Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Saturday December 17, 2016
Donald Trump’s Denial About Russia
No matter how divided our politics and our times, Americans can agree that our status as a strong, democratic nation rests on the bedrock of free and fair elections. That confidence is what was targeted when Russia, one of our oldest, most determined foreign adversaries, invaded American computer networks and released thousands of pages of documents to undermine the legitimacy of the 2016 election.
This news emerged last summer. Last month, the Central Intelligence Agency shared a further conclusion, based on months of analysis, that the Russian hacking was intended to favor Donald Trump.
“There shouldn’t be any doubt in anybody’s mind,” Adm. Michael Rogers, the director of the National Security Agency and commander of United States Cyber Command, said recently. “This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily,” he said. “This was a conscious effort by a nation-state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”
Extrapolating motive from evidence is always tricky. But after the C.I.A. provided classified briefings for Congress and the White House, members of both political parties were convinced.
But not President-elect Trump.
Mr. Trump’s instant rejection of the C.I.A. findings as “ridiculous,” based on no review of its work, echoed Moscow’s. “This tale of ‘hacks’ resembles a banal brawl between American security officials over spheres of influence,” Maria Zakharova, the spokeswoman for the Russian Foreign Ministry, wrote on Facebook. Mr. Trump said of American security officials, “They’re fighting among themselves.” (Continued: New York Times)