New reporting has confirmed that “Russian hackers targeted the Ukrainian gas company [Burisma] that's a major focus of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump.” The significance of this cannot be overstated. Recall that candidate Trump asked Russia to hack Hillary Clinton's emails before the 2016 election. And now we learn that Russia has hacked the company connected to his extortion of Ukraine to probe the Bidens prior to the 2020 election. This isn't suspicious at all, is it?
Throughout the campaign and into his presidency, Trump sought to defend Russia from charges that it was involved in the hacking of Clinton and the Democratic National Committee. He tried to shift blame to everyone form China to “somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds.” Trump even took the word of Vladimir Putin over that of the United States intelligence community that unanimously agreed that Russia was behind the hacking and the release of the stolen data. Asked point blank if he thought Russia was involved, Trump replied “I don’t see any reason why it would be.”
Naturally, Fox News has been taking Trump's side in this mission to absolve Russia of any guilt and to deceive the American people. They backed up Trump's denials at every turn and embraced his absurd call for a partnership with Russia on cyber-security matters. And they continue to do so to this day. On Tuesday morning's episode of Outnumbered on Fox News, co-host Dagen McDowell rehashed the debunked theory that there were other perpetrators in the hacking, saying that “It's Russia over here, but what about everything else that's going on, whether it's compromising our election or compromising our data security?” That led to this exchange (The video wouldn’t load in dKos, but you can watch it here):
Harris Faulkner: I just hope we're ready for the next election.
Jessica Tarlov: Well, it doesn't sound like we are.
Brian Kilmeade: I think we are.
Tarlov: Really? But there are election security bills sitting on [Mitch] McConnell's desk that he won't touch.
Kilmeade: I do believe we're ready. And I believe the Russians are gonna learn that we're going to blink the lights on that country should they try it. I think that's the best offense. The best defense is a great offense.
Tarlov: Can you call McConnell and tell him to pass some of those election security bills?
Kilmeade: It's already done.
Kilmeade's confidence in America's readiness is peculiar considering that virtually nothing has been done an a national scale to secure our election systems. His assertion that Russia would be punished for any bad behavior has no factual basis, especially since Trump has let them off the hook for their prior transgressions. In fact, Trump still seems to be inviting foreign governments to interfere in our elections, as we've seen with Ukraine.
If a great offense is the best defense, then the U.S. is in big trouble. We have no offense whatsoever. And our captain has not said a single word about the new report of Russians hacking Burisma. Finally, Kilmeade's off-hand response to a request to prod McConnell into action that “It's already done,” doesn't even make sense. What's been done, by whom? Certainly McConnell isn't going forward with any election security measures.
Let's face it, Trump doesn't want anything to be done about election security or Russia's interference in our elections. Even if he isn't colluding with Russia, he knows that their efforts benefit him and wants them to continue. That's what special counsel Robert Mueller was referring to when he said that Trump had “welcomed and encouraged“ Russia in the 2016 election.
It looks very much like the same thing is happening now. And it could have the same effect if nothing is done about it. Congress needs to act quickly and decisively to insure that our democracy isn't subverted again. The American people need to let Congress know that we expect nothing less from them. And the media must not allow itself to be used again by foreign adversaries to disseminate their propaganda and choose our next president.
Also, visit News Corpse on the web.
And check out my books on Amazon: