An extraordinary breach has emerged between President-elect Donald J. trump and the national security establishment, with Mr. Trump mocking American intelligence assessments that Russia interfered in the election on his behalf, and top Republicans vowing investigations into Kremlin activities.
NYT: more today
WHY is it unsettling to see Republicans and Democrats squabbling, afresh, about Russian meddling in last month’s presidential election? After all, the basic allegation being debated has been out there for months: namely, that in 2015 and again in 2016 at least two groups of hackers with known links to Russian intelligence broke into the computer systems of the Democratic National Committee, as that party’s national headquarters is known, and into the private e-mail system of such figures as John Podesta, the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign, then released a slew of embarrassing e-mails to Wikileaks. Before the election a joint public statement by the director of national intelligence and secretary of homeland security saying that intelligence agencies are “confident” that the Russian government directed the hacking—a statement that did little to sway supporters of Donald Trump, who heard their candidate cast doubt on that intelligence finding, and instead revel in the contents of the stolen e-mails as they hit the press. This, Mr Trump, was just more evidence that his opponent deserved the soubriquet “Crooked Hillary”.