Trump Officials Say They Have 'No Intelligence' ... Stop Laughing, They Are Serious!
A few days ago, it was reported that it seems the Russians are meddling in the 2020 elections, like they did in 2016, favoring Donald Trump. This (of course) pissed off our Authoritarian-In-Chief and he fired acting (aren't they all) Director of National Intelligence Joseph Maguire and replaced him with an idiot loyalist, Ambassador to Germany Ric Grenell. Trump also did one of his White House lawn presser shout interviews denying the intelligence while blaming Democrats like House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff, who rightfully criticized him. So this week on the Sunday shows, we got multiple appearances from Trump officials Robert O'Brien and Marc Short, telling America what they really want us to hear about that so-called intelligence.
We begin with evil Mark Harmon and national security advisor Robert O'Brien. Appearing on both ABC's "This Week" and CBS's "Face The Nation," it appears O'Brien wanted to have some of column A and some of column B with the report about Russian meddling. On ABC, O'Brien began with some good ole Reagan-era Cold War fearmongering:
GEORGE STEPHANOPOULOS: How is Russia interfering in the 2020 election?
O'BRIEN: Well, there are these reports that they want Bernie Sanders to get elected president. That's no surprise. He honeymooned in Moscow.
So by stating this, since the intel suggests Russia favors Trump while also trying to help Bernie Sanders in the primaries, O'Brien confirmed it as true.
But when pressed again by Stephanopoulos, O'Brien went with ignorance:
O'BRIEN: Yeah, I have not seen that, and I get pretty good access. As you know from your time in the White House, the national security advisor gets pretty good access to our intelligence. 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. I've seen the reports from that briefing at the Intel Committee. I wasn't there, but I've seen no intelligence that suggests that.
This might be more believable if the Trump administration had ANY credibility or if Trump officials like Secretary of State Mike Pompeo hadn't said similar things only for it later to be confirmed they were lying. Stephanopoulos, for his part, tried several times to get an answer from O'Brien.
STEPHANOPOULOS: I have to press you on this. Are you really saying you've seen absolutely no intel analysis from the intelligence community showing that one of Russia's aims, just one of Russia's aims, is to favor President Trump? No analysis at all?
O'BRIEN: No, what I'm talking about, I've seen no intelligence, the -- and I haven't seen that analysis. The only analysis I heard was reported second-hand from leaks from the House Intelligence Committee that purport to claim that the woman who briefed them said that. But I've seen zero intelligence that Russia is doing anything to help, to help, to help President Trump get reelected. And I don't think it makes any sense -- it doesn't make common sense.
Are you serious, O'Brien? Why would the Russians want to get Trump reelected? Not that we are keeping score (but we totally are), there are 768,796 reasons why Russian prefers Trump as their useful puppet/idiot!
Stephanopoulos tried one last time, after reading a portion of an Admiral William McRaven op-ed, and it was then that O'Brien may have accidentally admitted his future alibi.
STEPHANOPOULOS: One final time Ambassador O'Brien. You're flatly denying that the intelligence community has analysis that Russia is trying to favor President Trump in the 2020 election.
O'BRIEN: What I'm saying is I have not seen that analysis, George. No one's briefed me on it, including the leadership of the IC.
STEPHANOPOULOS: So, after these reports came out, you didn't ask to see this analysis?
So when we later find out that O'Brien DID know, he'll say he found out after this interview. It's "plausible deniability" by way of "ignorance is bliss."
NBC's "Meet The Press" and "Fox News Sunday" featured appearances by Mike Pence's chief of staff and less creepy Carter Page lookalike Marc Short. Here is the full interview (if you can stomach that much lying):
Short tried to deny the Russian interference reports just as O'Brien did but, for his part, went with the "All Lives Matter" approach to election interference with Chuck Todd:
TODD: Just a basic question. Does the president believe that Russia's trying to interfere in the 2020 election?
SHORT: I think that Russia and other nations have consistently tried to interfere in American elections. The question that I think is out in some of the fake news media was an assertion that Russia was intentionally trying to help Donald Trump. That's different than four nations consistently looking to undermine America's democracy. They always try to do that.
It's the old 2016 "It could be Russia but it could be China, could also be lots of other people. It could be someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds" defense. The one that allowed ghouls like Rudy Giuliani to so fully convince Trump thatUkraine meddled in 2016, he committed impeachable offenses to blackmail them into taking credit for it.
Chuck Todd then asked why Trump is calling this report "disinformation," and it was then that Short might have let on why they are trying to ignore this:
SHORT: No, Chuck. What he believes is that the people leading the House Intelligence Committee, particularly Chairman Schiff, intentionally distort information and leak information that is false. These briefings –
TODD: This information didn't come from them though. This information came from the intel officials.
Chuck Todd tried numerous times to get a straight answer from Short but, as with all Trump officials, it was lies and obfuscation. Todd then finally just asked the common sense question:
TODD: Why can't the president say he wants to deter Russia from interfering in the election? His first reaction was, "It's made up. It's Democrat disinformation."
SHORT: He does want to stop foreign interference in our election --
TODD: He never says it.
SHORT: -- He has taken multiple steps at the Department of Homeland Security. [...]
Right, because the Trump Administration cares so much about Russian meddling in 2020 that "acting" Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney (no such thing as an "acting" chief of staff) told the last Senate confirmed Department of Homeland Security secretary that we had (Kirstjen Nielsen) that she could not bring up efforts to deter election interference. Hell, Republicans care so much about election integrity that Mitch McConnell blocked THREE election security bills just two weeks ago!
Maybe if this is how the Trump Administration is gonna "help" stop election security, they should stop helping.
Ironically, this is also how everyday since Trump was elected has felt... youtu.be
And that's your Sunday shows roundup! Have a week!
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Pop Culture observer & Comics fan. Amateur Movie Reviewer. Political Freelance Writer @wonkette. Marine, Husband & Dad. Opinions are mine only.