Trump Earns 'Lie Of The Year' For Denials Of Russian Election Meddling

There are two separate tracks to the Russia story. One is proven and the other, so far, is not.

A few years ago, Politifact named President Obama’s statement that “you can keep your doctor,” the website’s Lie of the Year. This year that dubious honor will go to President Trump for his repeated denial of Russian interference in the 2016 election.

“When the nation’s commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem,“ Politifact said. “For this reason, we name Trump’s claim that the Russia interference is a hoax as our Lie of the Year for 2017.”

At times, the president has conceded that Russia meddled in the election, but as recently as last month Trump said that he believed Russian President Putin’s claim that Russia did not have a role in the election interference. At the same time, Trump said that he also believed US intelligence agencies who have pinned the blame for the cyberattacks squarely on Putin’s government.

There are two separate Russia tracks to the Russia story. The first is the accusation that Russia interfered with the election through “fake news,” the hacking of Democrat emails and cyberattacks on the voting infrastructure. There is ample evidence to support this aspect of the Russia story, which was the subject of a report released by US intelligence agencies last January. Many Trump Administration officials, including CIA Director Mike Pompeo, Defense Secretary James Mattis and UN Ambassador Nikki Haley, have all confirmed Russia’s meddling in the election.

The second aspect to the Russia story is the possibility of collusion by members of the Trump campaign. Collusion has not been confirmed, but campaign emails show that members of the Trump campaign were open to working with Putin’s Russia.

In September, the president called the Russia hacking story a “hoax” in a tweet. The tweet addressed Russian ads on Facebook, part of the Russian meddling story rather than the collusion claims.

Trump acknowledged that Russia had attacked the election last January, but waffled on the issue afterward. In July, the president said, “It could have very well been Russia but it could well have been other countries and I won't be specific but I think a lot of people interfered.”

Comments
No. 1-11
Jules
Jules

Define "meddling". I don't think that releasing true information about a candidate is "meddling". I also don't think discussing a willingness to work with a foreign nation is "collusion". I think it would be a lot worse for a candidate to make it known that he would not work with Russia. I didn't see these people getting upset when Obama was caught whispering a message to be delivered to "Vlad" that after the election he would be a lot more flexible. Some people will hate Trump no matter what he said or didn't say, does or doesn't do. If there were proof that the Trump campaign offered Putin something valuable to him in exchange for altering the course of the election, that might be something to investigate but that has never been alleged. This whole "collusion" claim is very vague and undefined, not only because no one wants to be pinned down to an accusation that would have to be proved but because there is an element of the American public that will react to the word without any more information about what allegedly happened or what it might have meant. Even if Putin's intent in releasing information about Hillary was to try to influence voters , (1) it was accurate, not invented (2) he had many reasons to hate the Clintons without Trump even being in the picture and (3) it is far more likely that the goal of any Russian interference at all was to simply sow discord and distrust in the United States no matter who won the election. The more internal unrest we have in this country the more Russia likes it and it is silly to insist that any interest Russia may have had in anything was just due to wanting one person to win instead of another. A divided and conflicted United States is in Russia's best interest, period.

NWRED
NWRED

Meddling and changing the election are two different things. Some of the charges against the people working for Trump were for the time between the election and inauguration. The U.S. intelligence agencies did nothing with what they knew because HILLARY WAS A SURE WINNER. As usual the Russians were working both sides, this is nothing new. The Us worked with Russia to defeat Hitler, they helped to defeat ISIS. WE are at odds on almost everything else. It was Hillary and Obama who sold the uranium. It was Obama that did not back up the line in the sand.

GAmimi
GAmimi

Best replies I've ever seen. My sentiments exactly.

Kansas1948
Kansas1948

Oh there was Russian meddling alright. The Clinton Campaign, the DNC, the FBI were all colluding the Russians. A house cleaning is needed and jail time is warranted for those involved.

im_frank
im_frank

Gotta remember context - did Russia "interfere" when they engaged their bots and advertising to influence the weaker minds that frequent Facebook and Twitter? Undoubtedly. Did Russia hack voting machines and interfere with accurate balloting? No proof whatsoever. What there IS proof of is that the Dems routinely stuff the ballot boxes of whatever political race they believe is critical to them and then provide their own cover by loudly declaring "there is no voter fraud" and denigrating those who show proof that there is. Poster udkjak has it right - seems the contributors chosen to post their editorials here all have something in common: a very wide streak of never-Trumpism.