The intelligence community has known for a while that the Russians were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee, but until Monday night, our Commander-in-Chief, while acknowledging Russia’s influence, never directly tied it to Donald Trump. On Monday night’s The Daily Show, though, that all changed, and now, less than a week before the electors meet to presumably make President Trump official, the Electoral College is in a panic.
President Obama hasn’t exactly been secretive about the fact that Russia tampered with our election, but until this week, he’s been walking the fine line between remaining neutral and putting the blame where it belongs. Now with only days to spare, the President is calling for an investigation, so at least the electors have all the necessary information if the voters didn’t.
The Daily Show host Trevor Noah, of course, asked Obama about Russian involvement. The President responded that it wasn’t a secret. He said that on October 7th, the Department of Homeland Security and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence released a joint statement saying, “The U.S. Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian government directed the recent compromises of emails from U.S. persons and institutions, including from U.S. political organizations.”
While Obama has taken some heat (perhaps deserved) for not making a bigger deal of this before the election, the American people were told many times, but they didn’t listen.
“Well, it’s not a rush. Keep in mind, when the DNC got hacked, we immediately assigned our intelligence community—our law enforcement—to investigate what had happened. And we determined—and announced—in October that it was the consensus of all the intelligence agencies in law enforcement that organizations affiliated with Russian intelligence were responsible for the hacking of the DNC materials that were being leaked. That was a month before the election. This was not a secret,” the president said.
Source: The Daily Beast
As for Trump’s involvement, though:
“This was not a secret running up to the election!” exclaimed Obama. “The president-elect [Trump] in some of his political events specifically said to the Russians, ‘Hack Hillary’s emails so that we can finally find out what’s going on, and confirm our conspiracy theories.’ You had what was very clear relationships between members of the president-elect’s campaign team and Russians, and a professed shared view on a bunch of issues.”
Here’s the video:
Given the choice between electing a possible traitor and an almost certain national security risk or causing total electoral chaos and a possible constitutional crisis, the electors are now finding themselves in an unenviable position, but many are now questioning whether they should rubber stamp the President Elect.
29 of the electors are now asking James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, to give them more information. The movement was spearheaded by Nancy Pelosi’s daughter Christine Pelosi, who wrote an open letter to Clapper. Since then, other electors are following suit in one way or another.
Featured image via Pool/Getty Images.