Trump Murdering Election Security Task Forces, Because ... Oh No Reason!
A couple weeks back, Donald Trump's handpicked security chiefs sat before the Senate Intelligence Committee and reaffirmed that Russia fucked with the 2016 election, that it tried again in 2018, and that it will come back stronger than ever in the 2020 presidential election. They also said that other bad foreign actors like China are exceedingly likely to get in the game. They did not provide a status report on whether all of New Jersey's 400-pound election hackers have been rounded up and sent off to Gitmo, but don't you interpret their silence as inaction. We bet they're on that too, or at least they've lied to Trump's face and said they are.
Fast forward to now, and the Daily Beast reports that Trump's Department of Homeland Security is fingerbanging out of existence the very task forces assembled to, you know, protect election security in this here Homeland of ours.
Two teams of federal officials assembled to fight foreign election interference are being dramatically downsized, according to three current and former Department of Homeland Security officials. And now, those sources say they fear the department won't prepare adequately for election threats in 2020.
"The clear assessment from the intelligence community is that 2020 is going to be the perfect storm," said a DHS official familiar with the teams. "We know Russia is going to be engaged. Other state actors have seen the success of Russia and realize the value of disinformation operations. So it's very curious why the task forces were demoted in the bureaucracy and the leadership has not committed resources to prepare for the 2020 election."
What could go wrong?
It's not like these task forces were specifically put together after Russia stole the election for Donald Trump, oh wait they were?
Anyway, it's probably fine. The two task forces -- the Daily Beast says one of them deals with protecting the mechanisms that ensure free and fair elections and that all votes get counted, and the other one is about the kind of online interwebs shit Robert Mueller indicted all those Russian intelligence officers for -- are probably just not needed anymore, because Donald Trump says they're not.
The report explains that both of the task forces have been greatly reduced in size since the 2018 midterms, one of them literally by half.
"Our key allies are wondering why the U.S. is not more coordinated and not more proactive in dealing with this," said the DHS official. "They don't understand why the U.S. is not getting its act together."
Um ... well ... how to say this ... but ... you know, if we had to guess ...
We are not saying Trump has definitely ordered Kirstjen Nielsen, the soulless asshole who runs DHS, to get rid of all the election security. We definitely are saying he's not prioritizing it. And why would he? Come on, you silly gooses, we all still remember the 2016 election! Donald Trump lost BIGLY. He got trounced like a fucking piece of dogshit by the actual vote of the people. The only reason he won was because he squeaked out paper-thin victories in three Rust Belt states, and it's indisputable that a hostile foreign power was hostile-ly working to steal that election for him. How the fuck would Trump have a prayer in 2020 if DHS is doing yucky liberal things like diligently protecting the presidential election? Especially when polls show that most American voters are very uninterested in voting for Trump in 2020 and that everybody haaaaaaate him?
Somebody's gotta give Vladimir the keys to the Jeep, is all we are saying, because we doubt Trump can pull that "Rust Belt" trick out of his ass again. (We don't think he pulled it out of his own ass the first time.)
DHS spox quoted in the Daily Beast article say everybody relax, they are just shuffling some things around, the task forces weren't supposed to be permanent, and they are definitely you betcha still very concerned about election security. You betcha.
Read the whole article for quotes from current and former DHS officials saying this is bullshit, and quotes from Chris Krebs, who runs the Cyber Infrastructure and Security Agency (CISA), the part of DHS under which the task forces were formed, who told Congress this very week that he's hard at work making sure the 2020 election is safe. Of course, the Daily Beast notes that Krebs doesn't oversee these task forces anymore, and that the new boss is somebody ranked way lower at DHS.
The general gist of all of it is that the orders come from the top, and so do the priorities.
"It's very clear which direction we're headed in DHS," one staffer told The Daily Beast. "Everything, it seems, is dictated by someone higher up the chain who is making it abundantly clear to the rest of us that immigration and border security are the real focuses." [...]
[A member of the DHS Advisory Council] told The Daily Beast that the calls with Sec. Kirstjen Nielsen over the past six months have focused on the migrant caravan and the need for increased border security.
WALL! WALL! WALL! WALL! WALL!
Not election security, because fuck that.
Hey, remember that time Trump's hand-picked security chiefs told the Senate two weeks ago that border security was the gravest threat facing the United States? No, you don't, because it didn't fucking happen. Despite all of those things not fucking happening, what is happening, right this second, is Donald Trump declaring a State of Emergency, for WALL. So, you know, there's a funny post coming in half an hour about something else entirely, and we are the fuck out of here, for the drinking. Which is fine, because Trump declared a state of emergency so he can go golfing.
So #AirForceOne heading off to Florida on Friday - This was marked 'NOT REPORTABLE' & 'NOT FOR PUBLICATION OR BROAD… https://t.co/zUbsrs5Bo7— CivMilAir ✈ (@CivMilAir ✈)1550178048.0
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