National Security

Report: Trump Was Briefed on Russian Hacking Before the First Debate

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

During the first presidential debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump denied that Russian hackers are responsible for breaching Democratic party communications, but officials say he has been briefed on Russian involvement.

Trump bizarrely asserted that some "400 pound" kid sitting at home may actually be responsible, but according to Time he was briefed on the matter during a recent classified intelligence briefing.

[The] U.S. intelligence community has “high confidence” that Russian intelligence services were in fact responsible, multiple intelligence and national security officials tell TIME. Trump was informed of that assessment during a recent classified intelligence briefing, a U.S. official familiar with the matter tells TIME. “I do not comment on information I receive in intelligence briefings, however, nobody knows with definitive certainty that this was in fact Russia,” Trump told TIME in a statement. “It may be, but it may also be China, another country or individual.”

This is not necessarily a surprise given that Trump has previously said that he would not rely on the American intelligence community. That is, after all, why former General Michael Flynn accompanied Trump to his first classified briefing. Flynn is also a big fan of Vladimir Putin and an unhinged critic of the Obama administration and Trump places more faith in him than the intelligence community.

Trump was not required to say anything at all about Russian hacking during the first debate. He did not need to confirm or deny it, but he chose to. He chose to suggest that China or a giant kid may be responsible.

  • Aynwrong

    If Trump becomes president America will officially be a puppet government.

  • 1933john

    “No..No…I didn’t say that”

  • muselet

    [N]obody knows with definitive certainty that this was in fact Russia.

    That’s a nearly impossible standard to meet. The US would have to have someone in the room and watch Russian intelligence operatives hacking the DNC in real time in order to have that level of confidence.

    Even though Donald Trump is a huge fan of Vladimir Putin (Some people are saying he has a poster of Putin, shirtless and on horseback, hung over his bed. Is it true? I don’t know, I don’t know, but it’s out there.), this is bizarre behavior for … well, I was going to say “for someone running for President,” but I’ll change that to “for anyone.”

    It’s also behavior that scares the bejeezus out of me.

    (Also, and slightly off-topic, “definitive certainty” is the sort of construction that makes English teachers—and those of us who just love language—cringe.)


    • I don’t know if it’s true, but many people are saying it. I’ve heard many people say that Trump has a yuge poster of Vladimir Putin over his bed, or it could be Kim Jung Un.

    • Georgie

      “he has a poster of Putin, shirtless and on horseback, hung over his bed”

    • Aynwrong

      Trump has a tattoo of Putin on his back and he got the from Roger Stone. That’s what people say. Many people. Many, many people. The best people.

      • Victor the Crab

        Probably more like near the crack of one of Drumph’s bum cheeks in order to alert where Putin can shove his so-called (in Drumph’s mind) “massive” pipe up.

  • ninjaf

    How any red flags do people need to see how dangerous this man is for our country?

    • Badgerite

      Many thumbs up on this one.