U.S. INTEL CONVINCED RUSSIA MEDDLED IN 2016 ELECTION!

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In 2016 – U.S. intelligence and law enforcement agencies saw some warning signs of Russian meddling in Europe and later in the United States but never fully grasped the breadth of the Kremlin’s ambitions. Top U.S. policymakers didn’t appreciate the danger.
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One thing should be kept in mind here, however, and this is that the intelligence community and the foreign policy establishment are in no way synonymous with the Democratic Party. It’s not that the Democrats are trying to delegitimize the presidency. The much broader Washington superstructure is what’s at work in this, and they’re not so much trying to convince others that Trump is illegitimate as they’re convinced of it themselves. It’s not really controversial in their circles, which is why they discuss the election the way they do, as an attack on the U.S. that they were not prepared for, that they didn’t fight back against strongly enough when there was still time.
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However you come down on these issues, we can see the field of battle taking form today by the competing story lines. One story line is emphasizing that the intelligence against Trump is fake, his investigators are biased and that he isn’t really so soft on Russia after all. The other story line is adding more factual pieces to their construction of a case for massive Russian interference on Trump’s behalf, reminding us that we were assaulted and that the president is not our own but essentially a puppet imposed upon us by a foreign power.
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These maximalist strategies are both distorting. The American people elected Trump and even if a majority voted for his opponent, the blame for the election result cannot all be placed on Russia. Trump also has a degree of legitimacy just by virtue of being duly elected, even if certain criminal acts during the election may destroy that legitimacy. In truth, Trump knows and acts like he’s not an innocent party or a legitimate president, and that’s the best evidence against him. It’s never been just sour grapes by the Democratic Party. This is a dispute between Russia and the United States establishment, and in a way Trump is almost a spectator.
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“Putin has to believe this was the most successful intelligence operation in the history of Russian or Soviet intelligence. It has driven the American political system into a crisis that will last years.” — Andrew Weiss, a former adviser on Russia in the George H.W. Bush and Bill Clinton administrations.
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“I think this past weekend is illustrative of what a great case officer Vladimir Putin is. He knows how to handle an asset, and that’s what he’s doing with the president … You have to remember Putin’s background. He’s a KGB officer. That’s what they do. They recruit assets. And I think some of that experience and instincts of Putin has come into play here in his managing of a pretty important account for him, if I could use that term, with our president.” — James Clapper, former Director of National Intelligence.
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“President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia was a career intelligence officer, trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump’s vulnerabilities by complimenting him. He responded just as Mr. Putin had calculated.
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“Mr. Putin is a great leader, Mr. Trump says, ignoring that he has killed and jailed journalists and political opponents, has invaded two of his neighbors and is driving his economy to ruin. Mr. Trump has also taken policy positions consistent with Russian, not American, interests — endorsing Russian espionage against the United States, supporting Russia’s annexation of Crimea and giving a green light to a possible Russian invasion of the Baltic States.
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“In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation.”- Michael J. Morell, the acting director and deputy director of the Central Intelligence Agency from 2010 to 2013.

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