• Senate Report Lays Out Startling Details on Russian Hackers and 2016’s Election

    Surge Summary: A newly released Senate report reveals Russian hackers targeted election systems in all fifty states, but did not alter any actual vote totals. 

    In case you haven’t noticed, both sides are continuing to caterwaul over the mechanics, results and consequences of the 2016 Presidential contest. In the mix, the phrase “Russian hacking” is repeated. Regularly.

    Apropos of that, Jack Crowe provides this new information — certain to accomplish nothing in calming the controversy’s waters:

    The Senate Intelligence Committee confirmed Friday that Russian hackers targeted election systems in all 50 states in advance of the 2016 elections, but did not attempt to alter any vote totals.

    Released Thursday was the first section of a five-volume report detailing “an unprecedented level of activity against state election infrastructure” – courtesy of Russian hackers. It was no surprise these high-tech meddlers had targeted a handful of states previous to the election, but this latest finding has revealed the effort was more nefariously widespread than previously understood.

    The committee noted: “Russian cyberactors were in a position to delete or change voter data”. They went on, however, to specify there is no evidence any voting totals were changed.

    This revelation may rattle a bevy of registered Democratic voters: a March YouGov poll tallied 67 percent of them who believe Russian hackers had altered 2016 voting totals.

    The report, which was heavily redacted by the nation’s intelligence agencies, was released just 24 hours after former special counsel Robert Mueller testified before a pair of House committees about his investigation into Russian election interference and possible collusion with the Trump campaign. It also came the same day that Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blocked Democrats from bringing to the floor election-security legislation that they argue will prevent a repeat of the 2016 breach.

    McConnell, in Thursday comments, dismissed the legislation as an unnecessary, federal government intrusion into a process traditionally controlled by the states.

    “It’s just a highly partisan bill from the same folks who spent two years hyping up a conspiracy theory about President Trump and Russia and who continue to ignore this administration’s progress at correcting the Obama administration’s failure on this subject,” McConnell said of the Democratic legislation.

    Democratic leadership has argued their Republican colleagues are hostile to the legislation because it casts doubt over Donald Trump’s win.

    Minority Leader Chuck Schumer offered this:

    “This is not a Democratic issue, a Republican issue. … This is not a liberal issue, a moderate issue, a conservative issue. This is an issue of patriotism, of national security, of protecting the very integrity of American democracy, something so many of our forbears died for.”

    “And what do we hear from the Republican side? Nothing.”

    Congress did pass legislation last year providing $380 million in grants for states to improve their election systems’ security protocols. Democrats complain that amount is insufficient considering the breadth and depth of the problem.

    Questions: Why was that pile of cash not enough? Anyone looking into precisely what happened to it? How were the funds applied? Did they make any difference?

    And, why do I reckon nothing this Republican-generated report says will tamp down the Democrats’ obsession with convincing all of America Donald Trump is an illegitimately installed Chief Executive?

    Call me a skeptic, I guess.

    Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay 

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