The Russians Are Coming

REUTERS/Toru Hanai

John Linder Former Congressman
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The most ridiculous response to Donald Trump’s victory is not the elaborate coverage of the Trump Tower elevator revealing with whom he is meeting in his effort to build a government. It is the elaborate effort by the Democrats to fix blame for their loss.

Fake news was the excuse for a time. Toward the end of the election a story that came to be known as “PizzaGate” was reported by CBS affiliate WUSA. The story making the rounds on the Internet claimed that Bill and Hillary Clinton, and their political guru John Podesta, ran a child sex slave ring from the basement of a pizza shop on Connecticut Avenue in Washington DC.

It was, of course, a farce, but it took legs during the run-up to the election. It ended when a 28-year old North Carolina man walked into the business after the election and fired a rifle to “save the kids.”

FBI Director Jim Comey’s two letters to Congress reopening and then re-closing the investigation of Clinton’s email problem remains high on the “damn you” list.

The excuse du jour is that a Russian computer hack delivered the victory to Trump. The Washington Post ran a story attributed to a tip from the CIA that Russia hacked both Republican and Democrat Party computer systems and released only those damaging to Mrs. Clinton.

A couple of things were suspicious about that story. For starters the CIA has no authority to investigate domestic matters and, second, the CIA talks to no one about anything at any time. Unless, of course, someone important persuades them to do so for political reasons.

In an interview on Meet the Press last Sunday Chuck Todd angrily hectored Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus for 20 minutes trying to force an admission that the Russians affected the election. Priebus made it clear that an FBI forensic analysis of the RNC computer systems concluded that the RNC was not hacked. That did not satisfy Todd who had his story and was sticking to it.

Retiring Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) has now concluded that the Russian hacking is as big a deal as Watergate and demands that a commission be appointed to investigate. He also demands that the presidential electors be briefed on the extent of Russia’s involvement. I expect he is demanding a dozen other things that will serve to delegitimize the Trump presidency, but, frankly, Reid is such a bore I quit paying attention to him.

We now know that the Podesta email hack was the result of his responding to a phishing expedition and voluntarily changing his password on their site. We will likely discover that the Russians were not the culprits in the email releases. Harry Reid hasn’t been heard from on that new disclosure.

At the risk of sounding remedial let me state a few facts. The Russians have been trying to influence our elections for decades. So too has Israel. I would be surprised if Germany hasn’t. And Great Britain.

Our government tries to affect the elections of other nations too. President Obama’s last campaign manager Jim Messina advised the British Conservative Party in 2013, Prime Minister David Cameron in 2015 and Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi’s failing referendum this year. He was paid 400,000 Euros in that losing cause.

Do you think for a moment that Jim Messina would be involved in a foreign election that worked against the interests of President Obama? Me neither.

The U.S. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations reports that within weeks after the Israeli Knesset voted to schedule new national parliamentary elections for March 2015 an international organization known as the OneVoice Movement launched a multimillion-dollar grassroots campaign in Israel to defeat Prime Minister Bibi Netanyahu.

OneVoice received more than $300,000 in grants from the U.S. State Department. To lead its grass roots efforts OneVoice turned to none other than Obama’s 2012 field director Jeremy Bird.

Netanyahu defeated his opponent and the efforts of the Obama administration without a whine.

The Obama administration also tried to put the Department of Homeland Security in an official role in our recent presidential election purportedly to ensure its integrity. Georgia had already arranged for the cyber security of the election with a private firm and declined DHS assistance.

That didn’t stop DHS from contributing. Someone with an IP address associated with DHS tried to hack into the Georgia’s Secretary of State’s computers holding the voter records of 6.5 million Georgians. Secretary of State Brian Kemp has demanded an explanation.

One wonders if the Democrats will ever get around to looking into whether the presidential campaign of Hillary Rodham Clinton had anything whatever to do with the recent election and its outcome.

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