President-elect Trump met with the intelligence community on Friday and then released a misleading statement that verged on baseless lies to protect Putin and Russia.
Here is the statement from Trump about the meeting:
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.
Keeping America safe is Trump’s number one priority. Unless the attacks come from Russia and help Trump, then he is going to defend the attackers who weakened American democracy while looking the other way.
Trump’s claim that the Russian cyber attacks didn’t influence the election is based on nothing but his own opinion. The Russian attacks did influence the election because the hacked emails dominated the media coverage and melded with Republican conspiracies about Hillary Clinton’s emails to drown out any serious discussion for months on end.
The intelligence community is in universal agreement. Russia was behind the attacks. It wasn’t China or some other country. It was Russia, and those attacks helped Donald Trump win the election.
Trump met with the intelligence community, dismissed everything they had to say, and stuck to his own version of reality.
The man who is going to be entrusted with keeping America safe has already shown that he is more interested in helping Russia than the people of his own country.
Trump’s statement was dishonest and untrue, but that is his story, and he is sticking to it.