President Elect Trump concedes Russians were likely behind hacking
During his first Press Conference, and in a major break with his statements to date, President Elect Donald Trump finally acknowledged that Russia was probably behind the hacks that exposed Democratic National Committee e-mails unfavorable to Hillary Clinton during the Presidential election. Until now, the President Elect has resisted the widely accepted assertion that Vladimir Putin’s Russia was responsible for the security breach.
However, the President Elect refused to accept the notion that the e-mail hacks were perpetrated to help him win the election, or more accurately, in order to help defeat Hillary Clinton, whom Vladimir Putin reviles. To lend support to his claim, Trump insisted that the hackers also attacked the RNC, but their superior cyber security defenses prevented Republican e-mails from falling into unfriendly hands. It’s unclear where the President Elect got that information, which appears to contradict the consensus of the intelligence community on the matter.
President Elect Trump also rejected as “phony” reports that Russian operatives have collected information that could prove compromising to him. The story was called a “witch hunt” by White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Buzz Feed, a hugely popular social media service, posted a story with unconfirmed reports that the alleged information collected by the Russian operatives was quite lurid in nature. President Elect Trump replied that this kind of accusation was something that would have happened in Nazi Germany, which in turn sparked criticism by those who felt the comparison trivialized the countless horrors of the Nazi regime.
It’s clear that Donald Trump started his first press conference with a bang. The affair was long on drama, conflict, and showmanship, but short on substance. It’s worrisome to note that this is a well established trend from the volatile campaign months of 2016, which does not seem to be reversing as the President Elect moves closer to assuming office.