There seems to be new information every day that points to Russia’s involvement in the 2016 election and the Trump administration’s ties to the corruption. Today was yet another one of those days.
The Washington Post issued an exclusive report this morning that revealed that the CIA notified Donald Trump and Mike Pence during the transition that they had proof that the Russians were involved in the 2016 election. The report stated that Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper Jr., CIA Director John Brennan, and FBI Director James B. Comey had a meeting with President Trump on January 6 and reported the CIA “had captured Putin’s specific instructions on the operation.”
The officials already briefed then-President Barack Obama and Congress on the intercepts before telling President-elect Trump. They said they expected Trump to remove them from Trump Tower after hearing the information but instead saw a surprisingly calm and collected Trump.
The team informed the President and Vice President that Vladimir Putin directed hacking operations before the 2016 U.S. election, and encouraged the newly elected president to address the incriminating evidence before the information came to light by other means.
Instead of adhering to advice from the CIA and his staff, President Trump not only failed to acknowledge the information but has denied on multiple occasions the U.S. intelligence findings of Russian interference. Both Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin have insisted the entire scandal “was invented by those that are in the US opposition” and Democrats who seek to take down the president.
During one interview, Putin came to Trump’s defense and advocated that the American people were the real victims in the situation and claimed Democratic attempts to overhaul Trump’s presidency did nothing productive for the country. Putin stated: “It really seems strange to me because it seems they don’t understand that they undermine their own nation, they limit the powers of the president.”
— Ruptly (@Ruptly) December 14, 2017
In spite of Donald Trump’s chummy rapport, many members of his administration have openly criticized Russia, including Secretary of State Rex Tillerson. The Washington Post recently reported that Tillerson voiced his concern over the Kremlin’s interference in the United States and in Europe, calling Russia’s actions an “active threat of a recently resurgent Russia.”
National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster also tore into Russia for activating a “new generation warfare.” McMaster said that campaigns of “subversion and disinformation and propaganda” to cause Americans to work against each other were acts of warfare meant to destabilize democracy.
And yet, with Trump’s administration in constant dismay with Russia, he himself seems to be perfectly at ease with Putin.
In November, during his infamous trip to Asia, Donald Trump not only met with Putin but flaunted his relationship with the Russian president. Trump tweeted:
‘Met with President Putin of Russia who was at #APEC meetings. Good discussion on Syria. Hope for his help to solve, along with China the dangerous North Korea crisis. Progress being made.’
Whether or not Trump is openly touting his relationship with Putin as a means to distract Americans is unknown, though the CIA does seem to have a different story when it comes to Russia.
Featured image by Salwan Georges/Washington Post via Getty Images.