If you are curious how to spot Trump’s Russian hack lies for yourself, Rachel Maddow tells you how. Just two ingredients are required: First, you need the declassified version of The Office of the Director of National Intelligence report available to literally everybody who wants to read it (here) and Donald Trump’s own words.
As Maddow said, this report “taught us all a great deal about what the Russians did to influence our election this past year and why they did it.” Specifically, a 2011 grudge against Hillary Clinton.
“What we learned today…is that our new president will flat out lie to us. To our faces. And even put it in writing. Even when we can check for ourselves and see for ourselves that he is blatantly lying about a really big thing. He apparently will just bracingly lie to us even about really important national security stuff. And we learned that today if we didn’t believe it before.”
Watch courtesy of MSNBC:
It is important to observe, as Maddow points out, that the conclusions of this report are identical in every way to the classified version of the report that Donald Trump was given. It says so on every page at the top:
This report is a declassified version of a highly classified assessment; its conclusions are identical to those in the highly classified assessment but this version does not include the full supporting information on key elements of the influence campaign.
“Right after Trump came out of that briefing,” Maddow says,
“He put out a written statement about what he learned in the briefing. And he blatantly, and overtly, bluntly, simply lied about what is in this report. Right before this report got publicly released so we could check ourselves and see that he was lying. I have to say I don’t get weirded out by a lot of stuff in the news but this puts a shiver down my spine.”
Here is the second piece of evidence you require for your detective work: Trump’s statement.
“I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation.
“While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful.
“Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office. The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”
The important line here is this: “There was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”
Which is not at all what the report says. Certainly, Trump must know we can read this report for ourselves, yet he came out of his meeting and told a bald-faced lie. This is what the report says (emphasis added):
“We did not make an assessment of the impact that Russian activities had on the outcome of the 2016 election. The US Intelligence Community is charged with monitoring and assessing the intentions, capabilities, and actions of foreign actors; it does not analyze US political processes or US public opinion.”
The New York Times, by the way, does not mention this lie in their coverage of Trump’s statement. Yet, as Maddow shows, Donald Trump stated very publicly that the report we can all read says something it does not, in fact, say.
“So, our president-elect is lying to us,” concludes Maddow, “and that’s a big lie.” And yes, Trump also lied about Russia attempting to hack the RNC. It did not. The report does not conclude that, and in fact states,
“Russia collected on some Republican-affiliated targets but did not conduct a comparable disclosure campaign.”
As Maddow says, Trump thinks we’re idiots or didn’t realize we’d be able to immediately fact-check his statements. We can’t know Trump’s motivations because he has yet to speak even a word of the truth on any subject. All that matters is that he lied, and about something that directly affects our national security for the benefit of his Russian friends.