Russian interference in Us elections is longstanding and continues

CIA head Mike Pompeo says that Russia has tried to interfere in US elections for a long time and that continues. The investigations into possible collusion between Trump’s campaign, and separately Clinton’s campaign, in the 2016 election are ongoing.

Reuters: CIA’s Pompeo says Russia and others trying to undermine U.S. elections

The head of the Central Intelligence Agency said on Sunday that Russia and others are trying to undermine elections in the United States, the next major one being in November when Republicans will try to keep control of Congress.

Moscow denies any meddling in the 2016 elections to help Republican Trump win. U.S. Special Counsel Robert Mueller is investigating whether any crimes were committed.

It goes further than criminal activity though. No country should be intefering in another country’s elections – something both Russia and the US have been guilty of for a long time.

Trump has at times suggested that he accepts the U.S. intelligence agencies’ assessment that Russia sought to interfere in the election but at other times has said he accepts Russian President Vladimir Putin’s denials that Moscow meddled.

What Trump says at any time seems to depend on his mood at the time or what issue he is trying to promote or divert from.

Pompeo told CBS that the CIA had an important function as a part of the national security team to keep U.S. elections secure and democratic. “We are working diligently to do that. So we’re going to work against the Russians or any others who threaten that very outcome,” he said.

And CIA and FBI investigations should be independent of the President or of political parties.

Parallel to this: Senate’s Trump-Russia probe not close to ending

The Senate Intelligence Committee probe of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is nowhere near over, as lawmakers probe issues including a June 2016 meeting between top aides to then-Republican candidate Donald Trump and a Russian lawyer, the panel’s top Democrat indicated on Friday.

Senator Mark Warner said committee staff have interviewed everyone at the meeting, where President Trump’s son Donald Jr. expected to be given derogatory information about Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton, with the exception of “one or two individuals who are Russian.”

“But I feel very strongly that you can‘t, you could never conclude without the senators themselves being able to talk to the principals involved,” Warner said. “We have not gotten there yet.”

Warner, in an interview with Reuters, said the Senate investigation has made progress on several fronts.

It has, he said, “re-validated” a Jan. 6, 2017, U.S. intelligence assessment that Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign aimed at the 2016 presidential election, with the goal of undermining Americans’ trust in their institutions and denigrating Clinton.

In an effort that has been “frustratingly slow,” Warner said, the investigation also prompted the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to warn 21 U.S. states whose election systems were the subject of tampering attempts by Moscow.

Warner and fellow Democrats have worked closely with the Senate panel’s Republican chairman, Senator Richard Burr.

In the interview, Warner repeated a warning that he made in a Dec. 20 Senate floor speech that any move by Trump aimed at firing Special Counsel Robert Mueller would provoke a “constitutional crisis.”

Warner said his concern that Trump might take a step to dismiss Mueller was confirmed by news reports on Thursday detailing steps the president reportedly took to blunt the Russia investigation.

25 Comments

  1. David

     /  January 8, 2018

    “And CIA and FBI investigations should be independent of the President or of political parties.”

    Both the CIA and FBI are part of the executive branch of the US Government, therefor both report to the President. Political control of the security services is fundamental to a democratic system, how on earth could an independent system work without massive risks?

    Note that the ‘Russian interference’ has occurred under the eye of the CIA and FBI, can someone explain how they are fit to investigate this, when they have completely failed to prevent it?

    • “when they have completely failed to prevent it?”

      I don’t think there’s any way of us knowing how much Russian interference the CIA and FBI may have failed to prevent, nor how much they might have prevented.

      • David

         /  January 8, 2018

        Correct, we don’t know. Nether do the CIA or FBI. How effective are they then?

        • “Nether do the CIA or FBI”

          How can you know that? They have stated they do know at least some information about interference, and it’s likely they know more, especially Mueller who won’t want to reveal everything he knows at this stage,.

          • George

             /  January 8, 2018

            So, they have information.
            Great.
            So why haven’t they been able to produce said information?
            After all its been a year and a half since these claims emerged…
            And why suddenly the topic of President Trumps claimed unsuitability now hinges on claims of insanity???
            Snowflakes and fake news getting desperate eh

        • Gezza

           /  January 8, 2018

          No intelligence service can prevent all the sorts of subtle manipulations & leaks, and lies alleged to have occurred via the internet – it’s only afterwards when the pattern & links started to become clear that the agencies could see it was a coordinated strategy.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  January 8, 2018

      In a democratic system the security service must operate within a clear framework of law. Its activities must be limited to countering genuine threats to national security, and controls are needed to govern how it may use, but not abuse, its powers.

      But, and this is equally important, there must also be political independence. The government mustn’t be able to pressure the service to do anything which is not directly concerned with genuine threats to national security.

      That’s why the trump administration’s politically motivated badgering of the FBI and DOJ to reopen fruitless investigations into Clinton are so problematic. It’s Clinton derangement syndrome to the Nth power and demonstrates beautifully how Republicans are fuelling trump’s fascist instincts.

      This isn’t a story about the CIA or FBI. It’s a story of the professional bureaucracy doing what it can to defuse a brewing political crisis created by a president who’s willing to abuse his power and a Republican congressional majority that eggs him on for political gain.

      • David

         /  January 8, 2018

        “In a democratic system the security service must operate within a clear framework of law. Its activities must be limited to countering genuine threats to national security, and controls are needed to govern how it may use, but not abuse, its powers.”

        Correct. I seriously question if the CIA & FBI are acting in this way with regards to the Russia investigation. It was the Steel dossier that was used to obtain the wire tapping warrants for example. We know that ‘Russia’ (whatever that actually means) spent $100,000 on laughable Facebook adds, that’s all. How did that swing an election when Hillary spent $500,000,000?

        “That’s why the trump administration’s politically motivated badgering of the FBI and DOJ to reopen fruitless investigations into Clinton are so problematic. ”

        Yes, these are problem. There is a serious risk that the new normal will be each new administration using the DOJ to go after the previous.

        “This isn’t a story about the CIA or FBI. It’s a story of the professional bureaucracy doing what it can to defuse a brewing political crisis created by a president who’s willing to abuse his power and a Republican congressional majority that eggs him on for political gain.”

        I do not believe it is a professional bureaucracy. The bureaucratic machine is deeply compromised and partisan in it;s own right. Note the previous administrations use of the IRS to go after political opponents.

  2. Alan Wilkinson

     /  January 8, 2018

    Has the US ever meddled in another nation’s election? Or various US individuals, companies or organisations?

    Of course they have. All the time. This media fantasy is beyond ludicrous.

    • The States was perfect under Obama, the sainted one. People felt good about themselves – all those middle class professionals – the university educated virtue signallers, what a broad church we are types. News for them theyarent any more. They do not represent the rust belt or poor, white America. It was Hillary’s ” deplorables” who voted for Trump. The place is very flawed; politically it is composed of familial dynasties support by billionaires and pay for play corruption. The people in charge who were in charge watched their ps and qs and were very much more cynical and expressed themselves in a politic manner.

      They’ll have to change their electoral college voting system and embrace some system that weights the popular vote, that is if they expect the overstayers and “dreamers” are going to vote Democrat.

    • Joe Bloggs

       /  January 8, 2018

      As usual Alan rides in like Roy Moore, with a big dose of what-aboutism…

      • Alan Wilkinson

         /  January 8, 2018

        Common sense – doesn’t exist in your Lefty media, Joe.

    • Patzcuaro

       /  January 8, 2018

      The US has been meddling in foreign elections for years, the countries were called banana republics. Dictators are ok as long as they are on the US payroll.

  3. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 8, 2018

    One of the most ironic aspects of this whole trump-Russia collusion story is that Flynn is a primary pivot point.

    – Obama warned trump against hiring Flynn
    – Sally Yates warned trump against hiring Flynn
    – Comey warned trump against hiring Flynn
    – Elijah Cummings warned trump against hiring Flynn
    – Chris Christie warned trump against hiring Flynn

    trump knew. trump was warned. trump still gave Flynn access to national secrets, and trump is now facing the consequences. This ain’t the work of a “like, really smart … very stable genius”

    In fact, given all of the warnings trump had about hiring Flynn, one might conclude that he’s unwittingly engineeered the whole Russia investigation issue through his own pig-headedness in refusing to accept the advice of others more experienced than himself.

    Without Flynn there would likely be no Russia investigation.

    • David

       /  January 8, 2018

      “Without Flynn there would likely be no Russia investigation.”

      Yet, the only charge Flynn has managed to be hit with is a process related one that in no way shows any connection to Russia. Flynn was also a US Army General and head of the DIA for the majority of the time Obama, Yates, Comy, & Cummings were in power. If he was a Russian stooge, please explain how he remained the head of the DIA!!!!

      Nominated by Obama!

      He was also the head of the Military Intelligence Board for years under Obama.

      Seriously, what the hell is this?

      • Griff

         /  January 8, 2018

        David says
        Yet, the only charge Flynn has managed to be hit with is a process related one that in no way shows any connection to Russia.

        Yet
        Washington (CNN)Former Trump national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty Friday to lying to the FBI about conversations with Russia’s ambassador and disclosed that he is cooperating with the special counsel’s office.
        http://edition.cnn.com/2017/12/01/politics/michael-flynn-charged/index.html

        So lying about contacts with a Russian ambassador is not connected to Russia .
        Your TDS makes your world view a fantasy land .

        • David

           /  January 8, 2018

          “So lying about contacts with a Russian ambassador is not connected to Russia .”

          Correct. He is on a charge that is process related. There is nothing in that contact with the Russian ambassador that is anyway illicit now is there? If there was, where are the charges?!

          • Griff

             /  January 8, 2018

            Sorry mate.
            In the real world.
            Telling lies about contact with Russia is connected with Russia as the ambassador is the official Representative of Russia.
            Why tell lies if there is nothing to hide ?
            Your certainty that there is nothing else is based on your faith not what we know.

      • Joe Bloggs

         /  January 8, 2018

        Nominated by Obama, went bad, fired by Obama.

        https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-disruptive-career-of-trumps-national-security-adviser

        You miss the point. If Flynn hadn’t been hired by trump, where would the Mueller investigation be? Absolutely nowhere. There wouldn’t be one.

        Now do you understand?

        • David

           /  January 8, 2018

          “You miss the point. If Flynn hadn’t been hired by trump, where would the Mueller investigation be? Absolutely nowhere. There wouldn’t be one.

          Now do you understand?”

          This means there is no case for Trump to answer, it’s only Flynn that is the issue.

          • Gezza

             /  January 8, 2018

            This means there is no case for Trump to answer, it’s only Flynn that is the issue.
            I’m assuming there’s no case for Trump being directly personally involved either. Mueller’s giving nothing away meantime. It may be that he’s not going to say anything until his investigation is complete. Then it’ll either be fireworks or a fizzer. Who knows at this point? Meantime, I’m just enjoying the histrionics from everyone including Trump..

        • Joe Bloggs

           /  January 8, 2018

          Dave, you can be really trumpish sometimes. There was always a long line of dominoes behind Flynn but it took his fall to start the process in motion.

          Now the dominoes are toppling.

  4. PartisanZ

     /  January 8, 2018

    Why wouldn’t they?

    Have a look at the ‘interference’ (word de jour) by the USA in the collapse of the Soviet Union and transfer of power from Gorbachev – about the best chance the USSR or Russia ever had – to mafioso arch criminal Boris Yeltsin …

  5. Joe Bloggs

     /  January 8, 2018

    How very timely: HR McMaster warns of Russian interference in the Mexican elections…

    U.S. National Security Adviser H.R. McMaster said in a speech last month to the Washington-based Jamestown Foundation that there was already evidence of Russian meddling in Mexican elections set for July.

    “We’ve seen that this is really a sophisticated effort to polarize democratic societies and pit communities within those societies against each other,” said McMaster in a previously unreported video clip from Dec. 15 that was posted on Twitter by a reporter with Mexican daily newspaper Reforma on Saturday.

    “You’ve seen, actually, initial signs of it in the Mexican presidential campaign already,” said McMaster, a former Army general. He did not elaborate in the clip on how Russia was seeking to influence the election.

    Reforma published a story on Saturday on the comments, which have since been shared many times on social media.

    President Donald Trump’s senior national security aide added in the clip that the U.S. government was concerned by Russia’s use of advanced cyber tools to push propaganda and disinformation.
    http://www.politicususa.com/2018/01/07/russia-meddling-mexican-election-white-house-aide-mcmaster.html

    So the US government has been told by its security agencies about Russian interference in the US elections but is unconcerned. Now Mexico’s elections are looming, McMaster is sounding the alarm bells about polarising democratic societies and pitting communities within those societies against one another…

    … how ironic 2018 is turning out to be

  6. Kitty Catkin

     /  January 8, 2018

    They all seem to have far too much time on their hands.