Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA), the ranking member on the House Intelligence Committee, linked Trump to the attempted Russian hacking of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO).
Schiff was discussing the news that the Russians are trying to use Facebook to attack the midterm election on MSNBC’s The Beat with Ari Melber, when said, “We need to view this in combination of what we learned a week ago from Microsoft. Two of the vectors the Russians used in the last election they appear to be using again. In both of the Mueller indictments, they’re using social media surreptitiously to divide Americans, to accentuate the fault lines in our society. They’re hacking or attempting to hack political campaigns, we saw Claire Mccaskill is one of the targets of this, and that she was a target the same week that Donald Trump was evidently saying publicly that she needed to be defeated. That has an echo of July — of the election year in which Donald Trump said publicly, hey Russians, if you’re listening, hack Hillary Clinton’s e-mails. On that date, they did try to hack the Clinton campaign.”
Melber pushed back on Schiff’s claim, “Congressman, respectfully, to push you on that, he would probably be on record against the reelection of most any incumbent Democrat.”
Rep. Schiff continued, “That’s certainly true. But it also looks like the Russians may have been listening when he called for Claire Mccaskill’s ouster. The timing, again, is very suspicious. The timing of that attempted hack of her campaign took place not months after he mentioned Claire Mccaskill. And it wasn’t like there was a tremendous volume of campaigns that were the subject of attack. According to Microsoft, there were only three, and that was one of them. So the timing is certainly suspicious. But it looks like because they’ve identified similar actors to the Russian hackers of the DNC, that the Russians are using both of these modalities, hacking of campaigns, surreptitious social media again to influence our elections.”
The timing is probably not a coincidence. Trump called for the defeat of McCaskill. The Russians tried to hack her campaign. It is all reminiscent of when Trump called for the Russians to get Hillary Clinton’s emails during the 2016 campaign, and the Russians responded the same day by trying to hack members of the Clinton campaign. Trump has already shown that he is willing to publicly tell the Russians what he would like them to do, so Adam Schiff likely is not far off base.
Rep. Schiff is a former prosecutor. He doesn’t make outrageous claims, so when Schiff links Trump’s comments to the attempted hacking of a US Senator, the American people best stand up and take notice, because the attack on the midterm election could be getting help from inside the Oval Office.
Mr. Easley is the managing editor. He is also a White House Press Pool and a Congressional correspondent for PoliticusUSA. Jason has a Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science. His graduate work focused on public policy, with a specialization in social reform movements.
Awards and Professional Memberships
Member of the Society of Professional Journalists and The American Political Science Association