HACKED: Russia's Effect on the Election of the Century
The CIA recently released a report that states the Russian government worked to interfere in our elections. This news comes just weeks after the election, as well as days before electors officially cast their vote for President in the electoral college. According to the report, Russian officials hacked and leaked thousands of emails from the DNC that portrayed the political party in a negative light. The report also states that the hacks were done to RNC emails but they held onto that information as to not give any negative attention to Republicans and Donald Trump.
The Kremlin responded to these accusations by denying them and saying that “until the US can get proof of this, they should stop saying this.” President Obama has sworn to take actions against this threat stating that they will face swift consequences. Both Obama and Hilary Clinton have attributed the leaks to the recent loss in the election. This in addition to the assertion that the FBI letter affected millions of decisions in the early voting process, swinging several people away from Clinton. White House Press, Josh Ernst, also stated that the media “acted as a wing of the Russian government” since it was covering e-mails that were illegally obtained and released.
The CIA report also comes with some disagreement from the FBI as to the motive of the hacks. While the CIA explicitly states that the Russians worked to swing the election in favor of Trump, the FBI has stated that there is no particular leaning towards a particular candidate.
WikiLeaks head, Julian Assange, said however that the emails released by WikiLeaks were not given to them by the Russian government, although Assange wouldn’t confirm whether it was WikiLeaks or another source that actually recovered the stolen emails from the DNC.
Through My Eyes:
This story is unbelievably complicated. Mainly because the side denying it and the side confirming it both have valid points. The side skeptical of Russia’s involvement state there is no proof to this report and the White House and Democrats are trying to find a scapegoat for their weak performance in the election. They also state that the CIA has been wrong before with monumental information with the inaccurate prediction that there were WMDs in Iraq. The other side states that Trump and his allies’ ties to Russia, as well as the alliance between the Syrian government complicated relationship with the international coalition to fight ISIS, gives the Russian government a vested interest in the failure of US or at the very least an interest in a leader that is more sympathetic to Russian relations.
I believe it is a medium between the two. While this could be a cop out on my end, it is difficult to assess how all of this plays out. While there is no definitive proof that the Russians were involved in these hacks, the intelligence community has a broad reach with nearly unlimited resources, so it should not be downplayed even though there were no specific details. Obama has said those details are being specifically withheld from the public, which does not inspire confidence. That being said with multiple trump aides, both former and current, having strong ties to the Russian government, a probe would be appropriate, and almost necessary to verify the legitimacy of the incoming administration.
It’s important to continue to take this seriously. If what the CIA and FBI are accurate in their findings, we are looking at an official act of aggression from the Russian government which is on par with such events as the Cuban Missile Crisis. It will also be interesting to see how such findings play out as the Trump Administration may try to block or question the information of the very agency he intends to lead.