The money quote:
“And even if Putin did favor one candidate, I’m skeptical that he would prefer Trump. After all, it was President Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton who were repeatedly outplayed and embarrassed by Putin on Ukraine, Syria and the Baltics. At the very least, Putin’s preference would seem debatable.”
President Obama, Hillary Clinton and John Kerry were played so expertly by Putin that it was if he had programmed them to always do the wrong and stupid thing.
By REP. CHRIS STEWART • 12/15/16 12:04 AM
Did Russian intelligence officials attempt to interfere in our election? Almost certainly they did. Did they attempt to tip the scales in favor of Donald Trump. Very clearly, they did not.
Several outlets reported last weekend that the CIA recently told members of the Senate Intelligence Committee that Russia interfered in the U.S. elections for the purpose of helping to elect Trump. To quote from one report: “‘It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected,’ said a senior U.S. official briefed on an intelligence presentation made to U.S. senators. ‘That’s the consensus view.'”
As a member of the House Intelligence Committee, I can say unequivocally that such an assessment has not been briefed to me. To the contrary, the claims in the press conflict with recent statements to the public and our committee characterizing alleged Russian activities. For example, on Nov. 17, 2016, Director of National Intelligence James Clapper told the committee in an open hearing that the intelligence community lacked “good insight” into the connection, if any, between Russian hacking and WikiLeaks.
Last weekend’s reporting was based on an anonymous official who claimed to be familiar with the supposed CIA assessment. Whether this source was confused or deliberately misleading is less important than the fact that the current media uproar advances Vladimir Putin’s goal to sow chaos and distrust in our electoral system.