The White House knows Russia is meddling with our election. They went so far as to ask two top congressional intelligence officials to keep quiet about Russian plans to mess with the US presidential election.
In a statement released last Friday, two senior Democratic lawmakers formally accused Russia of attempting to influence the US election. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and Rep. Adam Schiff, the vice-chairmen of the Senate and House Intelligence Committees, accused the Kremlin of
“making a serious and concerted effort to influence the U.S. election.”
It was the first official, on-record confirmation from US government officials that the Kremlin is actively working to undermine public confidence in the country’s election system.
The statement described recent cyber penetrations of the Democratic National Committee and other U.S. political entities as intrusions that were likely directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin.
“At the least, this effort is intended to sow doubt about the security of our election and may well be intended to influence the outcomes,” the statement said. “We believe that orders for the Russian intelligence agencies to conduct such actions could come only from very senior levels of the Russian government,” the statement said. “We call on President Putin to immediately order a halt to this activity.”
The White House — which has not commented on reports of Russian hacking despite mounting pressure to call out its Moscow adversaries — tried to delay the statement’s release. According to Buzzfeed, congressional sources said that the public accusation
“was of such concern to the administration that White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough was personally involved in the negotiations over releasing it.”
The Obama administration has been reluctant publicly to accuse Russia of meddling in the U.S. election for fear of
“fanning public concerns over the security of the election and igniting a cycle of tit-for-tat cyberattacks.”
“Do you really want to call it out, and recognize it? With everything you do, you should be reinforcing the public’s confidence in the election system,” said one US intelligence official who is frequently briefed on Russia issues. Calling Russia out, he said, could also validate widespread worries over the security of the November election. “Do you really want that shitstorm? I don’t think you do.”
Russian cyberhacking has become an issue in the 2016 presidential election, with Hillary Clinton accusing Russia of working to elect Donald Trump.
“I’m really concerned about the credible reports about Russian government interference in our elections,” Clinton told reporters aboard her campaign plane in early September. “The fact that our intelligence professionals are now studying this, and taking it seriously,” she said, “raises some grave questions about potential Russian interference with our electoral process.”
But according to Wikileaks founder Julian Assange,
“there is a much deeper connection on record with Hillary Clinton and Russia than we are presently aware of with Donald Trump.” In an interview posted on YouTube on July 27, Assange stated that there is “an extremely well-documented pattern of when Hillary Clinton was secretary of state, those people, companies, governments, who wanted a decision by the secretary of state in their favor, made large donations to the Clinton Foundation or in some other cases made business deals with people around Hillary Clinton.”
“One particular instance,” cited Assange, “is the approval by Secretary Clinton of selling 20 percent of the US-Iranian reprocessing rights to a Russian company to be exported to Russia. At that time, a large donation was made by those Russian interests to the Clinton foundation.”
Russia is widely believed to be the source for much of the classified information released by Wikileaks. Assange has promised to release an “October surprise” of hacked emails and documents from the Clinton campaign, the DNC, and possibly the Clinton which could sabotage Clinton’s presidential bid. Assange has stated that the next “batches of postings” will get Hillary Clinton arrested.
In light of the promised “October Surprise” of potentially damning emails, White House intervention to quash concerns about Russian election interference looks somewhat less than transparent. Do Obama officials know what embarrassing or potentially devastating information hacked from Hillary Clinton’s private server the Russians may have?
Good thing Buzzfeed News is covering the important story of the executive branch attempting to muzzle a congressional investigation into election tampering. Where is the rest of the media? CNN, The Washington Post, and the LA Times have spent the last twenty-four hour news cycle talking about something mean Donald Trump may or may not have said to a Venezuelan beauty queen back in 1996.
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