#TheyKnew is trending on Twitter for the second day in a row after a bombshell bipartisan report on Russian interference in the 2016 election was dropped this week amid the Democratic National Convention. Florida Senator Marco Rubio proudly announced that the committee had found no collusion between Donald Trump’s campaign and the Russians, but the 1000 page report actually says the opposite. The misrepresentation is just another tactic from the GOP to downplay the impact Russia had on the 2016 election as they continue to interfere with the 2020 election.
While the GOP is crowing about their victory, they’re also lying about what the report says. “The Committee found that (Paul) Manafort’s presence on the Campaign and proximity to Trump created opportunities for Russian intelligence services to exert influence over, and acquire confidential information on, the Trump Campaign,” one section reads. “Taken as a whole, Manafort’s high-level access and willingness to share information with individuals closely affiliated with the Russian intelligence services … represented a grave counterintelligence threat”.
The report portrayed a Trump campaign that was stocked with businessmen with no government experience, advisers working at the fringes of the foreign policy establishment, and other friends and associates Trump had accumulated over the years. Campaign figures, the report said, “presented attractive targets for foreign influence, creating notable counterintelligence vulnerabilities.”
Another section recounts just how the Russians attacked American democracy through a joint effort with the Trump Campaign: “While [Russian military intelligence] and WikiLeaks were releasing hacked documents, the Trump Campaign sought to maximize the impact of those leaks to aid Trump’s electoral prospects. Staff on the Trump Campaign sought advance notice about WikiLeaks releases, created messaging strategies to promote and share the materials in anticipation of and following their release, and encouraged further leaks. The Trump Campaign publicly undermined the attribution of the hack-and-leak campaign to Russia and was indifferent to whether it and WikiLeaks were furthering a Russian election interference effort.”
With less than three months until Election Day and grave concerns regarding voting security, it’s uncertain what, if any, actions Democrats might take.