This is a first: Donald Trump is guilty of an understatement, of making a molehill out of a mountain. He called the Washington furor over Russian hacking a “witch hunt” when it is actually far more sinister and dangerous.
Witch hunts end. The Washington mob aims to make sure the election never ends and that Trump can never govern.
There are no modern precedents to the scandalous attempts to smear and undermine the president-elect. Nearly nine weeks after his victory and less than two weeks before he takes the oath, the voter-nullification plot is growing more vile.
It began when the Clinton campaign and her donors tried to overturn results in key states, then tried to steal the election outright by intimidating electors of the Electoral College.
When all that failed, the establishment forces that opposed Trump all along — the Obama White House, members of both parties, the Democratic media and Big Government activists — switched their goal to thwarting his presidency. One example: They aim to deny confirmation to as many as eight Cabinet picks.
This is not mere politics. This is half the country going rogue in a fit of madness.
Most alarming is the newest recruit to the confederacy. The intelligence community, including leaders of the FBI and CIA, is pushing the Russian hacking narrative in unscrupulous ways.
Consider that the same media organizations that led the campaign assault on Trump were leaked details of the hacking report before Trump saw it.
The leaks came after Trump expressed doubts about Russia’s role and any election impact. Lest the rookie miss the message, Chuck Schumer, the Dems’ man in the Senate, made like a Soprano in a TV interview: “Let me tell you: You take on the intelligence community — they have six ways from Sunday at getting back at you.”
Going public with classified information, which the leakers did, is a crime, but these days it’s acceptable if it serves the left’s political purpose.
Is Schumer suggesting CIA analysts would stay silent about a terrorist plot? Would they feed Trump misinformation to get back at him?
As for the report itself, there’s not much there there, at least in the version made public. It is full of assertions that Vladimir Putin wanted to hurt Clinton and help Trump, but zero evidence is offered. I repeat: zero evidence.
Instead, the 25-page document serves up a dog’s stew of innuendo and anecdotes. Examples include that Russian television operating in America said nice things about Occupy Wall Street.
Well, so did President Obama and half the Democratic Party. Is Obama a Russian agent?
Another silly example is that Russian TV runs lots of anti-fracking reports. Well, Gov. Cuomo also opposes fracking. The report cites the fact that Russian TV anchors are required to have social-media accounts as proof of Putin’s evil intent.
Here’s a fact that really matters and it’s not in the report: The FBI concluded that Russians hacked the Democratic National Committee without ever inspecting its computers. The gumshoes say the DNC balked, but party leaders say the FBI never asked. In the end, it let a private firm search the computers for evidence.
None of this is normal. And it’s no excuse that Trump himself often veers outside the lines. He won the election fair and square, period.
Then again, some Democrats can’t bring themselves to admit that. Nancy Pelosi, the House minority leader, was spitting fire after she was briefed on the classified report.
Asked if she believed hacking cost Clinton the election, Pelosi declared to reporters: “You were accomplices in this. Every single day you reported there was an e-mail that was embarrassing to the Clinton operation, without saying we know this because of a disruption by a foreign power of our election system. You knew that.”
Wow, so journalists are “accomplices” when they report embarrassing news. Nothing could be more Putin-like than her view of the media’s job.
To be clear, it may be true that Putin ordered that the e-mails of John Podesta and the DNC be stolen and given to WikiLeaks. But officials also admit that Russia hacked our government and industries for years and always pushes negative propaganda about America, including during the 2012 campaign.
So why the sudden DefCon outrage, especially when the intelligence report concludes there was no attempt to change vote tallies?
The furor amounts to sounding five alarms for a dumpster fire. It’s a dumb overreaction, or part of the effort to thwart a president the establishment doesn’t want. Either way, intelligence leaders are proving they are part of the swamp that must be drained.
By all means, America needs better cybersecurity and a retaliation policy to act as a deterrent. The current president has no interest in the issue, so perhaps we’ll get better policies when we get a new president. Assuming, of course, the man who won the election actually makes it to the Oval Office.