Did Russia Tell Trump To Bitch Constantly About The 2016 Election Being #RIGGED? We Are Just Asking Questions!
He was just following orders, maybe.
On Thursday, Mother Jones released an excerpt from a new book by its reporter David Corn, along with Yahoo News reporter Michael Isikoff, about the whole damn story of Russian interference in the 2016 election to elect Donald Trump, based on what we know so far and their own exclusive reporting. It was JUICY, because it was all about how Trump loves pee so much, or more specifically, it was about what really happened during Trump's 2013 Moscow Miss Universe pageant. Today, MoJo released the second excerpt, and it is totally different from the first! For one thing, there's hardly any Trump pee in it! But listen, that doesn't mean it's boring .
This excerpt focuses on the Obama administration's response to the Russian incursion. Much of it we already knew from the Washington Post 's excellent long-read reporting last June. But Corn and Isikoff provide new details and perspective on what was really going on in the months before Trump inexplicably was voted into office by minus three million Americans.
For instance, that story you've heard about how Bamz went up to Vladimir Putin at the G-20 and said "Cut! It! Out!" about ongoing election meddling? Turns out it was less like this ...
And more like this:
One senior US government official briefed on the meeting was told that the president said to Putin in effect, “You fuck with us over the election and we’ll crash your economy.”
That's more like it!
Wonkette is just asking questions.
The main thing Corn and Isikoff report in this excerpt is that Team Bamz was much more worried about the possibility of Russia tampering with the integrity of our voting systems than they were about Russia hacking Hillary emails or Trump colluding with Russia. In a way, this makes sense, because pretty much everybody, including Russia, agreed that Hillary Clinton was going to win the election. Corn and Isikoff say the general thinking for Obama was that "[t]he nation had had more than 200 years of elections and peaceful transitions of power. Obama didn’t want that to end on his watch." Fair enough!
Therefore, their greatest concern was that Russia would cause general election-day chaos and mayhem, against the backdrop of a Russo-Republican candidate named Donald J. Trump who was CONSTANTLY bitching and moaning that the election would be #RIGGED.
Reading this, we started to wonder: Is it possible Russia somehow signaled Trump to bitch about election rigging early and often, on the assumption that Hillary Clinton was ultimately going to win anyway, regardless of how successful their various hacking operations were? Would that have been a triumph for Russia, part of the damage it hoped to inflict on an incoming President Hillary Clinton, to have millions of low information Trump voters absolutely convinced the Deep State had stolen their votes and given them to
the blacks the MessicansHillary? We are just curious.
Obviously, Occam's Razor is at play here, because the most obvious explanation for why Trump cried about #RIGGED elections was to rile up his pig turd supporters and encourage their victim complex, because hello, that was his entire campaign platform. Also, when Trump pivoted after the election from #RIGGED to explaining his highly embarrassing popular vote loss to a girl by crying THREE MILLION ILLEGALS simply reinforces the science fact that Trump is a whiny ass titty baby piece of trash human with thin skin. OBVIOUSLY. CLEARLY.
On the other hand, Trump did stare at a TV camera in late summer of 2016 and beg Russia to find Hillary's mythical 33,000 missing emails, in an act of in-your-face collusion. Based on that behavior, we are JUST WONDERING AND WILDLY SPECULATING over whether one of the Russian agent cut-outs in Trump's campaign told him he should really talk a lot about election rigging, so that when/if Hillary won, it would still be MISSION ACCOMPLISHED for the Kremlin. Putin was trying to sow chaos and distrust, after all.
You don't know, could have happened.
Anyway, here is what Team Bamz did in response to Russian fuckery ... and what it DIDN'T do.
The excerpt gives some new details about why Team Bamz was more concerned about the Russians fucking with the integrity of the election than anything else. In late summer of 2016, they were constantly getting intelligence reports that said Russians were all up in states' election systems, trying to grab them by the pussy and take them furniture shopping. There were differences of opinion among National Security Council staffers and Homeland Security over their true aim -- instigate chaos? actually change vote totals? -- but regardless, they knew the Russians were up to no good.
And if Russia was able to do bad things to state election systems -- "delete every 10th name" in a voter registration database or "flip two digits in a voter's ID number," as Corn and Isikoff write -- it could throw Election Day into pandemonium, against the backdrop of a Donald Trump pre-emptively whining his fucking orange dick off about election rigging, and a right-wing tinfoil hat industrial complex ready and willing to exacerbate the chaos.
Seriously, does anyone think Alex Jones and Sean Hannity wouldn't have fucked that chicken to death, then given it to Donald Trump for post-death fucking? Please.
So Obama Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson did a conference call with all the state secretaries of state, literally from his mom's basement, and, without saying "Russia," offered DHS's help in shoring up elections. And as we all know from the Washington Post 's earlier reporting and other sources, some states were like, "Yes, help us, we are DTF for democracy!" Many other (red) states were like "GO BACK TO KENYA, NOBUMMER!" (Brian Kemp, the fuckhead wingnut Georgia secretary of state, was particularly fuckheaded.)
After (some) states decided to be real dipshits about it, Corn and Isikoff report that the Obama administration knew they'd have to get GOP leaders in Congress on board to stand up against Russian interference in a bipartisan way. We all know how that worked out HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA FUCK YOU MITCH MCCONNELL, ALL THE WAY UP INSIDE YOUR TURTLE BUTTHOLE. (Just click that link if you don't remember what McConnell and Paul Ryan did.)
As for the Obama administration's direct response to Russia, the NSC and intelligence community came up with a bunch of badass ways to retaliate -- leak shit about Putin's secret bank accounts, destroy Russian news websites with cyber attacks, do Cyber Sexercises with NATO to show just how easy it would be for the West to murder Russia's entire economy at Obama's direction -- but they got shut down, because Bamz and his intel chiefs ultimately determined such actions risked playing into the Russians' hands (and Trump's tiny hands, because Trump and Russia have the same hands), escalating the conflict, and making it look like Bamz was trying to #RIG the election to hurt Trump.
Ultimately, the intel community issued a VERY STERN REPORT on October 7, 2016, to which Russia replied, "Haha, here are some hacked John Podesta emails, courtesy of our very nice friends at WikiLeaks!" Oh yeah, and Obama delivered that G-20 warning to Putin.
Did the Obama administration make the right calls? Well, Corn and Isikoff quote an Obama aide who says "perhaps there was some overcompensation" in their efforts to avoid looking like they were inserting themselves into the campaign to help Hillary. And PERHAPS there WAS!
But as for the final answer to that question, we will have to see if American democracy ultimately survives these dark Trump years, now won't we?
Read the whole excerpt thingie, as they say on the internet!
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[ Mother Jones ]