The CIA has released a statement claiming in no uncertain terms that Russia intentionally intervened in the US election in order to install Donald Trump as the new President. Since that announcement Donald Trump and his transition team have done everything they can to obscure the facts on the issue. John Bolton, who may soon become Deputy Secretary of State, has accused the Obama administration of faking the attacks in order to hurt Trump’s administration; Donald Trump himself calls the CIA’s statements “ridiculous” and Kellyanne Conway has called the CIA “laughable.”
As accusations continue to grow that Trump benefited from the attacks, he seems suspiciously determined to sweep the whole incident under the rug. But even many within his own party are not willing to let this go without a thorough investigation. Senators Lindsey Graham and John McCain are calling for a bipartisan Congressional special committee.
Most disturbingly Trump doesn’t seem to just be covering his own interests. In a Fox interview with Chris Wallace he claimed that the CIA was being unfair to Russia:
It could be Russia, I don’t really think it is. But who knows, I don’t know either, they don’t know … but if you’re going to do that I think that you should not just say Russia. You should say other countries also, and maybe other individuals.
Trump also falsely claimed in the same interview that there was disagreement among the FBI and CIA. That’s completely false. Both agencies have stated clearly that they believe Russia is to blame. What the two disagree about is whether or not the Russians hacked US servers in order to install him as president or simply to shake the foundations of our democracy. The CIA, who says they’re confident that Putin’s intention was a Trump win, claims to have evidence that the FBI likely doesn’t have access to.
But in order to discern Russian intentions we need look no further than their relationship with both candidates. Vladimir Putin openly disparages both Barrack Obama and Hillary Clinton. Meanwhile his relations with Trump have been quite cozy. He was one of the first world leaders to congratulate Trump on his victory, and claims that it signals better relations between the US and Russia. State controlled media outlets also routinely portray Trump as friendly and powerful.
But perhaps the most frightening sign of Trump’s relationship with Putin is the open door policy his administration has for people with close ties to Russia. His current pick for Secretary of State – who has no experience in state matters – has frighteningly strong ties to Russia and even some within Trump’s own party say they’ll fight to block his nomination. This is not the beginning of Trump’s Russia problem; it’s simply the most blatant example of a very deep and very suspicious relationship with one of the world’s bloodiest dictators.
Featured Image via Drew Angerer/Getty