Donald Trump’s love affair with Russia has reached alarming proportions, and as a result, the consequences will be dire, indeed. Now, the United States is in serious jeopardy of losing control of its midterm elections this year.
The Senate passed into law legislation that required the sitting president to levy sanctions against Russia as punishment for tampering in the 2016 elections, when Trump won. Although the law required those sanctions to take effect by January 29, Trump has completely ignored it.
In addition, the president has refused to order any action to secure the country from current Russian cyber hacking attacks that the top cyber security adviser knows are currently occurring. The security community has been operating within its own authority to do what it can against the cyber war.
Senator Jack Reed (D-RI) questioned National Security adviser in charge of the Cyber Command, Admiral Mike Rogers during the Senate Intelligence Committee hearing. The admiral admitted that regarding Russia’s cyber attack, according to CNN, the U.S. has been:
‘Sitting back and waiting. We have not opted to engage in some of the same behaviors we are seeing. It has not changed the calculus or the behavior on behalf of the Russians. They have not paid a price that is sufficient to change their behavior.’
Reed questioned FBI Director Christopher Wray earlier in February during a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing about whether the president had directed him to act on Russia’s interference with the upcoming 2018 election. According to CNN, Wray responded:
‘Not as specifically directed by the President.’
Rogers was clear that he still views Moscow as a threat to the 2018 elections. This view is consistent with what all the top national security officials testified to before the Senate Intelligence Committee earlier in February.
Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats testified before the committee earlier, too. He said:
‘We expect Russia to continue using propaganda, social media, false-flag personas, sympathetic spokesmen and other means to influence, to try to build on its wide range of operations and exacerbate social and political fissures in the United States. There should be no doubt that Russia perceives its past efforts as successful and views the 2018 US midterm elections as a potential target for Russian influence operations.’
Trump has been adamant that the Russians do not need to be punished, because they have not been meddling in our cyber world. He claimed that “the facts” show that he has been far tougher on Russia than President Barack Obama was during his time in office. Therefore, the current commander-in-chief believes he has been justified in not fulfilling the new law that passed with a nearly unanimous vote.
Rogers’ testimony disagreed with Trump’s view of Russia. Clearly, the U.S. is far behind in trying to prevent Moscow from meddling in the election, which is mere months away, and future attacks. The NSA chief testified that the U.S. security community is fully capable of preventing Russia from hacking—if Trump would give the order.
He has not done so. The question then becomes: Why? Is it possible that this president believes that Moscow’s interference will profit him?
Apparently, there are no consequences for Russia.
Featured Image via Getty Images/Spencer Platt.