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McConnell Finally Backs Russian Hacking Investigation

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McConnell Finally Backs Russian Hacking Investigation

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McConnell, Russian Hacking

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell decried Russian hacking aimed at interfering in the 2016 presidential election and backed an investigation on Monday, even as President-elect Donald Trump dismissed concerns about the matter.

“Any foreign breach of our cyber security measures is disturbing and I strongly condemn any such efforts,” McConnell said at a news conference. “This simply cannot be a partisan issue.”

McConnell said it “defies belief” that Republicans would be reluctant to investigate activity reportedly intended to help Trump.

“The Russians are not our friends,” McConnell said.

Some lawmakers have called for a special committee to investigate the hacking but McConnell did not back that idea, saying he has confidence in reviews by the Senate Intelligence and Armed Services committees.

The Washington Post, citing sources briefed on the matter, said that when congressional leaders were informed in September about a CIA assessment that Russia had intervened on behalf of Trump during the campaign, McConnell expressed doubts about the veracity of the intelligence.

McConnell said on Monday he had the highest confidence in the intelligence assessments of U.S. agencies, especially the CIA.

“The CIA is filled with selfless patriots, many of whom anonymously risk their lives for the American people,” he said.

It was not clear how the House of Representatives would respond to the hacking and calls for investigations. House committees have not announced plans for hearings and Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan issued a statement criticizing Russia but blasting what he termed “exploiting the work of our intelligence committee for partisan purposes.”

Ryan said the House Intelligence Committee has been “working diligently” on cyber threats and would continue to do so.

‘CONSPIRACY THEORY’

Senator Charles Schumer, who will be Democratic leader next year, said he welcomed McConnell’s support for “a deep and thorough bipartisan investigation” with access to all relevant intelligence.

Trump and his staff have repeatedly dismissed the reports as “ridiculous,” blaming them on Democrats unhappy that Trump defeated Democrat Hillary Clinton in the Nov. 8 election.

“Can you imagine if the election results were the opposite and WE tried to play the Russia/CIA card,” Trump said on Twitter on Monday. “It would be called conspiracy theory!”

A second tweet said, “Unless you catch ‘hackers’ in the act, it is very hard to determine who was doing the hacking. Why wasn’t this brought up before election?”

McConnell blamed Democratic President Barack Obama’s administration for trying to reset relations with Russia for eight years while Moscow “expanded its influence, intervened in Crimea, eastern Ukraine, Syria, and attempted to bully the Baltic countries.”

The U.S. government accused Russia of trying to interfere with the election process a month before Election Day. A statement from the Director of National Intelligence and the Department of Homeland Security said the hacks could have been authorized “only by Russia’s senior-most officials.”

Separately on Monday, nine Democratic and one Republican electors led by the daughter of the House Democratic leader, Nancy Pelosi, wrote to James Clapper, the U.S. Director of National Intelligence, requesting a briefing on the hacking reports before the Electoral College formally decides the election on Dec. 19.

(Additional reporting by Susan Heavey; Editing by Bill Trott)

IMAGE: Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) (C) listens to reporters during a question and answer session with reporters on Capitol Hill in Washington October 20, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron  

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8 Comments

  1. secondclassguy December 12, 2016

    translation- i can’t hide from it anymore, so i better acknowledge it

    Reply
  2. FireBaron December 13, 2016

    Any time anyone tells you to ignore the little man in the corner, that’s the guy you need to pay attention to. When the President Elect tells you to not bother investigating Russian Involvement in his election, you damn well better start investigating.

    Reply
    1. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 13, 2016

      Donald is a good barometer for determining what is true or which action to take—whatever he says is true is usually false, and whatever action he says to follow, it would be wiser to take a different tact.

      1. jmprint December 13, 2016

        And whenever he accuses someone of doing something wrong it’s usually because he is doing it. Reverse distraction.

  3. Aaron_of_Portsmouth December 13, 2016

    Mitch and the GOP’s usual stubborn stance, along with an unwise hesitancy on the part of President Obama in certain instances, has brought us to an unprecedented crisis threatening further instability in world affairs. The other nations of the world are to blame as well for keeping the world community fractured and disunited by insisting on seeing to their own self-interests. This has emboldened unprincipled leaders like those in Russia to act as boldly as they have because they have had little to fear up to now of a united and vigorous rebuke of Russia’s actions in the world so far. Assad in Syria feels equally confident in raining down bombs on innocent Muslim and Christian civilians in Syria because he knows there will be no united outcry aside from a few lone voices from a few civilized parts of the world.

    The breach by nations with the technology to infiltrate databases and effect opinions demonstrates a degree of fragility, and mistrust motivated by greed and power that could well destroy much of what we have in the way of a planet.
    Every decade we put off taking the notion and concept of a United Nations to a higher level brings us closer to a conflict of planetary proportions—not just one confined within a nation’s borders.
    Cyberwarfare, coupled with political disarray and partisanship, racial animosity, economic instability, gender bias, religious bigotry and fanaticism, a childish infatuation with one’s own national sphere of influence to the exclusion of concern for other nations, is an explosive mix. Allowing the manipulation of some or all of these ingredients by the likes of Trump, Putin, Assad, Iranian hardliners, Right Wing/Left Wing Extremists, and others is too frightening a scenario to allow to further develop.

    So, it’s once again time to reassess where we’ve been, where we are, where we’re headed, and take into consideration and reflect on the imperative to implement “The Lesser Peace”, as put forward by Baha’u’llah. A portion of what “The Lesser Peace” means in practice and spirit is the following:

    ———————————————————————————————————-
    “…Now that ye have refused the Most Great Peace, hold ye fast unto this, the Lesser Peace, that haply ye may in some degree better your own condition and that of your dependants.

    O rulers of the earth! Be reconciled among yourselves, that ye may need no more armaments save in a measure to safeguard your territories and dominions. Beware lest ye disregard the counsel of the All-Knowing, the Faithful.

    Be united, O kings of the earth, for thereby will the tempest of discord be stilled amongst you, and your peoples find rest, if ye be of them that comprehend. Should anyone among you take up arms against another, rise ye all against him, for this is naught but manifest justice… ”
    ——————————————————————————————————–

    When Jesus spoke the phrase in His Prayer revealed for humanity by saying “…Thy kingdom come on earth as it is in heaven…”, He wasn’t just wistfully hoping for better times, but spoke with an assurance of what WILL occur in improving the affairs of humankind; when Muhammad spoke about twin trumpet blasts sounded from a place quite near and alluding to a Return, He wasn’t speaking idly, but was referencing the twin “trumpet blasts” of the Pen of Siyyid Ali Muhammad(“The Bab”), and that of Mirza Husayn Ali( “Baha’u’llah”)—both of Whom announced Their Revelations from across the Gulf from the Arabian Peninsula, in the land and region of Elam(Persia[Iran]).
    When Siddharta( “Buddha”) told His followers to look to the west from where would arise an indication about the advent of a New Day, He was referring to the land of Fars(“Persia” [present day Iran] ) and in a certain work of His He used a term “Abha” which was recorded in Sanskrit—“Abha”. (This isn’t a word in normal Sanskrit language so all Buddhist scholars were unfamiliar with the meaning and implication of this word. “Abha”(Most Glorious) in Arabic is the superlative form of the word “Baha”(Glory”) ).

    So, how will we and the world respond to Russia’s new form of warfare—a warfare employed by other state actors as well???

    Reply
  4. idamag December 13, 2016

    Yes, why wasn’t it brought up before the election?

    Reply
    1. dpaano December 13, 2016

      It was brought up, but Trump and his campaign cronies decried it as ridiculous (much like they’re doing now). Unfortunately, now that he’s elected to the presidency, this becomes more important. As I’ve said before, if Trump is SO sure that he won the election fair and square without Russian’s help, then he should be glad to have the investigations to prove that! Apparently, he has something to hide and is afraid it’s going to get out there….probably one reason why he’s refused to release his income tax returns. We may find out just how much he owes Russia and how far in Putin’s pocket he is sitting! Much like GWB and his puppet master, Cheney, Trump will just end up being Putin’s personal puppet! People need to find out just how far this goes with Trump and Putin!

  5. johninPCFL December 13, 2016

    Sorry, Mitch. Manafort, Bannon and Tillerson will be running the country for Vlad starting in January. Get used to it.

    Reply

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