GOP leaders defy Trump, plan investigation into possible Russian cyber-hacking

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Photo: AFP/Getty Images

Unlike Mr. Trump, the Republican and Democratic leadership in Congress realizes the Russians are not our friends, and they are demanding answers concerning alleged meddling in our election. And President Obama has ordered the CIA and FBI – two agencies at odds with one another over this matter – to complete their own investigations before he leaves office

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell gave the nod to Burr’s committee to pursue an investigation a day after a bipartisan group of senators issued a statement calling for a probe.

“This simply cannot be a partisan issue,” McConnell, R-Ky., told reporters Monday, adding that “the Russians are not our friends.”

Burr pledged an aggressive probe. “The Senate Select Committee on Intelligence has and remains concerned about Russia’s actions,” he told McClatchy in an email. He pledged to “conduct vigorous oversight” in an “appropriate and responsible way.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., in a somewhat less forceful statement, said “any foreign intervention in our elections is entirely unacceptable. And any intervention by Russia is especially problematic because, under President Putin, Russia has been an aggressor that consistently undermines American interests.”

The Trump transition team reacted angrily to the Republican calls for a probe and its spokesman, Jason Miller, suggested they were an effort to de-legitimize Trump’s victory.

Trump took to Twitter to question whether it was even possible to know that the Russians had hacked the Democratic National Committee computers and the private email of the chairman of Hillary Clinton’s campaign, John Podesta. The results of those hacks led to a steady leak by WikiLeaks of sometimes embarrassing emails throughout the summer and fall.

“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?” he tweeted.

And some Democrats were unsatisfied with McConnell’s plans for a Senate Intelligence Committee probe. U.S. Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Ben Cardin of Maryland and Patrick Leahy of Vermont called for the creation of an independent nonpartisan commission of non-congressional members to conduct the investigation. A similar commission probed the events leading up to the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

“We need this commission to determine if … the real intent of what appears to be a classic Russian covert influence campaign was to harm the candidacy of the Democratic candidate or undermine our democratic system,” Feinstein said.

While I’m not 100% convinced the Russians were cyber-hacking, or how they could have pulled it off – though they probably can pull it off; Putin is the former head of the KGB’s successor agency, after all – let’s at least look into it. At the end of the day, the one most responsible for Hillary Clinton’s defeat was Hillary Clinton. She ran a horrible campaign and alienated millions of Americans. But if Mr. Trump had some help from a hostile foreign government, and was aware of said help, then he has a lot to answer for. He is not doing himself any favors by lashing out against the CIA and so blithely brushing aside the possibility Putin may have had something to do with his victory …

Copyright 2016, Sunking278. Stay up-to-date: Twitter – @Sunking278 and Facebook – click here.

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