Last month, Democratic lawmakers and the news media spread the fake news: Russia was once again interfering in our elections – this time (like last time) on behalf of President Donald Trump and democratic socialist Bernie Sanders. This info came straight from the intelligence agencies, who briefed Congress on the rising threat to our democracy from Moscow.
A few days later, President Trump sent his Director of National Intelligence packing and replaced him with a longtime ally, Richard Grenell. Democrats and the media kicked up a firestorm, claiming that Trump was firing intelligence authorities because they were saying things he didn’t want said – regardless of whether or not they were true.
But it soon materialized that Trump wasn’t upset about the intel agencies warning of Russian election interference on his behalf; he was upset because for one, he wasn’t briefed about it, and two, well, it was not a narrative supported by the facts.
Now the intelligence community is aiming to correct the record with a fact sheet distributed to lawmakers and journalists.
“Russian social media and state media messaging has taken aim at some of the candidates from both parties, in part to signal Russia’s unhappiness with policy statements or choices,” the IC said in the sheet. “The IC has not concluded that the Kremlin is directly aiding any candidate’s reelection or any other candidates’ election. Nor have we concluded that the Russians will definitely choose to try to do so in 2020.”
The fact sheet also sought to clear up some common myths about election security; namely, that Vladimir Putin is the only world leader interested in swaying American public opinion.
“This is not a Russia-only problem,” the fact sheet said. “China, Iran, other countries like North Korea and Cuba, and non-state actors all have the opportunity, means, and potential motive to interfere in the 2020 elections as a way to achieve their goals. Some are trying to influence the public debate largely on social media in order to stoke discord in the United States, with the hope of swaying U.S. voters’ preferences and perspectives, shift U.S. policies, and undermine the American people’s confidence in our democratic process.”
The intelligence community also pointed the finger at Beijing and Iran, both of which are interested in meddling in the 2020 election.
This isn’t the kind of thing that Democrats and their cohorts in the media want to hear. They are interested in foreign election attacks for one reason and one reason only: It gives them a chance to belittle Trump and resurrect the Great Fallen Collusion Theory that clouded his first two-and-a-half years in office. Absent a narrative that allows them to attack Trump, they couldn’t care less what the intelligence community has to say.