The president has infamously long maintained that there’s essentially nothing to the Russia scandal, breaking with our own intelligence agencies in doing so.
Rather than cooperating with the investigation, as you might expect someone who is actually innocent to do, the president has sought to undercut it at every turn, making U.S. society more vulnerable in the process since our commander-in-chief is not on board with the need to counter Russian efforts to interfere in our elections.
Recently, however, Special Counsel Robert Mueller handed down a selection of indictments of Russian nationals that in any reasonable universe would put claims to rest of the whole investigation being a “witch hunt.” These indictments were over the Russians’ efforts to sow discord in the United States ahead of the 2016 elections.
Ranking member of the House Intelligence Committee, California’s Democratic U.S. Representative Adam Schiff, addressed the indictments in an appearance on CNN this Sunday morning, pointing out that they are yet another potent counter to the president’s endless claims that there’s nothing to the Russia scandal.
As he put it:
‘It ought to put to rest for anyone, including the president, who continues to call this a witch hunt, that the evidence is now overwhelming and unequivocal, and we need to move to protect ourselves from Russian interference in elections that are coming up.’
FBI Director Christopher Wray recently commented to Congress that he had not received any specific direction from the president to safeguard the U.S. against Russian interference in the upcoming midterm elections, although he claimed to be pursuing strategies to that end anyway.
He has certainly taken no public steps to counter Russian interference in our electoral processes, instead routinely dismissing the significance of the scandal altogether, as mentioned.
In the wake of the indictments handed down recently against a selection of Russian nationals, the president has opted to focus on the fact that the indictments allegedly vindicate his team as opposed to on the fact that the indictments confirm that, even though Trump refuses to take it seriously, Russians have sought to meddle in our elections.
He tweeted a message to that effect late Saturday, writing:
‘I never said Russia did not meddle in the election, I said “it may be Russia, or China or another country or group, or it may be a 400 pound genius sitting in bed and playing with his computer.” The Russian “hoax” was that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia – it never did!’
For one, Trump’s comments that he cites here do not acknowledge the extent of the problem of Russian meddling, even if he wants to act like they do.
There has long not been any question that it was Russia who hacked interests like the Democratic National Committee and spread their emails, and yet still Trump sticks to this line anyway.
Concurrent to this, Schiff addressed during his appearance on CNN this Sunday the fact that the Trump team is claiming vindication in the wake of the indictments, saying that “of course” the indictments don’t mean that it’s “case closed” for the president, adding that “this is a president who claims vindication every time somebody sneezes.”
Check out video of his appearance on CNN below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video