If it is real that the Russians hacked the Republican National Committee in addition to the DNC, then their power over POTUS likely knows few bounds.
Previous and present-day U.S. national security officials and experts state that if it is true that the Russian government has documents owned by the Republican National Committee, Donald Trump’s incoming administration could be the most compromised in U.S. history.
A senior U.S. administration official verified that the CIA is convinced the Russians hacked the RNC. He talked anonymously because he was not permitted to talk about the matter publicly.
On Friday, Dec. 9, The New York Times noted that hackers linked to two separate Russian security services purportedly broke into the computer systems of the RNC, but chose not to reveal the digital contents of those systems, in marked contrast to the gradual release, via WikiLeaks, of emails belonging to the Democratic National Committee throughout the spring and summer.
Consequently, the record stated U.S. intelligence agencies came to the conclusion with “high confidence” that the Kremlin’s objective in these cyberattacks was to get Trump elected, not just do harm to his competitor Hillary Clinton or undermine American democracy, as the agencies had earlier came to the conclusion with only “confidence,” when they declared concerns over Russian interference in October. One senior U.S. official explained to the Washington Post for its own story on the matter, “It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected.”
“There’s a real revolt going on,” stated a ex – intelligence officer of the CIA leaks, citing talks with ex – colleagues. “They don’t like National Security Adviser nominee Michael Flynn and they detest Trump’s balls. This is their whole life’s work being thrown out the door. They feel like the whole intelligence committee is on probation.” The ex-spy talked anonymously because he was not permitted to talk about the agency’s internal anguish publicly.
The DNC hacks, it is widely thought, were perpetrated by two independent organs of Russian intelligence. Primary, COZY BEAR, a hacker employed by the FSB, the domestic intelligence arm, broke into the Committee’s servers in mid-2015. Around the same time FANCY BEAR, a hacker connected with the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, also penetrated the servers. To drum up plausible deniability, the haul from these hacks was then delivered to WikiLeaks and uploaded by two suspected cut-outs of Moscow, “Guccifer 2.0” and a newerish website called DCLeaks.com.
The White House and Congress were advised by the Central Intelligence Agency and National Security Agency that the Russian officials accountable for both the RNC and DNC breaches were determined, based on the Times, even though their names have not been publicized.
“CIA director John Brennan does think the Russians are behind it,” stated ret. Col. Tony Shaffer, who briefed Trump National Security Advisor Michael Flynn this past week at Trump Tower. “He did brief the senate on his perception that the Russians were engaged, but he did not offer any specific proof. My understanding is the data supplied was only of opinion in nature, not specifics of particular attacks. The American folks are due an answer, but my understanding is they are never going to get an answer because there is no basic data to back up the claims,” stated Shaffer, who is a member of the New York-based London Center for Policy Research where Flynn is a fellow.
House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Mike McCaul explained to Politico during the election he’d advised Trump that Russia was trying to effect the elections.
“Now he hasn’t had the briefing I had, but I made it clear that in my judgment it was a nation-state,” McCaul stated in October. His office rejected to comment on the matter Saturday.
The CIA likewise rejected to comment Saturday.
“The Russians hacked our democratic institutions and sought to interfere in our elections and sow discord,” stated House intelligence committee Ranking Member Adam Schiff (D-CA) Saturday, citing the Director of National Intelligence James Clapper’s public statement. “Sadly, in this effort the Russians were spectacularly successful. One would also have to be willfully blind not to see that these Russian actions were uniformly damaging to Secretary Clinton and helpful to Donald Trump. I do not believe this was coincidental or unintended.”
Schiff would not verify that the CIA particularly thinks Russia was behind the hacking associated to the election. The DNI is accused with marshaling the total view of the 16 intelligence agencies his department supervises.
An official close to Clapper suggested that he has brought uncomfortable, unwelcome news to the Obama White House previously, which includes the assessment that ISIS was rising- though not delivered as forcefully as then DIA-director Flynn thought it should have been. Clapper also explained to the White House more recently that the Syrian regime was utilizing chemical weapons on the battlefield, in spite of a much-heralded deal negotiated by Russia where Syria allegedly gave up all of its chemical weapons stockpile in return for avoided bombing by the U.S. The official talked anonymously because he was not permitted to talk about the sensitive communications between Clapper and the Obama White House publicly.
In a joint bipartisan declaration released on Sunday, Dec. 11, U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Lindsey Graham (R-SC), Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, Charles E. Schumer (D-NY), Senate Democratic Leader-elect, and Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Armed Services published: “For years, foreign adversaries have directed cyberattacks at America’s physical, economic, and military infrastructure, while stealing our intellectual property. Now our democratic institutions have been targeted. Recent reports of Russian interference in our election should alarm every American.”
Trump’s transition crew is having none of these revelations. Having serially denied or downplayed Russia’s engagement in steering the U.S. election, the crew supplied an unsigned statement casting doubt on the experience of the very intelligence establishment the president-elect will inherit to assist him to run the country in a month and a half. “These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction,” the report read. “The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and ‘Make America Great Again.’”
“We need a new election,” stated Bob Baer, a ex – CIA operative who himself used to intervene in the affairs of foreign governments. “This is a constitutional crisis. It’s unprecedented. If the CIA had hacked and steered a democratic election in a foreign country, say France or Germany, that country would demand a new election. No question,” he stated in an interview.
Baer stated that he concurs with Trump in the sense that, once Trump is in charge, the Agency could bend to his wishes-which makes the airing of the proof the agency has imperative before December 19th when the Electoral College is set to approve Trump’s presidency. “We cant wait until after he becomes president and has a political appointee decide whether the evidence we have on the Russians is legit or not.”
Basically, Moscow’s security organs could at this point be in possession of what the KGB used to call kompromat – compromising personal material – on Trump and his staff, which might then be utilized to blackmail them into doing Russia’s bidding.
The simple possibility that Putin currently understands the secrets of the RNC and the inner workings of the victorious party of the 2016 election is certain to color U.S.-Russian relations for the next four years, despite or whether or not those secrets are in any way scandalous. Any identified tilt by Washington toward Russia, or any accommodation struck with the Kremlin on the ongoing wars in Syria or Ukraine can at this point be construed as quid pro quo for Putin’s keeping silent on what’s he got on the sitting commander-in-chief or the latter’s inner circle.
Tom Nichols, a professor of national security affairs at the U.S. Naval War College, said, representing his personal perspectives and not those of the War College:“The worst possibility is that the Russians are holding back what they’ve stolen from the RNC because it’s valuable enough to keep in reserve until the president-elect is sworn in. This is a frankly terrifying possibility.”
Nichols continues to be an outspoken “Never Trump” Republican and published numerous articles describing why he believes the president-elect is unfit for office. The Trump transition team’s response to the Times bombshell only solidified that perspective. “Their answer is to ‘move on,’ which might be a sensible thing to say to political opponents who didn’t like the outcome of the election, but it is a unimaginable answer in the face of an open Russian attack on the U.S. political system. The Russians have made it clear they have no intention of ‘moving on,’ and no amount of hand-waving will change that.”
Trump had campaigned beyond a platform of being in favor of enhancing relations with Russia, and has often taken to praising Putin personally, comparing his leadership style favorably to that of Barack Obama and throwing doubt on the Russian government’s well-documented human-rights abuses, which includes allegations of the Kremlin having ordered the murder of dissidents and muckraking journalists. Trump also rejected that Russia had any role in the downing of the MH17 in July 2014 in the skies above east Ukraine, in spite of independent international investigations stating that a Russian-imported missile was utilized to shoot down the commercial airliner. He has also stated that Crimeans desired to be annexed by Russia while denying that Russia had occupied Ukraine.
And then there’s the truth that Trump’s rumored favorite for Secretary of State, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, once got Russia’s Order of Friendship award from Putin himself.
A ex – CIA operative stationed in Moscow throughout the height of the Cold War stated that it was too soon to tell how Langley came to the realization that Trump was Putin’s favored candidate. “They’re ascribing motives to the Russians, but I’d like to see the evidence. In committee meetings and review sessions that go over this kind of thing, it’s a circumstantial point to say ‘they did it because of x or y.’ In the absence of an intercept or of extremely reliable sources – more than one – you’re making an inference that one could quibble with.”
As to what kompromat may do to Trump’s decision-making, the ex – operative states it might not carry much weight at all.
“You’re making an assumption that Trump will respond to kompromat and not to something else, such as his business interests in Russia. He clearly has a blind spot on the country. You can be manipulated by the Chekists in many ways,” the source stated, utilizing the catch-all term for Russia spies, “not just through blackmail. We also don’t know what is in the RNC emails.”
Or, for that matter, who will eventually be impacted by them.
The DNC hacks led to the resignation of then-chairperson Debbie Wasserman-Schultz but it is completely unclear if they really were the definitive factor that influenced the election in Trump’s favor. Other analysts have pointed to Clinton’s extremely poor outreach to white working-class voters in battleground states such as Ohio, Michigan and Pennsylvania, all of which Trump won by narrow margins. Others have also contended that FBI Director James Comey’s eleventh-hour letter informing Congress that the investigation into Hillary Clinton’s email server was still active did more to harm the Democratic nominee’s chances just prior to voters went to the polls, than did anything included in the DNC emails, or in campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal correspondence.
Andrei Soldatov, co-author of Red Web, a book about Russia’s cybersecurity and use of the Internet to silence dissent, believes that the likelier target of Moscow is not Trump but instead his now powerful party. “I doubt there can be any kompromat on Trump which can hurt him,” Soldatov stated. “But the Republican Party is a different story.”
For Soldatov, the threatened publication of files verifying rumors or alleged connections between Trump’s cabinet picks and the Russian government might be a useful instrument to keep the administration in check. “Remember the story about a former Defense Intelligence Agency chief giving interviews to [Russian state propaganda channel] RT and being paid for that?” Soldatov stated, with reference to Flynn, who is currently Trump’s national security advisor. “It would be bad enough simply to produce documentary evidence confirming things we already knew.”
A ex – Russian spymaster concurs with that evaluation.
Oleg Kalugin was a KGB general in charge of operations in the United States; he also happened to run the First Chief Directorate’s K Branch, or arm of counterintelligence, which got up to the very sort of dirty techniques, or “active measures,” that state hacking of a political party amounts to. “In the old days, in my time, we relied on human efforts: penetration, handling, manipulating people from the inside,” Kalugin said, observing that he wasn’t personally persuaded the DNC and RNC hacks were done by the Russian government and not by “individual actors.”
Nevertheless, Kalugin permitted that if the FSB and GRU were accountable and Putin was now sitting on crucial details about numerous GOP officials, it would be reckless and dangerous to attempt and blackmail the White House straightaway. High-level officials, such as cabinet secretaries, have seldom been cultivated as spies or informants of Moscow, owing to what Kalugin characterizes as “potential repercussions.”
Middle and lower-cadre officials in the State Department or military-industrial complex are considered easier and better marks for the spooks.
In this theoretical, a heretofore semi-anonymous RNC staffer who might have published something professionally or personally damaging to himself is likelier to find himself contacted by a Russian operative and presented a chance to switch sides than a member of the National Security Council.
“Just one man can destroy everything,” Kalugin stated. “He doesn’t have to be the president.”
These People Are A Danger To Themselves And Others! Wake Up!!!!!!
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