Russia was meddling in our election, but they weren't interfering.
If you were to accidentally turn on cable news over the past few days, this would be the explanation you would be hearing by Republicans in defense of the latest revelations that Russian hackers acted to aid Donald Trump in this year's presidential election. As absurd as it is to be defending a foreign nation from intervening in our election, let's take a moment to reflect on just how contorted this statement actually is. Republicans have gotten to the point now where they would actually defend a nation that threatens the sovereignty of the United States of America. They are doing that simply because they are out of options.
Because Republicans are now like teenagers, caught red-handed. They have no choice but to resort to semantics in order to convince others, and more importantly themselves, that what they are seeing isn't at all unprecedented. It's bad enough that they needed foreign intervention to ascend to the presidency; it's worse still that they needed their Senate majority leader to intentionally prevent that act from becoming public knowledge. Right now, Republicans have taken up the role of teenage children doing their best to obfuscate language in hopes that their crime will receive a lesser punishment. They were drinking but they weren't drunk. They dinged up the car but they didn't wreck it. The party wasn't busted it just ended early.
And Russia didn't change the outcome of the election, they just were causally involved.
Except they weren't. Aided by James Comey and Mitch McConnell, Russia overtly disrupted our election, so much so that you can actually see a pattern of behavior associated with the 2016 presidential campaign. Don't believe me? Let's take a look at the major Russian hacks over the past six months.
-On July 22nd, Wikileaks released its first hack of DNC emails. This was done four days before the Democratic National Convention and ended up causing quite a stir, forcing Debbie Wasserman Schultz to resign and empowering Bernie Sanders' supporters to believe their candidate had been wronged. Fortunately, the convention recovered and Hillary Clinton was even able to accrue a four-point bounce as a result of the star-studded lineup and on-point messaging.
-On July 27th, Donald Trump, candidate for president, openly advocated espionage against the American people by imploring the Russians to hack our country to "find Hillary's emails." This was the last day that Trump gave a live press conference.
-On September 13th, Wikileaks hacker Guccifer 2.0 heeded to Trump's call and released a new batch of DNC emails, a mere two days after Hillary Clinton had been hospitalized with pneumonia. At a time when the media was harping on Clinton's alleged "secrecy" in not telling anyone about her condition, the email dump served as a way to reiterate Clinton's secretive and thus untrustworthy nature. DNC Chair Donna Brazile said, "Not only has Trump embraced Putin, he publicly encouraged further Russian espionage to help his campaign. Like so many of the words Trump has uttered this election season, his statements encouraging cybercrime are dangerous, divisive, and unprecedented."
-On October 7th, the infamous Access Hollywood video dropped, a video that could and should have ended Donald Trump's political campaign. To immediately offset the impending damage of this video, Guccifer 2.0 released the third batch of DNC emails, this time from the personal emails of John Podesta. These were all geared up to be the "October Surprise" according to Breitbart News and contained the much sought after Goldman Sachs speeches by Hillary Clinton.
-That same day the Department of Homeland Security along with the Office of the Director of National Security issued a joint statement where they made clear just who was behind the hacks and what their intent was. The statement read, in part:
-On November 6th, two days before Election Day, Wikileaks released another round of hacked DNC emails in an effort to undermine the upcoming election.
All of these events were more than simple meddling. They were blatant attempts to bring down Hillary Clinton in an effort to prop up Russia's (and by Russia's I mean Putin's) favor son, Donald J. Trump. After all, Wikileaks hacked the RNC as well, yet refused to release any of those emails. And, if you want to find any of the now 30+ DNC email dumps, feel free to head on over to the Russia Times website. No, Russia unquestionably was involved in our election process and their involvement was more than simple meddling. It was a coordinated assault on our democratic freedom and it was aided and abetted by the Republican Party. To aid and abet a foreign enemy is more than simple meddling: it is treason.
And treason is a word that Republicans simply do not want to hear.