Did Russia Try To Help Elect Donald Trump President?

Russia hacked both the Dems and the GOP but they wanted Trump to win

The Washington Post is reporting that the Central Intelligence Agency, has concluded something widely suspected but never flatly stated by the intelligence community: That Russia moved deliberately to help elect Donald Trump as president of the United States — not just to undermine the U.S. political process more generally.

Donald Trump, after all, won the election by a margin of approximately 80,000 votes, spread across three states. Pennsylvania, Michigan and Wisconsin. Trump won each of the decisive states by less than 1 percentage point. So even a slight influence could have plausibly made the difference, though we’ll never be able to prove it one way or another.

No information has emerged suggesting that the C.I.A. believes that Russia’s involvement decided the election’s outcome.

A large number of intelligence analysts believe that the goal of Russia was to cause confusion and undermine the legitimacy of the American election process. That is a common Russian tactic that they have used to effect elections throughout the regions in Eastern Europe.

The Post’s report cites intelligence officials who say they have identified individuals connected to the Russian government who gave WikiLeaks emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee and top Hillary Clinton aide John Podesta. One official described the conclusion that this was intended to help Trump as “the consensus view.”

The C.I.A.’s assessment is not public, but is thought to turn on another alleged hack. Russia also hacked data from the Republican National Committee but declined to release whatever it found, intelligence agencies told Congress. That has given credence to theories that Moscow actively favored the party’s candidate.

Florida Sen. Marco is one of a number of Republican lawmakers who believes the CIA report is right and that Congress should take a long look at the hacks. A Rubio spokesman said, “Sen. Rubio believes the committees on intelligence, foreign relations and homeland security, among others, should handle this oversight duty. He supports doing so as a member of the intelligence and foreign relations committees.”

When stolen Democratic emails were released during the election, the Florida Republican refused to comment and said Republicans could one day be targets.

“I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks. Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us,” Rubio said in October. “As our intelligence agencies have said, these leaks are an effort by a foreign government to interfere with our electoral process and I will not indulge it.”

This week, Rubio criticized Trump’s reported pick for secretary of state, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, citing his coziness with Russian President Vladimir Putin. “Being a ‘friend of Vladimir’ is not an attribute I am hoping for from a #SecretaryOfState,” Rubio wrote on Twitter. He sits on the Foreign Relations Committee, which would get an early crack at a Tillerson nomination, though Trump implied he could change his mind.

“Whether I choose him or not for ‘State’- Rex Tillerson, the Chairman & CEO of ExxonMobil, is a world class player and dealmaker. Stay tuned!” Trump wrote Sunday on Twitter.

Meanwhile, the CIA report highlights the increasingly fraught situation in which congressional Republicans find themselves with regard to Russia and Trump. By acknowledging and digging into the increasing evidence that Russia helped — or at least attempted to help — tip the scales in Trump’s favor, they risk raising questions about whether Trump would have won without Russian intervention.

Monday, President-elect Trump, again dismissed signs of Russian involvement in the election. “Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card. It would be called conspiracy theory!”

Some quotes in this story came from the ASSOCIATED PRESS and the video is from the PBS News Hour. 

Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.