UPDATE: Buzzfeed published a pdf (download) of the report, indicating, among other things, that Putin has been helping Trump for at least “five years.” The report, which Buzzfeed warned is “unverified,” also notes that the “FSB has compromised TRUMP through his activities in Moscow sufficiently to be able to blackmail him.” Again, the report is unverified and unsubstantiated.
UPDATE 2: I’ll just post this excerpt from the report and you can make of it what you will.
In yet another compelling twist from the bombshell Russian hacking story, CNN reported on Tuesday that hackers under orders from Vladimir Putin were also able to infiltrate Donald Trump’s accounts. Further, the hackers have apparently retained “compromising personal and financial information” about the incoming president.
The news is both surprising, and not surprising at all.
CNN reported that both Trump and outgoing President Obama were individually briefed on the news, with Trump’s briefing coming last Friday, January 6 — the same day that Trump tweeted the following in which he accused the DNC of “gross negligence” for allowing itself to be compromised by the Russians.
Gross negligence by the Democratic National Committee allowed hacking to take place.The Republican National Committee had strong defense!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 7, 2017
Yes, so a Russian hacking victim, Trump, accused another Russian hacking victim of “gross negligence” for being hacked. Noting the obvious: this would appear to make Trump, who, again, is going to be the next president, grossly negligent as well. (But we all knew this.)
Worse, for Trump, is this:
The two-page synopsis also included allegations that there was a continuing exchange of information during the campaign between Trump surrogates and intermediaries for the Russian government, according to two national security officials.
Now, it’s entirely possible that the back-channel communications were standard operating procedure as it’s sometimes de rigueur for presidential campaigns to consult with foreign governments on talking points and policy, as well as to establish relations. That said, it’s imperative that we more closely examine this interaction between Team Trump and the Russians, knowing what we know — knowing the severity of the crimes involved. Again, Russia hijacked our election, injecting misinformation into the bloodstream of the campaign via professionally stolen documents.
So, the questions grow louder: What did Trump know, and when did he know it? And will Trump acquiesce to Putin’s demands knowing he could be exposed for impeachable activities?
And those are merely two questions out of a thousand. We have no choice but to wonder whether Putin will — or has already attempted to blackmail Trump using the compromising documents. The safer bet is to assume the allegations are true, if for no other reason than to be on the safe side, given how a hostile government could very easily be capable of strong-arming Trump to do its bidding at the expense of the republic and the American people.
Of course, it’s likely Trump will deny the charges and accuse one of his favorite enemies, CNN, of being part of the “dishonest media.” But the reality is this: CNN or not, it’s increasingly certain that both the Russian as well as the U.S. intelligence communities have damaging information about the president-elect. Given that Trump has made it a personal hobby to attack the (in quotes) “intelligence” agencies, I wonder if he should be more concerned about domestic enemies more so than foreign ones.
This story is far from over.
“No puppet — no puppet. You’re the puppet.”