aside Republicans Are Pushing Back Hard On Concept That RNC Was Hacked By Russia

As per a 12/9/16 Reuters report, “U.S. intelligence analysts (CIA) have concluded that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to help President-elect Donald Trump win the White House, and not just to undermine confidence in the U.S. electoral system, a senior U.S. official said on Friday, December 9.”

An example of the Republicans’ strongly contesting the CIA analysis can be observed in the above video based on the 12/10/16 CNN Mike Smerconish Show, in a heated exchange between the host and the Republican Communications Director, Sean Spicer.

Sean Spicer asserted that no one can prove that the activity sponsored by the Russians, had any impact on the final outcome of the 2016 presidential election. This is where I have more faith in the American peoples. There is no way that if the voters had been made aware prior to the final election day, that the Russians were interfering in U.S. elections in order to help Donald Trump win, that he would have prevailed.

AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)
AFP PHOTO / JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK (Photo credit should read JEAN-PHILIPPE KSIAZEK/AFP/Getty Images)

Republicans are pushing back hard on this 12/9/16 CIA intelligence news. Their opposition is focused on discounting the 12/9/16 NY Times report indicating that the RNC was hacked by Russian operatives. To explain away why the Russians targeted only democratic campaign related websites like the DNC, they proffer the point that there were attempts to penetrate the RNC internet systems but the Russians were unsuccessful. The republican operatives then go on to conclude that Russia’s selective dumping of the democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton’s emails was not because the Kremlin was favoring Donald Trump, but because it was not in possession of RNC emails.securityscorecard-2016-govt-cybersecurity-report-final-dragged

In the 12/9/16 NY Times article, “Russian Hackers Acted to Aid Trump in Election, U.S. Says,” David  Sanger and Scott Shane explain this debate in the following excerpts:

“It is possible that in hacking into the Republican committee, Russian agents were simply hedging their bets. The attack took place in the Spring, the senior officials said, about the same time that a group of hackers believed to be linked to the G.R.U., Russia’s military intelligence agency, stole the emails of the Democratic National Committee. Intelligence agencies believe that the Republican committee hack was carried out by the same Russians who penetrated the Democratic committee and other Democratic groups.”elections-cybersecurity-6-0-hhwzpc-q9zcilq2t

“The finding about the Republican committee is expected to be included in a detailed report of “lessons learned” that Mr. Obama has ordered intelligence agencies to assemble before he leaves office on Jan. 20. That report is intended, in part, to create a comprehensive history of the Russian effort to influence the election, and to solidify the intelligence findings before Mr. Trump is sworn in.”

“Mr. Trump has repeatedly cast doubt about any intelligence suggesting a Russian effort to influence the election. “I don’t believe they interfered,” he told Time magazine in an interview published this week. He suggested that hackers could come from China, or that “it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey.”clinton-cartoon-hrc-w-penis-cjones11012016

“Intelligence officials and private cybersecurity companies believe that the Democratic National Committee was hacked by two different Russian cyberunits. One, called “Cozy Bear” or “A.P.T. 29” by some Western security experts, is believed to have spent months inside the D.N.C. computer network, as well as other government and political institutions, but never made public any of the documents it took. (A.P.T. stands for “Advanced Persistent Threat,” which usually describes a sophisticated state-sponsored cyberintruder.)”

“The other, the G.R.U.-controlled unit known as “Fancy Bear,” or A.P.T. 28,” is believed to have created two outlets on the internet, Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks, to make Democratic documents public. Many of the documents were also provided to WikiLeaks, which released them over many weeks before the Nov. 8 election.”elections-cyber-sec-team-working-2784443-screenshot2015-01-19at16-09-03

“Representative Michael McCaul, the Texas Republican who is the chairman of the House Homeland Security Committee, said on CNN in September that the R.N.C. had been hacked by Russia, but then quickly withdrew the claim.”

“Mr. McCaul, who was considered by Mr. Trump for secretary of Homeland Security, initially told CNN’s Wolf Blitzer, “It’s important to note, Wolf, that they have not only hacked into the D.N.C. but also into the R.N.C.” He added that “the Russians have basically hacked into both parties at the national level, and that gives us all concern about what their motivations are.”

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Trump’ vision of the hacking culprit

“Minutes later, the R.N.C. issued a statement denying that it had been hacked. Mr. McCaul subsequently said that he had misspoken, but that it was true that “Republican political operatives” had been the target of Russian hacking. So were establishment Republicans with no ties to the campaign, including former Secretary of State Colin L. Powell.”

Mr. McCaul may have had in mind a collection of more than 200 emails of Republican officials and activists that appeared this year on the website DCLeaks,com. That website got far more attention for the many Democratic Party documents it posted.”clinton-russia-putin-side-by-side-trumpaaeaaqaaaaaaaacvaaaajdy1mte4yzflltc5y2qtndmzzc04zmfilti1yzg3mzgwnwfkmg

“The messages stolen from Republicans have drawn little attention because most are routine business emails from local Republican Party officials in several states, congressional staff members and party activists.”

“Among those whose emails were posted was Peter W. Smith, who runs a venture capital firm in Chicago and has long been active in “opposition research” for the Republican Party. He said he was unaware that his emails had been hacked until he was called by a reporter on Thursday.”

“He said he believes that his material came from a hack of the Illinois Republican Party.”Related image

My Thoughts:

Frankly, I find it extremely arrogant and naïve of the republicans to profess that the RNC database was impenetrable to highly competent Russian hackers. Their President Vladimir Putin would have been derelict in his duty as an ex-KGB director not to have done so, as a possible tool for leverage in future negotiations with U.S. officials, including, the republicans. How can the republicans be so foolish by deceiving themselves into believing that the Russians would act, in  ways, other than what is in their own best interests, period?

 

3 comments

  1. Gronda, I am not surprised by these findings or the reaction from some. I do appreciate greatly the seriousness of purpose behind Senators John McCain and Lindsay Graham, who are taking this issue seriously. And, I do not mind the audit of results in three states as Americans are owed a clean and fair election.

    I watched a news report on PBS Newshour about five months ago where security experts were noting two things. Hacking the emails was only one step. Once you have hacked them, they can be changed and there was evidence of that. They also said someone or some entity was pinging some voting machines looking for weaknesses. Not that they could make widespread changes, but someone could alter small subsets to influence a number of votes.

    Yet, what makes this even more interesting are the involvement of some of Trump’s staffers with Russian people, not to mention select appointments who have significant Russian ties.

    Did nefarious things happen? I personally don’t know, but would not be surprised. What I do know is we got to read emails on a daily basis about DNC and Clinton staffers – that never seemed fair, as the RNC emails would have been far more interesting with the concerns over The Donald espoused and managing what he said on Twitter. I would add that when some one says this did not affect the election is also statement that should not stand up to scrutiny.

    My thesis is simple, the Russians have influenced other elections, why would they not interfere with ours if they could assure an outcome favorable to them? A Trump presidency would upset a lot of apple carts, making Russia look more statesman like.

    We have entered a new age where very few things can be protected. Keith

    • Dear Keith,

      All is not known yet about who was the in between players with Russia and DT. I suspect the following, Paul Manafort, Carter Page, Roger Stone and Gen. Mike Flynn.

      This is not a left or right issue. This is our national security at stake.

      I find this very upsetting, Gronda

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