Election 2016 Foreign Policy

Report: Trump’s Own Advisers Told Him Russia Responsible for Hacks

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

During last night's debate, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump once again denied that Russia is responsible for hacking Democratic communications, but according to the Dallas Morning News, Trump's own advisers told him Russia is responsible during debate prep.

Trump's stance was particularly inexplicable because in a debate prep session Monday, one of his own national security advisers, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul, told Trump that in his judgment — and that of the U.S. intelligence community — the hacks were directed by Russia.

"I have personally briefed him on that and told him that in my opinion ... this was in fact a nation-state attack by Russia," McCaul said Wednesday.

McCaul is both a Republican and the chairman of the Homeland Security Committee. If Trump won't listen to him, who will he listen to?

It's fairly clear Trump only listens to the Kremlin.

It an open question to what extent Trump personally identifies with Vladimir Putin's worldview and to what extent Trump simply wants the Wikileaks releases to continue. I suspect its a bit of both.

If Trump openly admitted that Russia is responsible for the hacks, or openly criticized Russia, the releases may not continue and, at the very least, their political usefulness would evaporate.

With that said, I believe their usefulness has already evaporated, mostly because they haven't revealed anything substantively wrong. On the contrary, the release of her Wall Street speech transcripts revealed that she went to Wall Street and called for progressive policy reform.

  • Badgerite

    The Orange Genius is out there again claiming we are simply not doing enough “winning” in Mosul. Here’s the thing. A conflict such as this, with lives in the balance is not some stupid football game where you have a lot of commercials, a half time show, wave the flag a lot and play Born in the USA. This isn’t even really a contest between the United States and ISIL. This is foreign country hopefully coalescing into a somewhat unified political and military entity to expel the violent challenge of “radical Islam” within it. It is their battle.
    The US plays the role of ally and adviser and will help as much as possible. But it is their fight to “win” and the “winning” will be done by the people of Iraq. This signifies our respect for their dignity as a sovereign nation and as a people. If “radical Islam” is to be beaten, it must be rejected by those who follow Islam. The United States has never been the victim of “radical Islam” to the extent that the people who live in the region are. The United States does not play the role of conqueror or of occupier. We are an ally. We can and should help. The “winning” will be theirs. Hopefully one day they will see that all people can find their own path to God and there will develop a shared vision of a more unified and peaceful world where the rights of all are respected. But right now, I think the United States can settle for their victory over and ejection of ISIL from their own lands.

  • muselet

    As long as Vladimir Putin keeps saying more-or-less nice things about him, Donald Trump will be incapable of saying—let alone believing—much negative about Russia. Stroke his puffy orange ego and he’ll roll over like a dog wanting a belly rub.


  • Badgerite

    He can’t help himself. Lying isn’t even second nature to him. It is more like a compulsive disorder.
    Even when he knows he is telling ridiculous whoppers, he does it anyway. Unqualified and profoundly unfit.

    • Christopher Foxx

      Even when he knows he is telling ridiculous whoppers, he does it anyway

      I don’t think he knows that’s what he’s doing. I think his self-delusion is so total that he truly believes everything he says. And he sincerely expects we will, too.

      It shows in everytimte he says something easily shown to be false and follows it up with “Believe me.” To Trump, “believe me” is all the rational anyone, himself in particular needs. He said it, so it’s true.

      • Badgerite

        Well, either way, that Orange Nutjob is unfit to occupy any position of power let alone the United States presidency.

  • Aynwrong

    Happily benefiting (maybe not) from literal Russian espionage directed against your fellow Americans in a presidential election.

    I wonder if the Gipper is spinning in his grave.

  • Georgie

    Where trump got the idea to run for President.


    • Aynwrong

      He’s such a boob.

      • That’s an insult to boobs, both the literal and metaphorical kind. 😉