Years after the scandal first emerged, the president’s team is still refusing to take Russian meddling in U.S. elections seriously. During an interview taped for this weekend’s edition of This Week on ABC with host George Stephanopoulos, Trump’s national security adviser Robert O’Brien completely dismissed reports that Russia continues to support Trump’s campaign as illegitimate. The evidence of Russia’s already established support for the Trump presidency has been clearly and consistently laid out — and a top national security official has joined the ranks of those dismissing it in the name of political expedience.
‘I haven’t seen any intelligence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump reelected. I think this is the same old story that we’ve heard before. … We’ve been very tough on Russia, and we’ve been great on election security. So I think it’s a nonstory… What I’m saying is I have not seen that analysis. No one’s briefed me on it, including the leadership of the intelligence community.’
Same old story? No! It’s an amply documented story of the reality of the Russian meddling with which Trump himself has cooperated at times.
"I haven't seen any intelligence that Russia is doing anything to attempt to get President Trump reelected," Robert O'Brien tells @GStephanopoulos amid reports that intel officials told lawmakers Russia is meddling in 2020, with a preference for Trump. https://t.co/kHUIBjiIBB pic.twitter.com/AxdWI6mqEr
— This Week (@ThisWeekABC) February 23, 2020
O’Brien’s remarks directly mirror some from his boss, who dismissed reports of continued Russian support for his campaign as just more “misinformation.” It was never misinformation, but that assertion means that years after the evidence of Russian meddling first emerged, Trump — as president of the United States — is still failing to grasp the basic reality of the situation.
And he’s not just failing — he’s actively working against those who are trying to deal with the reality of Russian meddling. Reportedly, he even kicked out now former acting Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire because of a briefing that his team delivered to Congress about the ongoing Russian interference efforts in favor of Trump, which the president took as some kind of traitorous gaffe. In other words, as long as Trump remains in the White House, there’s not a real chance for work to be done to keep Russia out of the U.S. electoral process — he continues to welcome foreign support.