We have a huge national security problem in America and it’s centered right in the middle of the White House.
The president of the United States does not believe that his intelligence agencies are telling him the truth when they claim that Vladimir Putin personally approved a massive and unprecedented effort to interfere in an American election.
Donald Trump has been back and forth in acknowledging Russian interference in American politics. On various occasions, he has said he believes the Russians were meddling and other times, not so much.
But to accept, apparently at face value, a denial by Putin that Russia carried out a massive campaign to influence and interfere in the American presidential election of 2016 is indicative of a dangerous myopia about a leader who bears us nothing but animus.
Just as President Obama underestimated and ultimately couldn’t understand radical Islam, Trump underestimates and refuses to see the radical anti-Americanism of Vladimir Putin.
On his flight out of Vietnam, the president said he believes Putin when the Russian leader denies involvement in efforts to influence the American election.
“Every time he sees me he says I didn’t do that, and I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it,” Trump said aboard Air Force One.
“I think he is very insulted by it, which is not a good thing for our country,” Trump said.
Trump, who has called allegations of campaign collusion with Moscow a hoax, has faced questions from Democrats about the matter since he took office. A special counsel, Robert Mueller, is conducting a probe that has led to charges against Trump’s former campaign manager Paul Manafort and his associate Rick Gates.
U.S. intelligence agencies have also concluded Russians interfered in the election to tip the election in Trump’s favor through hacking and releasing emails to embarrass Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and spreading social media propaganda.
Russia has repeatedly denied meddling in the election.
In Danang, Putin told reporters an alleged link between Manafort and Russia was being fabricated by Trump’s opponents.
Putin dismissed suggestions Russia influenced the elections through political advertising. Tech companies, including Facebook, have said some Russian-bought political content spread on their platforms around the time of the election.
“There is no confirmation of our mass media meddling in election campaigns – and there can’t be any,” Putin said.
We didn’t know it at the time because President Obama decided not to inform the American people of Russia’s alarming interference, but just weeks before the election, U.S. intelligence agencies and DHS briefed the top leadership in Congress about Russia’s meddling — including the evidence gathered by the CIA that proved Putin’s involvement.
Obama wanted a joint statement with Republicans on Russian interference in order to remove the stink of partisanship from the effort to confront Putin, but Republicans sensed a trap and refused.
The question becomes why Donald Trump does not believe the conclusions reached by his own intelligence agencies. What’s the motivation for these agencies to lie to the president about such an extraordinarily serious subject?
Vladimir Putin once said that the collapse of the Soviet Union was the single greatest catastrophe of the 20th century. And this is a man who should be believed when he claims not to have interfered in an American election?