Saturday, January 7, 2017

US Intelligence Report Concludes That Russian Cyber Attack Was Against Clinton

The combined efforts of the US intelligence community issued their report on the extent of Russian efforts to influence the US election. The report was unequivocal in its conclusion that President Putin ordered the campaign.  Initially the campaign was to discredit the democratic processes in the US.  However, after Donald Trump won the GOP nomination, the campaign focused its attention on discrediting Hillary Clinton who they expected to win the election.

Donald Trump, even after receiving the report from the intelligence agencies, denies that the Russian campaign influenced the results of the election.  The intelligence report avoided any attempt to assess the effectiveness of campaign in the election.  Trump tells his supporters that he won the electoral vote by a landslide and that he lost the popular vote by 2.8 million because of voter fraud.

Hillary Clinton was favored to win the election because polls showed that she would win three states which had voted for a Democrat in the presidential election since 1988.  She lost Wisconsin, Michigan and Pennsylvania by a very small margin of around 100,000 votes out of around 13 million votes in those three states. If 51,000 of those votes went to Clinton she would be our President Elect. In other words, the Russian campaign only had to swing 51,000 votes out of 13 million to change the outcome of the election.  Its hard to imagine that all of the negative information released by Wikileaks did not influence the results of the election.  Donald Trump stated that he loved the information that was being leaked, and asked for more reports of leaks during the campaign.  He clearly knew that they were impacting the campaign.  The media reported the leaks and they had two important effects. Clinton's campaign had to respond to negative information about herself, and it was revealed that the DNC favored Clinton over Bernie Sanders in the primary campaign.  If only a small number of Sanders supporters decided not to vote, or if they voted for third party candidate, that could have determined the outcome of the election in the three states that handed the election to Trump.

The public response to the report will not be good.  Trump supporters are attached to his persona and they reject any negative information about their leader.  On the other hand,  we will have to run the country for the next four years with a tainted president.  Putin will be very happy with this result.

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