This should make everyone feel great about the security of next year’s elections.
The New York Times reports that Cabinet secretaries, aides and everyone else do not bring up Russian meddling in the 2016 election in Donald Trump’s presence for fear of making him angry. Which means that high-ranking officials such as recently departed Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen cannot do very much about preparing the nation for possible hacking in 2020.
According to the Times, Nielsen was told this year by Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney that Russian meddling “wasn’t a great subject” because Trump “still equated any public discussion of malign Russian election activity with questions about the legitimacy of his victory.”
Nielsen reportedly tried to do end-runs around the president’s reluctance by convening her own meetings of high-level security officials to try and come up with plans to secure the 2020 elections. But with no urgency coming from the Oval Office, the plans can only go so far.
It does not help the situation that Trump’s closest advisors such as his son-in-law Jared Kushner appear to share his views, if Kushner’s comments at the Time 100 Summit on Tuesday are any indication. Other advisors such as Mulvaney are perfectly happy to indulge him.
All of this despite the fact that the Mueller report, which Trump loves to claim exonerated him on charges that he and his campaign colluded with Russia in its 2016 efforts, also concluded that Russia really did conduct a wide-ranging social media campaign to try and influence the election by spreading false information on inflammatory topics that exacerbated divisions in American society. In addition, the report concluded that Russia did hack and steal emails from leading Democratic figures at the Democratic National Committee and Hillary Clinton’s campaign, then publicly release them to inflame tensions within the party.
Once again, the president puts his own ego above the responsibilities of his office and the security of the country. That alone should be considered impeachable.
Watch the video above of CNN reporters discussing the new report from the Times.