed story in US history, right?

    An actual election conspiracy that reads like a spy novel and while it was going on we were debating on whether or not Debbie Wasserman Schultz is really mean or just kinda mean.

    It was successful, too! They won! It borders on “coup”. The public had no clue.

  105. 105
    trollhattan says:

    @Cermet:
    Not ICBMs silly, we’re launching Rafael Cruz.

  106. 106
    Mike in DC says:

    Greenwald, Tracey, Taibbi, The Young Turks and that Russophile at The Nation who’s married to the EIC…are not particularly interested in seeing Russia as a real threat, nor in anything that might complicate the “Clinton and the Dem establishment suxxorz” narrative they’re pushing.

  107. 107
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Adam L Silverman: I was thinking of the “wicked problem” descriptor as well.

  108. 108
    Trentrunner says:

    @MomSense: You prove my point with your focus on “Lawdy, how would the press take it?”

    You–and Obama–have been worked. Obama should have released/publicized an attack on our nation by a foreign government, whether it happened in an election season or not. End. of. story.

  109. 109
    Kay says:

    @Corner Stone:

    I think it’s interesting how Trump believes the visual of the press briefing is damaging. That’s reality tv he doesn’t like. I wonder why it’s so objectionable to him. He hired the spokespeople.

  110. 110
    Another Scott says:

    @The Moar You Know: Ok, let’s say Obama did what you and CS advocated.

    Then what?

    How would it have helped to have McConnell and Ryan and all the rest screaming about Tyrant Obama trying to throw the election to Crooked Hillary? We already know what McConnell said he would do. BI:

    In a confidential briefing, McConnell reportedly expressed doubt about intelligence findings that Russia aided efforts to boost Trump, ostensibly by promoting hacked emails and documents that were damaging to the Democratic Party and its nominee, Hillary Clinton.

    The Washington Post reported McConnell, who attended the briefing in September, “voiced doubts about the veracity of the intelligence.”

    Citing several unnamed officials, The Post wrote that McConnell threatened to rebuke the Obama administration if it publicly challenged Russia.

    Remember that vast swaths of the USA still believe that Obama wasn’t born here, is a Muslim, was bent on destroying the USA and the Constitution. You think they wouldn’t have flipped out even more, taking the MSM with them, if McConnell and the rest did that?

    Paint a picture for me. One that wouldn’t have been much, much worse for confidence in our government, the election, civil society, and all the rest, than what we have today.

    You can’t separate this stuff from politics.

    Thanks.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  111. 111
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    If the Republicans can convince the media that this is a fake, or at least doubtful, then we’re totally fucked.

    What do you mean if?

  112. 112
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    I’d like to hear why President Obama and his key advisers didn’t think it made sense to release information to the public about Russian meddling. What was the logic behind that? But I don’t want to speculate as I assume there was a good reason for what appears to be non-action or muted action.

    I can’t speak for President Obama and his advisers, obviously, but I think I understand their reasoning. The article lays some of it out, but I hope to work it through in more detail. It’s going to be a fairly long answer. Basically, it would have said that the election is rigged, which was what Trump was saying, and it could have collapsed confidence in the election on both sides; it would have given power to Russia; and it would have been slammed by the Republicans (McConnell said as much) as a political move.

    ETA: It was a developing situation, so they didn’t have the information all at once, as we do in this article (which may not be the whole story), and there are few clear-cut retaliation tactics. So just saying, hey the Russians hacked us, without some retaliation would have looked super weak.

  113. 113
    Kay says:

    So why didn’t anyone follow this as a story in the election? Research it and report it out. I don’t believe media were overtly pulling for Trump, so I don’t believe that’s it. Did they just miss it? Not see it as important? Make a bad call as far as prioritizing people and resources?

    There were lots of people to interview. The Clinton campaign knew about it, some Dem congressional campaigns knew about it, and state elections officials knew about it. No one asked them “what’s with this Russia interference?”

  114. 114
    D58826 says:

    My State of the Union speech:
    1. Trump – fake news pushed by sore loser Democrats
    2. GOP part one – slow walk needed congressional investigations/legislation
    3, GOP part two – massive upward income redistribution starting with Obamacare (that it kills 40-100k people a year is a feature not a bug since it means fewer people living long enough to tap Soc. SEC/Medicaire or vote for a D)
    4. MSM part one – but her e-mails
    5. MSM part two – MSNBC gives Hugh Hewitt a time slot (if they think that will get Faux viewers to switch channels then they are even dumber than Trump)
    6. MSM part three – Hillary should go back into the woods and take Nancy with her.

  115. 115
    Timurid says:

    @Kay: I’m visualizing a scene at one of these “no recording” pressers when the most senior reporter in the pool calls out “Company… Present Arms!” and everyone in the room pulls out a phone with the camera turned on. But in real life, none of them have the balls.

  116. 116
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: As I replied to Doug!, it was the Ur-wicked problem.

  117. 117
    amk says:

    Here's how our media responded when Harry Reid tried to warn America about Trump/Russia last fall. https://t.co/92kMpQbjU7— Allan Brauer (@allanbrauer) June 23, 2017

  118. 118
    TenguPhule says:

    @Mnemosyne: Can we finally stop pretending GG is not a Russian backed subversive badly in need of a Drone Strike yet?

  119. 119
    gene108 says:

    @MJS:

    I do not believe for one second that lazy-as-fuck Trump is awake and functioning at 6:30 a.m.

    Much like Samara Morgan, Trump does not sleep.

  120. 120
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Scott:

    You can’t separate this stuff from politics.

    You can if you’re actually fulfilling your oath to protect the Constitution and this nation against all enemies. We were attacked. We were under attack. If you do not believe that premise then there is nothing further to discuss with you.

  121. 121
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Great minds…

  122. 122
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Another Scott:

    Citing several unnamed officials, The Post wrote that McConnell threatened to rebuke the Obama administration if it publicly challenged Russia.

    This. It would have been President Obama’s word against McConnell’s word and sides would have lined up based on party affiliation. And the media would have found a way to spin things to make it look as if President Obama was himself interfering with the election by releasing info about Russian interference just like they spun Benghazi and email servers into “scandals” for Secretary Clinton.

  123. 123
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Perfectly understandable why that was the overriding concern at the time. Much less so now, since any outcome other than the one that actually happened — a Kremlin-compromised idiot in the Oval Office — was preferable.

  124. 124
    TenguPhule says:

    @Another Scott:

    But it was impossible when McConnell and the rest of the GOP decided that Party counts for much more than Country.

    President Obama didn’t want to risk Civil Collapse by directly confronting the Fifth Column Republicans in government.

    But you can’t blame people who are bitter about the outcome of his decision.

    At least back then, most of the military and state forces answered to an American, not a Russian backed traitor.

  125. 125
    Jeffro says:

    @Corner Stone: @Adam L Silverman:

    It feels like a major turning point, this article. We’ve had a pretty nice, steady – one could almost say, directed – flow of leaks and build-up and public awareness over the past six months. At every turn, Trumpov has tried to pretend like it didn’t happen, or if it did, it didn’t matter.

    Now it’s time for reporters to start drilling down: why, Mr. Trumpov/Mr. McConnell/Mr. Ryan, why aren’t you up in arms about this attack on our democracy? Why aren’t you encouraging the IC to turn over every rock and share that info with the American public? And Mr. McConnell/Mr. Ryan…wouldn’t it be a good idea if you were to tell the president* to quit pretending it was the work of “some 400 pound guy sitting on his bed”?

  126. 126
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Kay:

    An actual election conspiracy that reads like a spy novel and while it was going on we were debating on whether or not Debbie Wasserman Schultz is really mean or just kinda mean.

    Yep. And given what we already know about the Russians funding and manipulating left-wing media, one has to wonder exactly who benefited and continues to benefit from the Democrats suck! memes that circulate in the leftier parts of the Internet. 🤔

  127. 127
    JPL says:

    @Kay: Brian Kemp who was mentioned in the article, publicly said Obama was trying to interfere with the state voting machines.

  128. 128
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro:

    Now it’s time for reporters to start drilling down

    You do remember this is our lazy fucking American media, right?

  129. 129
    Corner Stone says:

    @Kay:

    The public had no clue.

    No clue about what, Kay?

  130. 130
    Another Scott says:

    @Corner Stone: I notice you didn’t respond to my request to describe what happens after Obama does what you advocate. Until you do that, and explain how it’s better than where we are now, then, yeah, I guess there’s little else to discuss.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  131. 131
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @The Moar You Know: That’s a good game plan. But your company is one entity, under someone’s pretty much full control. It doesn’t scale to a full government.

    Multiple entities were hacked. Some, apparently, didn’t even know they had been hacked. There goes your step 1. Also 2. There apparently were some attempts at 3 and 4, which people botched.

    If each entity had a plan like yours and if they had ways to detect intrusions early, the operation might have been shut down early. Hopefully that kind of planning will be increased.

    And I haven’t said anything in this comment about the politics. History will not be kind to Mitch McConnell.

  132. 132
    amk says:

    @Kay:

    The public had no clue.

    Not buying it. It’s was a deliberate FU vote by the ‘wwc’.

  133. 133
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    He’s a libertarian an asshole.
    There’s a difference? I hadn’t noticed.

  134. 134
    Kay says:

    @amk:

    But there were other people to ask. People who are less partisan and less savvy. People who knew weird shit was going on. They didn’t just ignore Reid. They never asked anyone else. All they did was reprint statements from the various people- “Reid says this, Trump says that”. There was other stuff to look at.

    They still haven’t done it as far as I know. They reported that Dem congressional candidates got word that there was interference in their campaigns and we know several states had info. Has anyone asked any of these people outside a Senate hearing? Just asked them what happened? The losing Democratic candidates don’t have any restrictions on revealing what they observed. It was like “these Democrats say their campaigns were interfered with” and then we never heard from them again. They might know what happened! They could tell us! :)

  135. 135
    amk says:

    @Trentrunner: He did. Go educate yourself.

  136. 136
    Felonius Monk says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    it would have said that the election is rigged, which was what Trump was saying,

    An interesting question is Why was/is Trump saying this? I think it is likely that this idea was planted within the Trump campaign by the Russkies. I doubt whether Trump has the intellectual capacity to dream this up on his own.

  137. 137
    Mike in DC says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    God willing, 2020 will not be kind to Mitch McConnell.

  138. 138
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @TenguPhule:

    But you can’t blame people who are bitter about the outcome of his decision.

    What was the outcome of his decision? Had he revealed what he knew, what difference would that have made? Those on the Left who hated Secretary Clinton’s guts wouldn’t have been persuaded to vote for her because of this news. Susan Sarandon would have still argued that Clinton was a neoliberal warmonger and that we would be better off with Trump because revolution or whatever nonsense she came up with to justify her hatred of Secretary Clinton. Nothing would have changed had President Obama handled the Russian interference news differently.

  139. 139
    Corner Stone says:

    @Another Scott: That’s a great long time Republican debating trick, friend. Set up a false premise and then provide two false outcomes and demand you pick one. Then shout over you until you do. No thanks.
    You are determined to tell us what awful politics this all was. But you refuse to address the idea that this started and remains a national security issue.

  140. 140
    mai naem mobile says:

    Why did Obama not retaliate in late November and December? He was still POTUS. Why the fuck not?

  141. 141
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Betty Cracker:

    I understand feeling like Obama should have done more and pushed harder, and I’ll probably swing back and forth as this goes on, but as Adam and Cheryl are both saying, it really was a problem with no good solution. It was literally, Civil war before the election or civil war after the election? I really can’t blame Obama for deciding to push off the decision and see if Hillary pulled it off after all. They didn’t expect the Republicans to successfully gerrymander the country to the point that Hillary would win the popular vote by almost 3 million but lose the Electoral College. That was literally unprecedented at that margin.

  142. 142
    Jeffro says:

    @TenguPhule: Gotta start someplace! =)

    Most outlets have been doing a pretty good job of getting with the program. There’ve been signs that many of the major #notfake outlets understand what we (we = America) are up against here. TIME and NEWSWEEK are on it. CBS is doing well w/ its reporting. The WaPo continues to lead the pack imho.

  143. 143
    Wjs says:

    This is why it is not wrong to suggest that the election of Trump was illegitimate and involved acts of treason. If we are at cyber war with Russia, this president has failed to defend America and has violated his oath of office.

    History is not going to be forgiving or kind.

  144. 144
    Felonius Monk says:

    @schrodingers_cat:

    on what T voters will … think.

    Assumes brains not in evidence.

  145. 145
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Betty Cracker: Hindsight is 20-20. If there is one thing I might fault the Obama administration for, it’s not gaming out the possibility that Trump might win. Although off the top of my head, I don’t see how they might have done things differently in that case. And I hate to go back to my mental state on November 8, but the belief that Clinton would win was very strong.

  146. 146
    different-church-lady says:

    @Mike in DC: God willing, God will not be kind to Mitch McConnell.

  147. 147
    Timurid says:

    @Jeffro:

    And while this is not the long awaited smoking gun for Trump, it is absolutely damning for McConnell. His resistance to publicizing Russian interference had been public knowledge for some time, but now that we know the depth of the evidence he was confronted with, his behavior is indefensible beyond a doubt.

  148. 148
    Jeffro says:

    @amk:

    Not buying it. It’s was a deliberate FU vote by the ‘wwc’.

    Both? the WWC did send a big ol’ racist FU vote last November…but the vast, vast majority of them hadn’t heard much if anything about Trumpov & Russia. They were being bombarded with messages about Hillz’ emails and that pay-for-play Clinton Foundation and Loretta Lynch and worse (Pizzagate) but by and large, they are tuned out of mainstream media outlets.

  149. 149
    different-church-lady says:

    I’m so old I can remember when Bill Clinton showing up a polling station was the worst betrayal of democracy there could be!

  150. 150
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Felonius Monk: I think many of us would like to know why Trump kept saying the election was rigged. It certainly sounds consistent with other events we are learning about now.

  151. 151
    Mnemosyne says:

    @mai naem mobile:

    What should he have done? Be specific. “More” is not a good answer.

  152. 152
    Ruckus says:

    @Mnemosyne:
    Useful?
    Why is this asshole even listened to?
    He lives where, in Argentina? He’s so sure that the US is wrong that he moved and yet still bashes just about everything, AND he’s listened to? WTF.
    We give too much weight to people who are nobodies. Almost anyone commenting on this blog has more weight than this fartknocker.
    We are invested in it’s outcome, he’s just a moronic bullshitter with a persecution complex.

  153. 153
    Kay says:

    @amk:

    What about the DNC staffer who did or did not receive messages from the FBI? Ask him. Was it just him? Were there other people? Printing statements from Reid and Trump isn’t “investigating” anything. They really didn’t think this was a worthwhile story? Russia was interfering in a US election, a US Presidential election which is easily one of the most media-covered events in the world? No one decided to cover that angle? Okay doke. Seems like a crazily huge omission and really epic blunder but maybe it’s me.

  154. 154
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Jeffro:

    Also, it’s not like none of this was known or reported on before the election. It was. This is just additional proof of what we already know happened.

    That’s why I’m getting frustrated with the Obama should have done more! crowd. He did say this happened. There were reports before the election that Russia was interfering. Obama and his national security folks talked about this publicly before Election Day.

    And the media acted like it was a big fucking joke.

  155. 155
    Timurid says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:

    When future students are reading the comprehensive history of the Decline and Fall of the United States, the picture on the cover will be of McConnell, not Trump.

  156. 156
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Jeffro: @Another Scott: @Cheryl Rofer: @Betty Cracker: @Mnemosyne: And this is where I think people don’t get just how hard it was to make a forceful, public response. The only way President Obama could have done it was to request a joint address to Congress on a major national security issue, use the address to make the case/lay out the evidence of what was occurring, and then handed both the Speaker and the Majority Leader draft White House legislation for a declaration of war or an authorization for the use of military force (AUMF).

    The odds of Speaker Ryan granting his request to give such an address during a presidential campaign year are slim. Had it been granted, making a public case would have likely burned important and still needed sources and methods. Had it been granted and President Obama and his senior national security, including intelligence advisors and agency leads determined that it was necessary to burn important sources and methods, what were the odds Congress would have acted on a request for an AUMF or a declaration of war? Also slim. Speaker Ryan would like not take it up and then Minority Leader McConnell would have bottled up the Senate over it.

    And this doesn’t even take into consideration of the hard, to the point of being tribal, partisan divide in the US where 50% of Americans would simply dismiss anything President Obama said out of hand as fabrication or an attempt to politicize intelligence on behalf of the Democratic candidates, etc. Or how Republican leadership, in and out of Congress, would exploit this reality.

  157. 157
    TenguPhule says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    Had he revealed what he knew, what difference would that have made?

    We’d know then what we know now. And if the Republicans had tried to bring the government down in response, President Obama had the full might and firepower of the US government to drop the hammer on them.

  158. 158
    Jeffro says:

    @Wjs:

    This is why it is not wrong to suggest that the election of Trump was illegitimate and involved acts of treason. If we are at cyber war with Russia, this president has failed to defend America and has violated his oath of office.

    Yup. At every turn of events, from when he first declared his candidacy to when he knocked off most of his opponents to when he effectively won the nomination to the RNC to the post-RNC meltdowns to the ‘rigged’ garbage…from his post-election victory lap of Trumpov states to his inauguration crowd-size nonsense…he has gotten worse and more demonstrably unstable at every turn.

    AND YET

    Even for those who have stuck with him this whole way, who have somehow failed to see any of these things are completely unacceptable in a dogcatcher, much less the presidency, here we have a president* who refuses to even admit the Russian attack even. happened. Much less do anything about it.

    That makes sense, right? An innocent, Demoncrat-framed noble soul (and BUSINESSMAN! ooo) who’s just trying to Make America Great Again…won’t look into the attack on our democratic elections? Say whaaat? Why not air it all out and then rub it in librulz’ faces when Trumpov’s exonerated?

  159. 159
    japa21 says:

    People who think the administration should have been more open with the amount of meddling, including this story, before the election are forgetting a key phrase in the article:

    , a report drawn from sourcing deep inside the Russian government

    I have a hunch that source is no longer viable, but even mentioning this information would have placed that source in jeopardy at the time. One can imagine that person was also providing us with other information as well. As has been pointed out, the involvement was out there but the media chose to barely mention it.

  160. 160
    LurkerNoLonger says:

    @Kay: It was out there and obvious to anyone even halfway paying attention. The public chose to ignore it.

  161. 161
    Fair Economist says:

    @Timurid:

    When future students are reading the comprehensive history of the Decline and Fall of the United States, the picture on the cover will be of McConnell, not Trump.

    Agreed. Trump is a flunky. McConnell is the traitor, the one who broke his oath to the country.

  162. 162
    Kay says:

    @different-church-lady:

    I’m so old I can remember when Bill Clinton showing up a polling station was the worst betrayal of democracy there could be!

    I’m so old I remember how Hillary Clinton’s email server was a grave threat to national security.

    It’s hysterical in a way. “The call is coming from in the house”. They missed it! Putin must be amazed it worked as well as it did. He probably thought it would be harder.

  163. 163
    Jeffro says:

    @Mnemosyne:

    Also, it’s not like none of this was known or reported on before the election. It was. This is just additional proof of what we already know happened.

    That’s why I’m getting frustrated with the Obama should have done more! crowd. He did say this happened. There were reports before the election that Russia was interfering. Obama and his national security folks talked about this publicly before Election Day.

    And the media acted like it was a big fucking joke.

    True, true. Hindsight is 20/20. And truly, it seemed inconceivable that Trumpov – someone that unqualified, unstable, detestable – could win. Never again.

  164. 164
    Tokyokie says:

    @piratedan: To extrapolate on your comments, Vladimir Vladimirovich and his cronies all became obscenely wealthy by literally stealing the state assets of the Soviet Union. The former KGB types had the muscle and the ruthlessness to do so, and so they did, fully aware that there was nobody in power to prevent them from doing so.

    Unfortunately, this is the dynamic that Bannon, Trump, and the GOP envision for the United States, a social order in which the favored few can commit crimes against society without repercussion, and sadly, with the help of the likes of Yertle and ZEGS, they’re well on their way to doing so. The healthcare bill strips millions of healthcare and pushes money up to the moneyed classes. Plans for tax “reform” will do so as well. Deregulation will allow Wall Street pirates to screw the lower classes. And Trump’s infrastructure plans will, I suspect, result in little more than privatization of the nation’s roads and bridges.

    But I still find it shocking that the party of conspicuous patriotism, when confronted with actual fifth-column actions of a hostile, fascist enemy power, simply shrugs it off. And whereas I don’t think all of the Republican leaders are in on the scam, I imagine enough of them are that Trump’s grand electoral victory is more likely the result of a coup than a brilliant campaign strategy. I’d have to go back and look (and I don’t feel like doing so right now), but I seem to remember that states such as Michigan, Wisconsin, and Pennsylvania in which Trump scored upset victories did not run true to the late polling, whereas most the rest of the country did, and if the Russians were removing valid voters from the rolls in those states, under the safe cover of voter ID laws, that could explain those anomalies. Ones about which the GOP will not do anything.

    Back in the day, I used to umpire baseball and softball games, and when I played those games myself, I’d try to call plays as they were, not as I wanted them to be. If the throw beat a player on my team to the base for a forceout, I’d say so (and vice versa), because I always felt the rules not only defined the conduct of the game, but the terms of victory as well. I pull for Oklahoma in college football, and I can honestly say that had the Sooners eked out a victory on a series of horrible calls such as those that occurred at the end of the 2006 game at Oregon, I would have been disgusted. But to experience and express disgust, one must have a moral center (and a degree of courage), thus nobody in the Republican Party will say boo about this treason agains their country.

  165. 165
    TenguPhule says:

    @Jeffro: At this point its kinda sad that Wapo is the fucking gold standard when it comes to reporting now.

  166. 166
    Kay says:

    @different-church-lady:

    All big successful crimes have someone on the inside. Always. In this case it was Mitch MCConnel as knowing or unknowing collaborator.

    I wonder if Putin knew Republicans would stuff it because they couldn’t threaten Trump’s election. You wonder how plugged in they are- to what extent they can predict the players and rely on certain people behaving in certain ways. In a way they don’t even have to capture or corrupt them. They can reliably predict Republicans will do anything to win the Presidency.

  167. 167
    different-church-lady says:

    @Ruckus: You’re not allowed to criticize GG being an expat because GAY RIGHTS!

  168. 168
    D58826 says:

    @Kay: Simple. The Russia story was/is complicated . It requires long stories to explain/understand or long multiple TV time slots using big words (i.e. longer than ‘e-mail). Viewers will fall asleep so it is much easier to shout e-mail and switch back to the Apprentice, i.e. a trump campaign event. Rachel was ripped recently for here 15-20 opening on Der Fuhrer’s tax return. It was to long.
    Now e-mails fits on a postage stamp.

    It’s a variation of the length of campaign ads. Back in the day they might be 2-5 minutes long with some actual details. Now 30 seconds of pure emotion. Or the decline of investigative journalism. Outside of the NYT or WAPO few papers do investigative reporting. I remember when the Phil;y Inquirer did long multi-part investigative stories by two guys named Bartlett and Steele. Sorta the local version of Bernstein and Woodward. They don’t do stories on state and local politics either. My hardly media loving sister complains that the Wilmington Del. paper is a pretty picture on the front page, a few sports scores and then some advertising and coupons. Few major daily’s maintain foreign desks any more. And those that do are much reduced from the good old days. They take the news from a foreign stringer or the wire services.

    Lots of reasons why it’s happening. The constant attacks by the GOP on the media, the internet, loss of advertising/want ads to internet sites, people cocooning in their own media safe space are just a few. I can remember when the Sunday paper came in two sections. The advertising on Sat. night and the news/sports on Sunday morning. Philly had 1/2 doz. department stores. Now I think it is one or two. All of that means lost revenue. I’m as guilty as any one. Except for a trip to the grocery store, 90% of what I would have purchase at a department store, appliance store or hardware store I now order from Amazon. Even the big box/Home Depot stores are suffering. Walmart is not immune.

    There is another factor in all of this. In the good old days many of the major dailies were family (or at least locally) owned and they felt they had a duty to the republic/public to cover these kinds of stories. Now they are part of a media (usually conservative) conglomerate and are more concerned about the bottom line and the next quarterly result.
    Now would a 1971 version of the WAPO concentrated on Russia rather than e-mails? I have no idea but there would have been a better chance. The Graham family owned the paper and maximizing profit wasn’t the only goal. So Ben Bradlee could invest some reporter time in a 3rd rate burglary. Under the Kaplan ownership not likely. we will see what it does under Brozos.

  169. 169
    JoeSo says:

    It’s funny, when all this Russia business came out, the one constant I heard from all officials was that even though Russia interfered with the election, it’s not as if they altered vote totals. All throughout, I keep hearing, “Yeah the hacking is worse than we though, but still, no altered vote totals.” That comment never sat right with me. It carried the air of the B-movie sci-fi cliche where the President and Government don’t want to publicly acknowledge the existence of aliens to avoid causing a panic, even when there’s a flying saucer chilling on the White House lawn. The more they said it, the more I became convinced they were just saying to avoid instigating public outrage. I think its inevitable that it will turn out that Russian did alter vote totals. Nothing about Trump or his henchmen tell me they ran a smart, successful campaign. How did he climb the “5 state wall” and win those states when he didn’t have much of ground game? Am truly supposed to believe there are enough deplorables to pull off even an electoral college win? These people who had no shame and were more than happy to publicly support their candidate. Yet they went to the polls, voted for Trump, then lied about who they voted for to pollsters? Out of shame? Yeah…no. The more I hear about the Russians, the more I’m convinced they did actively alter the votes, probably by straight up purging ballots from the database. If they had such access as we’re learning about now, it would be strange for them not to do it; the sorry state of our electoral system and GOP anti-voter initiatives would provide the perfect cover to do so. Plus I’ll always remember that one article about a closed door meeting where Feinstein came out looking like she saw a ghost. She and the other Senators must’ve have known.

  170. 170
    Mnemosyne says:

    @japa21:

    Good point. I wonder if the source was one of the Russians who was arrested and/or executed shortly after Trump was elected.

  171. 171
    amk says:

    @Kay: A DNC staffer? When even outgoing majority leader was blacked out by the fucking media? Really, Kay?

  172. 172
    Jeffro says:

    @Adam L Silverman: This is all true. And as I just mentioned, it seemed a near impossibility that Orangemandias could win, so why go through all the hardships and infighting you’ve just noted (and possibly damage Hillary’s chances). I do get the logic and the concern for the country, and respect the decisions that were made.

  173. 173
    KS in MA says:

    @mai naem mobile: How do we know he didn’t?

  174. 174
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @JoeSo: The first piece I wrote on this from June 2016, linked in the post above, specifically speculated about the ability to use the hacks not to change votes on machines, but to manipulate voter registration, voter rolls, adjust state level results on the state servers, things like that. I’m not a cyber domain specialist. I’m not a tech specialist. But I know enough about national security in general because of my actual specialty areas within national security to know these needed to be the concerns to inquire about.

  175. 175
    Corner Stone says:

    @JoeSo:

    The more they said it, the more I became convinced they were just saying to avoid instigating public outrage. I think its inevitable that it will turn out that Russian did alter vote totals.

    Of course they did. Listen to the emphatic but very carefully cautious answers from every official when they are asked. We may never know the full extent but those voter rolls were hacked/changed and physical vote totals were also effected.
    Just like everyone was screaming that Russia did not actually have a “favorite”, they just wanted chaos. Yeah…

  176. 176
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I think drumpf complained about the election rigging, he thought he should win based upon his delusional view of himself. He still complains about how Clinton should have won. IOW look at it from the perspective of a delusional moron with persecution and inferiority complexes and it makes sense. You of course can’t look at it with anything like logic or reality.

  177. 177
    TenguPhule says:

    @JoeSo: And nothing to stop them from doing it all over again.

    Not one damn thing.

  178. 178
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @mai naem mobile: Retaliate by doing what exactly? I doubt this smoking gun evidence will change anything about the way that Trump supporters view the legitimacy of his presidency. And Congressional Republicans are going to carry on with Trump Care and other awful legislation. Nothing has changed from these revelations except that those of us on the Left will feel vindicated about our beliefs that Russia interfered with our last election.

  179. 179
    Another Scott says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Yup.

    Which is an excellent elaboration on what I tried to say in the other thread. Even when the intellectually and legally “right and necessary” thing to do is release the information, one always has to consider the ramifications (sources-and-methods wise, politics wise, social cohesion wise, etc). Having riots in the streets and emboldening those who want to cause chaos and even more distrust isn’t the way to make the country safer or wiser.

    The point of having an intelligence community isn’t to automatically release important information to the public, it’s to protect the nation. Sometimes that means burning S&M, sometimes that means doing nothing, sometimes that means doing stuff out of the public eye and taking the brickbats that “we aren’t doing enough”. All of these decisions have consequences, no matter how they’re decided. Recognizing there are consequences doesn’t mean that not choosing CS’s preferred path makes one an apologist….

    WaPo – the final (October 19) debate transcript:

    TRUMP: She wants open borders. People are going to pour into our country. People are going to come in from Syria. She wants 550 percent more people than Barack Obama, and he has thousands and thousands of people. They have no idea where they come from.

    And you see, we are going to stop radical Islamic terrorism in this country. She won’t even mention the words, and neither will President Obama. So I just want to tell you, she wants open borders.

    Now we can talk about Putin. I don’t know Putin. He said nice things about me. If we got along well, that would be good. If Russia and the United States got along well and went after ISIS, that would be good.

    He has no respect for her. He has no respect for our president. And I’ll tell you what: We’re in very serious trouble, because we have a country with tremendous numbers of nuclear warheads — 1,800, by the way — where they expanded and we didn’t, 1,800 nuclear warheads. And she’s playing chicken. Look, Putin…

    WALLACE: Wait, but…

    TRUMP: … from everything I see, has no respect for this person.

    CLINTON: Well, that’s because he’d rather have a puppet as president of the United States.

    TRUMP: No puppet. No puppet.

    CLINTON: And it’s pretty clear…

    TRUMP: You’re the puppet!

    CLINTON: It’s pretty clear you won’t admit…

    TRUMP: No, you’re the puppet.

    CLINTON: … that the Russians have engaged in cyberattacks against the United States of America, that you encouraged espionage against our people, that you are willing to spout the Putin line, sign up for his wish list, break up NATO, do whatever he wants to do, and that you continue to get help from him, because he has a very clear favorite in this race.

    So I think that this is such an unprecedented situation. We’ve never had a foreign government trying to interfere in our election. We have 17 — 17 intelligence agencies, civilian and military, who have all concluded that these espionage attacks, these cyberattacks, come from the highest levels of the Kremlin and they are designed to influence our election. I find that deeply disturbing.

    The information was out there. Too many people ignored it – because of the politics at the time.

    Comey’s last ButHerEmails event was October 28 – 9 days after that debate…

    FWIW.

    Cheers,
    Scott.

  180. 180
    Steve in the ATL says:

    @Mike in DC:

    God willing, 2020 will not be kind to Mitch McConnell.

    God willing, 2017 will not be kind to Mitch McConnell.

  181. 181
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @JoeSo:

    I think its inevitable that it will turn out that Russian did alter vote totals.

    Any revelation that Russian hackers actually altered vote totals would be devastating to the Trump regime. Now that would be shocking since we’ve been told over and over again that this didn’t happen. I found it suspicious that ballots in Detroit (if my recollection is correct) couldn’t even be reviewed when Dr. Stein tried to challenge the Michigan election results.

  182. 182
    Tokyokie says:

    @TenguPhule: The TV people are generally lazy. But newspaper staffs have been so badly gutted that most don’t have the resources any longer to do much investigative work.

  183. 183
    D58826 says:

    And to add two more points to this thread. Until the 1950s- 70’s most cities had two or more dailies of which at least one was the republican paper and the other democratic.
    And even in the golden age of the media that most of us remember. they often got it wrong. Remember the Gulf of Tonkin incident. with the possible exception of the Communist Workers daily the media fell all over itself to line up behind the government version of events. Even though LBJ himself said he figured the Navy was shooting at flying fish. That did not stop the media from turning the story into the greatest naval victorty since the Battle of Midway. And we all know how that turned out. It took a generation of young and relatively unknown, at the time, reporters to change the narrative. They were the guys and few gals out in the rice paddies seeing the war at the level of the grunt. They ignored the handouts from the Five o’clock follies back in Saigon. Heck if you want to string the media along maybe Spicey and Hucklebee should talk to some of the people who ran those 5pm propaganda sessions. THEY knew how to spread it on really really thick.

  184. 184
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @Ruckus: That’s an excellent point, but it can’t be the whole point in doing the kind of analysis Adam and I have learned to do. One of the basic principles of analysis is that saying that someone is deluded is a cop-out. If you assume someone is crazy, then the whole point of analysis goes out the window. Anything is possible.

    So we’re faced with a paradox. The evidence is good that there is something about Trump’s thought processes that doesn’t line up with reality in a very large way. That has to be part of the analysis. But you have to do the analysis as if the system is predominantly rational. I deal with it by looking at various possibilities and keeping all of them in mind. At any moment, or when I’m writing a comment on Balloon Juice, I may not include them all.

    It’s entirely possible that the only reason for Trump’s rigging claim is his delusional view of himself. But given the evidence in the Washington Post article, we need to consider other possibilities as well.

  185. 185
    Ruckus says:

    @different-church-lady:
    Nice. And of course the way his fans would spin it.
    He’s still a nobody asshole. I don’t give a damn how he gets his jollies, just that he has no agency here. Unless we give it to him.

  186. 186
    Patricia Kayden says:

    @Another Scott: I suppose Secretary Clinton and President Obama should have said, “We have actionable evidence which shows that Putin gave specific instructions to hackers on how to work in favor of Trump and against Secretary Clinton”. And then McConnell, Republican leaders, and the MSM would have howled, “How dare you?!!”

    The end.

  187. 187
    D58826 says:

    @Tokyokie: I’m not sure they are lazy as much as the way the media has evolved there is no market for an Edward R. Morrow Harvest of Shame style documentary let alone a series of such stories. 60 minutes is probably one of the few show left from that era. And it is buried on a Sunday night at 7pm. What are you going to watch 60 minutes talking about poor peole or the last quarter of the Patriots-Bronco match up. Surely it is more important to know whither Tom Brady has deflated the foot ball than the fact that 23 million people have lost medical coverage.

  188. 188
    Betty Cracker says:

    @Mnemosyne: Handy timeline here. Much information was withheld. You can argue that it was the right course to take, the best option among many poor ones, etc. That could be true. But I don’t think it’s reasonable to argue that the public pretty much had all the information it needed to make an informed decision* or that a statement by the president would have been received as “noise” by everyone.

    *Specifically on the Russia issue, I mean. Of course everyone had all the information they needed to know that Trump was unqualified and unfit, and tens of millions of assholes voted for him anyway.

  189. 189
    D58826 says:

    And Time mag. is reporting that voting records were altered in at least one county. The election officials caught it and corrected the information so there was no harm done. But where they good at their jobs or just lucky? How many other sets of voter data were altered and no one noticed?

  190. 190
    D58826 says:

    And the cops are running 3 for three. The trial of Officer Tensing in Ohio just ended in the second mistrial. Better than an acquittal
    but just barely. You can retry this guy only so many times.

  191. 191
    TenguPhule says:

    @Another Scott:

    Having riots in the streets and emboldening those who want to cause chaos and even more distrust isn’t the way to make the country safer or wiser.

    But now we get all that and Trump too.

  192. 192
    JoeSo says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I’ll never understand how Pennsylvania went for Trump. Of all the Republican presidential candidates Pennsylvania could go for, he wouldn’t crack the top 100. That’s when my BS detector went off.

  193. 193
    Tokyokie says:

    @D58826: You’re probably correct as to no market really existing for long-form TV investigative journalism any longer. Al-Jazeera TV was doing some really good work in this area, and you saw how long it lasted. But as a Missouri J-School alum, I knew a lot of TV sequence types, and, for the most part, they were nitwits. A bit sharper than the ad and PR majors, perhaps, but much duller than the news-ed and magazine majors. And I doubt that dynamic has shifted significantly since the atrophy of print journalism.

  194. 194

    @Adam L Silverman: SIGNIT is one of the most valuable intel sources in the US crown jewels, correct? Anything short of having the Chief of Staff of Putin under US control is less valuable in terms of sources/methods that must be protected at all cost? Correct? So the revelation of methods is significant, right?

  195. 195
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    You are correct of course but I wasn’t laying out the entire trail just how to look at it from drumpf’s perspective. If you start putting all the pieces together of course there is more to it. But how does that change his perspective? Given that both before and after the election he has acted the same, that his wonderfulness will always win/why can’t everyone else see that. He is infantile, he is an educated moron, he is getting older and not in a good way, he believes outlandish crap about himself that only people who don’t know him will believe, he has an inferiority complex, he has a persecution complex, etc, and it bends the way he sees issues and himself. And he doesn’t care about Russian meddling, he won based upon his greatness, just ask him. Oh wait you don’t have to he tells us regularly. We can’t treat him as a regular politician because he isn’t one. He’s been hired to do a very political job and run the country, a job for which he is, if nothing else, brutally unqualified.
    A question I’d ask is how would you expect him to respond to the Russian meddling question? That his election was tainted and he didn’t win? That a powerful foreign country played in some way with votes/registration/outcomes to “elect” him and does he believe this? Even if he actively participated in this, his personality would never let him admit in any way that he didn’t win. Except that in his own idiotic way he does. By saying that Clinton should have won. He doesn’t say “if she had won,” he says she should have won. Repeatedly.
    As bad as all of this is, we can’t separate out that his personality is what allowed this to happen. Put any other conservative in his place and I don’t think this would have worked. It was a perfect storm, abet not a natural one.

  196. 196
    glory b says:

    @Corner Stone: I don’t know about that, but he is a former Naval Intelligence officer who said his job there was best described as “spy hunter.”

    He’s on msnbc and on Sirius radio a lot, and yes, I know someone else has probably answered this already.

  197. 197
    Fair Economist says:

    @D58826:

    It requires long stories to explain/understand or long multiple TV time slots using big words (i.e. longer than ‘e-mail).

    No, it’s pretty easy. “Russia is attacking the US election system. Republican Mitch McConnell wants them to continue.” It’s the email fake scandal that took years of nonsense to spin up, because she was never really even accused of anything significant. It took lots of long vapid pieces about “concerns” and “shadows”.

  198. 198
    Spanky says:

    @TenguPhule:

    @Jeffro:

    Now it’s time for reporters to start drilling down

    You do remember this is our lazy fucking American media, right?

    The great thing about this WaPo article and timeline is that the WaPo literally drew a map for the MSM. Now if only their paychecks depended on them actually doing some investigating ….

  199. 199
    D58826 says:

    @Patricia Kayden:

    altered vote totals

    Once the investigations are complete I would not fall out of my chair if we see that did happen. I just think it is more likely that registration records were altered that resulted in voters having to use provisional ballots that never get counted. I know Kay and I disagree on this. On the other hand, with Detroit in mind, never underestimate the ability of the American election system to screw things up (with profound apologizes to Kay and and all of the the others who try so hard to make the system work). Detroit could just be old machines in a city w/o a lot of money. Remember the Russians did not design the Palm Beach butterfly ballot or all of those hanging chads. and I don’t underestimate the impact of Jeb Bush and Katherine Harris in tilting the playing field. Some of these cases might just be an example of good old Sigmund’s cigar and not some deep plot by Vlaid.

  200. 200
    MJS says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: I don’t think Trump’s claims of rigging were anything more than a pre-emptive excuse for losing. I think he fully expected to lose, at least up until Comey pulled his shit. He ended up losing by 3 million or so votes, so he was right to believe more people would vote for Clinton than for him. His claims of rigging were a defense mechanism/preview of his I’m-not-conceding speech that due to the electoral college we unfortunately never got to hear.

  201. 201
    Cheryl Rofer says:

    @MJS and Ruckus: Trump’s claims of rigging could be due to his delusional view of himself, a pre-emptive excuse for losing (what I thought at the time), and an idea he got from what he knew about what was going on behind the scenes. All three together, maybe something else, or any one. I’m just saying that with the information coming out, the third becomes a live possibility that could have played into his psychological issues.

  202. 202
    D58826 says:

    @Fair Economist:

    “Russia is attacking the US election system. Republican Mitch McConnell wants them to continue.”

    And the GOP will come back and say proved it. Isn’t that what the left did when Faux obsessed on e-mails. Making the accusation is easy proving it is hard.
    I have a book – ‘At Dawn we Slept’ which is the catch line for Pearl Harbor. But it took 800 pages to show WHY we slept and all of the mistakes and missed chances.

    As much as I would like to see Der Fuhrer and the GOP leadership spend the rest of their lives in cells surrounded by those MOOOOSLIMss in Gitmo. I want it done by the book and in a way that future historians and lawyers can look back and say the system worked. The charges were proven beyond a reasonable doubt (or at least as much as you can when some of the information is highly classified). No reruns of Benghazi, e-mails or Joe McCarthy’s list of 200 communists in the state department.
    Doing it right may not convince the rwnj’s on Faux but I want our side to do it right and produce a product that we can show to our kids with pride. and if on the off chance that Trump is innocent I don’t want a kangaroo court just to convict him out of political malice. As I country I want to hope we are better than that. And maybe we can convince some of the Faux listeners that there is a better way. (one can hope)

    And I will continue to beat that pink unicorn

  203. 203
    MJS says:

    @Cheryl Rofer: Good point. I guess I’m just envisioning anything that he knew of going on behind the scenes coming out at his rallies, and in his tweets, as “Believe me, we’ve got the best rigging going on. It’s unbelievable. Crooked Hillary isn’t going to know what hit her on election day. I have the best riggers. I’m telling you, no one can rig like these guys.”

  204. 204
    Spanky says:

    @TenguPhule: It’s not your father’s WaPo anymore.

  205. 205
    Brachiator says:

    @D58826:

    60 minutes is probably one of the few show left from that era. And it is buried on a Sunday night at 7pm.

    Time and tastes change. “60 Minutes” has been on at 7 pm forever. From 1977 through 1996 it was always a top ten show, often number 1 and at times “appointment TV.” People would refuse to go out or answer the phone while 60 minutes was on.

    Rush Limbaugh and his ilk, Fox News, etc, whittled away at the integrity of news and news reporting, and made things more tribal, encouraging people to rationalize their prejudices and stupidity by wrapping it with their political ideologies and false sense of patriotism. The new conventional wisdom is that practically all journalism is left wing propaganda and it is only those brave souls paid by Rupert Murdoch who are truth tellers.

  206. 206
  207. 207
    Ruckus says:

    @Cheryl Rofer:
    I don’t disagree that he could have quite possibly known or even asked for help. Personally I think he knew, I don’t think he’s got the chops to ask. I also don’t think the Russians would have trusted him, except that he does directly or indirectly owe them a lot of money so they may have pushed him to go for it and that they might help him, in some way. Would they give him their plans? I doubt it, I think they don’t feel a lot different about him than I do, he is to them a useful idiot. I do think, given his personality that the response would not be different. He is quite delusional, especially where his person is involved. It is quite possible for him to twist anything into a “positive” for himself.

  208. 208
    Mj_Oregon says:

    Every time something comes out that reconfirms what we all feared about Russia’s involvement in last year’s election, I have a flashback to cowering in my high school hallway during an emergency civil defense drill during the phucking Cuban Missile Crisis. I was absolutely sure that we were finally going to be obliterated by the Russians. I lived in the Philadelphia area as a child and we all knew it was a prime target. I grew up with duck and cover drills and I knew early on, say at age 6 or so, that they were stupid and completely non-effective. I had that mushroom cloud hovering over every single minute of my childhood, not that it was front of mind all day, every day, but it was there.

    So, it’s beyond me how every single person who grew up in the 50’s & 60’s during the height of the Cold War isn’t “hair on fire” concerned about Russia’s interference in our elections. I so appreciate that I can come here and read that other sane and aware people are as concerned as I am about what happened last year. @rikyrah – I’ve had the same thought that they purged voters lists in certain states. The 2016 election has never passed the smell test and never will.

    Thank you, Adam, for stating clearly more than once that we are at war and have been for some time. Just because the shots fired were from state sponsored hackers and not AK-47’s doesn’t mean we should be complacent about the results – ever. Russia has never been our friend and never will our friend no matter how many times 45* tries to sugarcoat Putin. I’m so phucking tired of having flashbacks to October 1962.

  209. 209
    trollhattan says:

    @Another Scott:
    Good work. That lays it out very well.

  210. 210
    glory b says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Jeh Johnson was on (I think) Rachel Maddow’s show last night. He said the Russia announcement came out on the same day as the Access Hollywood tape (the P***y tape). Everyone in the media promptly ignored it.

    He said it took time to vet the story, make sure that it didn’t reveal too much, sources, methods, etc.

    He thought it would be a big story. It wasn’t

  211. 211
    trollhattan says:

    @MJS: @Cheryl Rofer:
    I think that’s right–Trump was inoculating himself against the presumed loss and also riffing off Bern…Wilmer.

  212. 212
    stinger says:

    @Jeffro: They won, so why would they care? They have zero interest in anything that would make the 2016 election seem illegitimate — or that might prevent future Putin interference in US elections, as long as his thumb is on the scale for Republicans (as it always would be). They welcome it, in fact. McTurtle and his ilk will do ANYTHING to prevent Dems from winning elections. They don’t care about democracy, they care about holding power.

  213. 213
    D58826 says:

    @Mj_Oregon: I grew up behind the Garrettford-Drexel Hill volunteer fire company in suburban Philly. We were used to the siren going off at all hours of the day and night so we didn’t pay it much mind. But during those weeks, it seemed like an eternity between the first blast of the siren and then hearing the lead unit roll with all lights flashing and sirens blasting. I know I would day a silent prayer – ‘thank god it is only some one’s house on fire and not the end the world’. I guess I owe a prayer that I hope the damage was minor. I remember driving pas the airport that week and seeing a couple of B-52s on dispersed runway alert. Scary time and I really hate it when we have dunces like Trump talk about attacking N Korea as if a few nukes was no big deal.

  214. 214
    D58826 says:

    @glory b: I don’t remember. which came out first the Russia story or the p* story. If the Russia story came out first, maybe it was Putin using his trove of info/ to distract from the Russia story even if it meant burning his asset Trump.

  215. 215
    Brachiator says:

    @Mj_Oregon:

    Russia has never been our friend and never will our friend no matter how many times 45* tries to sugarcoat Putin.

    Russia is not the old Soviet Union. And despite the global power games currently being played by Putin, this does not mean that current conflicts will last forever.

  216. 216
    different-church-lady says:

    @Brachiator: We think news has gone to hell, but I wonder if it’s really more that we were spoiled in the sober era between roughly 1950 and 1980, when both TV and print journalists took their jobs and their responsibilities very seriously. Those of us born a bit later thought that’s what journalism was supposed to be, but in fact it was the golden era that was the anomaly. All we’re doing now is reverting to a mean where yellow journalism is king.

  217. 217
    Mnemosyne says:

    @JoeSo:

    I have someone in the thread above telling me that it was all the Democrats’ fault that Hillary lost PA, despite the reports on Election Day that people were being asked for ID even though the court had struck the law down.

    So who instructed those poll workers to ask for ID and turn people away who didn’t have it? 🤔

  218. 218
  219. 219
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @David Anderson: It is a very, very important and closely protected set of tools. So pretty much yes.

  220. 220
    mai naem mobile says:

    @Patricia Kayden: I remember Joe Biden saying that if the Russians did cyberattack our elections we would shut down their electric grid. He might have been exaggerating but it should have been a shock and awe response from the US. I give Obama a pass on the pre election actions because of YErle and the fact that nobody thought Dolt was going to win. BTW, I am not somebody who is retaliatory in pretty much any form but this is messing with a country’s legit election. We’re not some two bit third world banana republic or Russia or North Korea where the leader gets 99% of the vote and the election if obviously fixed.
    @KS in MA: i sincerely hope you’re right.

  221. 221
    D58826 says:

    @different-church-lady:

    All we’re doing now is reverting to a mean where yellow journalism is king.

    But at least in the yellow journalism days, the number of sources were relatively limited and the speed of distribution was slow enough that you could think about it for a bit. Now in the blink of an eye you can get all of your news from Bernie Bro supporter who is left handed and hates the Patriots. And then get into a serious disagreement with a Hillbot who lives in Calif. and follows ‘football’ the way Europeans mean it.

  222. 222
    Mj_Oregon says:

    @D58826: I grew up near the State Road/Lansdowne Avenue intersection and the Highland Park fire station wasn’t too far away. Nice to see another former “Upper Dump” resident on here.

  223. 223
    Soprano2 says:

    The whole time I was reading that in my mind I was screaming ‘FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK”. What the fuck, Congress, to not want us to know about this? What the fuck, Obama, to not tell us regardless of what Republicans said? What the fuck, states, to not care if your systems are hacked? WHAT THE FUCK, FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK FUCK!!!!????????

    Ok, I feel a tiny bit better now.

    Plus, WaPo, why couldn’t you have dropped this story next weekend? Why now?

  224. 224
    Brachiator says:

    @different-church-lady:

    We think news has gone to hell, but I wonder if it’s really more that we were spoiled in the sober era between roughly 1950 and 1980, when both TV and print journalists took their jobs and their responsibilities very seriously. Those of us born a bit later thought that’s what journalism was supposed to be, but in fact it was the golden era that was the anomaly. All we’re doing now is reverting to a mean where yellow journalism is king.

    That’s part of it, but the story is more complicated. The “LA Times,” for example, was still a hack conservative newspaper competing with Hearst papers until around 1962, a little after the time that Otis Chandler became publisher. And the Times political editor Kyle Palmer had groomed and protected Richard Nixon and made sure that the Times never published negative stories about him.

    But yeah, there was a lot of good journalism and some of the better print journalists moved into TV in the post WW II era.

    Despite tons of technological innovations, local TV news is rarely more than a headline service. But the increasingly rapid decline of magazines and newspapers due to the collapse of old business models means that even journalists who want to do a good job increasingly have nowhere to to. I read recently that even an Internet rag like HuffPo is laying people off, including at least one reporter who had won a Pulitzer Prize.

    Also there is among the current generation people who just don’t care about news. It doesn’t matter how serious reporters might be if the public only wants entertainment news.

  225. 225
    D58826 says:

    Funny how the system works. Johnny Depp has been forced to apologize for his assassination comment when it was obvious that it was a rhetorical question and not a threat. And the answer to the question would be John Wilkes Booth. Ted Nugent promises to turn over a somewhat newer leaf but never apologized. IOKIYAR.

  226. 226
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @glory b:@D58826: I mentioned that a couple of week’s ago in a comment. What I find interesting, and this is not a fault of David Farenthold or WaPo, is that he received the tip and the video the morning he broke the story. Which was the same day that ODNI, DHS, CIA made their announcement. My understanding is that the Obama Administration folks, HRC campaign folks, and other campaign surrogates were all set to hit the evening and weekend news shows – all weekend – to hammer this. And by 4 PM, after Farenthold couldn’t get anything out of NBC, WaPo rightly ran the story.

    Here’s the question: who dropped the tip on Farenthold? On the day that the Russian active measures/hacking story broke?

  227. 227
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Brachiator: Excellent and important point. The issues now are not between Americans and Russians. They are between the two states at the state level.

  228. 228
    Mnemosyne says:

    @Quinerly:

    I don’t think it’s a bad idea to get Loretta Lynch on the record and under oath saying, “That Russian memo is a fake because I never spoke to that woman, ever.” YMMV.

  229. 229
    Brachiator says:

    ARRRRG!

    A sentence in an earlier post here should have read:

    But the increasingly rapid decline of magazines and newspapers due to the collapse of old business models means that even journalists who want to do a good job increasingly have nowhere to go.

  230. 230
    MomSense says:

    @D58826:

    We know that some crucial precincts in North Carolina had huge delays and long lines on Election Day because their voter check in systems were not working properly. We know about this because the delays were reported on election day. If the lines and wait times are really long, people leave without voting. That is classic voter suppression. If the cause was Russian hacking of those voter systems well I’d really like to know how they knew which precincts to target.

  231. 231
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    Adam, I realize this is not on-topic, but I keep forgetting to ask about this when we have an open thread or one that is focused on the Mideast–what are the long-term implications you se in the Saudi succession change? Is it just a matter of pulling power to a single branch of the royal family, or is it the result of disagreements on regional politics within the family, or just a matter of force of personality on the part of the new crown prince who seems, by Saudi standards, to be awfully young for the job?

  232. 232
  233. 233
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio): All of them Katie. That’s a post unto itself, which I’ll be getting to in a couple of days.

  234. 234
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Doug!: You’re welcome. It’s what Cole doesn’t pay me for.

  235. 235
    LAC says:

    @rikyrah: Gurl, thank you and preach! As usual the loudmouth drunks on this board were wrong about what president obama tried to do.

  236. 236
    Dave says:

    @MJS: you’re 100% correct. Totally fucked is as fucked as we can get, and we are totally fucked. The country is now terminally stupid, probably too stupid to survive.

  237. 237
    a thousand flouncing lurkers (was fidelio) says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Thanks! I look forward to that.

  238. 238
    philadelphialawyer says:

    “As I wrote in July 2016 we are at (cyber) war. And again in March 2017 – we are at war.”

    And you are simply wrong, again. The USA is NOT “at war” with Russia. No war has been declared. There is no AUMF. The embassies and consulates of both countries are open. Trade and tourism continues between the two countries.

    “The only question now is what do we do about it? The US government has specific actionable intelligence, that is assessed to be of high confidence, that a hostile foreign power has attacked and continues to attack the United States for its own ends. This is a national security problem. And every part of the solution, including election system reforms, need to be understood within the discussion national security responses and solutions to the threat we face.”

    Why don’t you just focus on that, instead of the phony and hyberbolic assertion that we are “at war?” A Great Power rival has directly interfered in our electoral process. That does indeed constitute a national security problem. A grave one that should be addressed.

    We are in a Great Power rivalry with Russia. We attempt to interfere in its internal affairs, and vice versa. We engage in cyber “attacks” on them, and they do on us. But, yes, the elect Trump attack was singlularly successful, and is very, very disturbing.

    But there is no state of war. Not under international law nor under US domestic law. So, please, stop saying there is. It makes you look stupid.

Comments are closed.