Coinciding with a new article in the Washington Post, claiming that the FBI and CIA are now in agreement on the Russian hack – President Obama gave a press conference today in which he spoke on the issue.
Long and short of it; the Russians did it, the White House knew about the hacks over the summer, but Obama downplayed the effect so as not to influence the election. There will be an intelligence report issued before Obama leaves office, however it won’t contain all the evidence for national security reasons. The President also suggested that the media’s spotlight on the Wikileaks “possibly embarrassing but not illegal” leaks had a lot to do with public influence. Very smooth, Barry.
Going forward, as expected, the administration – as evidenced by Obama’s own language as well as John Kerry’s rhetoric this week, does not want to throw the country into disarray with a messy transition.
Obama made it clear that his administration knew about the hacking over the summer, but the White House didn’t want to spotlight the issues.
There is an official report coming which will show the Russians did it, and the decision went to the top (Putin ordered).
Told Russia to “cut it out” (lol).
On election integrity:
I can assure the public that there was no tampering with the voting process [no vote machine hacking]. Votes cast were counted. Not seen evidence of machines being tampered with.
On the question of providing proof of hacking:
We will provide evidence that we can safely provide, that does not compromise sources and methods, but I’ll be honest – when we’re talking about cyber security, a lot of it’s classified and we aren’t going to provide it, as it would reveal methods.
(Just believe our intelligence community – they are more trustworthy than the Russians).
Role of FAKE NEWS:
If FAKE NEWS being released by a foreign gov. is almost identical to reports that are being issued through partisan news venues (Breitbart?) then it’s not surprising that the foreign propaganda will have a greater effect.
Moving forward, Obama pointed out issues raised by the hacking.
- Cybersecurity – constant hacking always goin’ on
- This particular concern about Russian hacking part of a broader set of concerns; how do we deal with cyber issues being used in ways that can affect our infrastructure and stability of our financial system, and our election process.
- The problem with hacking is that it’s hard to prove exactly who did it, but we know it was the Russians.
- The USA needs to create international norms to prevent a cyber arms-race
Obama expounded that the USA’s primary vulnerability to Russia, or any other foreign power, lies in how divided we are as a nation.
Response To Russia? Obama made it clear that while the Russians hacked the DNC and Podesta, the election itself went off without a hitch, and the integrity of our elections process was not tarnished (voting machines not hacked, etc.). That does not mean we aren’t going to respond:
“Our goal continues to be to send a clear message not to do this to us, because we can do stuff to you. Need to do in a thoughtful, methodical way. Some of it will be public, some of it will be clandestine.”
Important for the Democratic party going forward – How do we show up in places where democratic policies are needed? How do we reach people? Need to shed the latte sippin’ elitist image. (ya think?) If we look for one explanation, or one silver bullet, or one easy fix, we’re going to be disappointed. A lot of factors went into why Hillary lost the election.
With respect to the FBI: it is always a challenge for law enforcement when there is an intersection between their job, and politics. We have a system where we want our law enforcement investigators to be free from politics, but sometimes that involves investigations that touch on politics. In this hyper-partisan environment, everything is suspect. Obama has tried to remain hands-off to preserve independence of law enforcement.
Electoral College: Not weighing in on intel briefing. Obama said the EC is a vestige of an older by-gone era. Some structures in our political system that no longer apply, but typically the popular and electoral college votes will align.
TL:DR calm your tits, after being in full possession of the facts, Obama isn’t going to declare martial law, and Trump will be President on January 20th, should electors, some of whom are lying sacks of shit, keep the faith.
Just remember who’s got actual ties to Russia: