By Wendy Gittleson on March 1, 2017 10:41 pm ·
In light of the Russian hacking scandal that interfered in our nation’s election, it seemed to many that the Obama administration was taking it lying down. It wasn’t, at least according to a ground breaking report by the New York Times that says that in his final days, the President worked to create a trail leading directly from Russia to Donald Trump.
In the Obama administration’s last days, some White House officials scrambled to spread information about Russian efforts to undermine the presidential election — and about possible contacts between associates of President-elect Donald J. Trump and Russians — across the government. Former American officials say they had two aims: to ensure that such meddling isn’t duplicated in future American or European elections, and to leave a clear trail of intelligence for government investigators.
Intelligence officials had suspected something fishy as early as last summer, but the evidence was still too weak. In September, though, there was a series of cyber attacks on state voting systems. That’s when the administration became more vocal on the matter. That’s also when Obama’s intelligence departments got very serious.
But it wasn’t until after the election, and after more intelligence had come in, that the administration began to grasp the scope of the suspected tampering and concluded that one goal of the campaign was to help tip the election in Mr. Trump’s favor. In early December, Mr. Obama ordered the intelligence community to conduct a full assessment of the Russian campaign.
In the weeks before the assessment was released in January, the intelligence community combed through databases for an array of communications and other information — some of which was months old by then — and began producing reports that showed there were contacts during the campaign between Trump associates and Russian officials.
While we still don’t know exactly what the Obama administration knows, we do know that there are more than a handful of Trump officials, including his Attorney General, who have confirmed contacts with Russian oligarchs, spies and government officials. That’s unprecedented.
Congress is also taking this very seriously. The House intelligence committee is about to investigate.
“We have reached a written agreement, the minority and the majority in the House intelligence committee, that we will investigate allegations of Russian collusion with the Trump campaign,” Democratic Representative Adam Schiff said on MSNBC.
U.S. intelligence analysts have concluded that Russia tried to help Trump win the White House by discrediting Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton and her party through cyber attacks. President Barack Obama, a Democrat, expelled Russian diplomats in retaliation in December.
The Trump administration, of course, continues to deny any involvement with the Putin administration, but it’s become quite clear that without Russia, we’d have a President Hillary Clinton. Russia also denies any connection, but they’re also distancing themselves from the now toxic Trump. Once they’re done protecting him, he’s done.