Donald Trump’s Twitter feed notwithstanding, U.S. intelligence long ago confirmed that Russia hacked DNC computers, RNC computers, etc. This is not up for debate, nor has it ever been up for debate. The tiny bit of daylight between the CIA and the FBI is the motive behind the hacking: was it to help sway the election to Trump, as the CIA believes, or was it just to undermine Americans’ faith in a democratic institution, as the FBI maintains?
As I’ve said before, it’s obvious the goal was to help Trump. When everyone is hacked but only the Democrats’ emails are released to Russian propaganda tool WikiLeaks, you have to be pretty dumb to think anything else was going on. Whether the Kremlin actually thought it would work or not is another matter. Clearly, they were trying to help Trump, and if Hillary Clinton still won, hers would be a damaged win. A damaged President Hillary Clinton would be almost as good as a President Trump. Remember: pre-election day, everyone assumed Hillary was going to win.
Furthermore we have history. Vladimir Putin hates Hillary Clinton for many reasons, chief among them being he viewed her as a threat to his hold on power. From the 2011 memory hole:
MOSCOW — Prime Minister Vladimir V. Putin accused Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton on Thursday of inciting unrest in Russia, as he grappled with the prospect of large-scale political protest for the first time in his more than decade-long rule.
In a rare personal accusation, Mr. Putin said Mrs. Clinton had sent “a signal” to “some actors in our country” after Sunday’s parliamentary elections, which were condemned as fraudulent by both international and Russian observers. Anger over the elections prompted a demonstration in which thousands chanted “Putin is a thief” and “Russia without Putin,” a development that has deeply unnerved the Kremlin.
Speaking to political allies as he announced the formation of his presidential campaign, Mr. Putin said that hundreds of millions of dollars in “foreign money” was being used to influence Russian politics, and that Mrs. Clinton had personally spurred protesters to action. The comments indicate a breakdown in the Obama administration’s sputtering effort to “reset” the relationship between the United States and Russia.
Gee, can’t imagine why he wouldn’t want Hillary to be president of the United States, can you?
And then there’s this from 2010:
TBILISI, Georgia—U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on Monday assured Georgia that it remains a key U.S. partner, using tough language to call for Russia to end its “occupation” of separatist territories in the Caucasus nation, while shying from criticism of President Mikheil Saakashvili’s democratic credentials.
Fears had been growing here that Georgia was lower on the U.S.’s list of priorities than it was during the presidency of George W. Bush, as the Obama administration pursues a “reset” policy on Russian relations aimed at easing tensions and strengthening economic ties.
“We continue to call for Russia to abide by the August 2008 cease-fire commitment…including ending the occupation and withdrawing Russian troops from South Ossetia and Abkhazia to their preconflict positions,” Mrs. Clinton said at a joint news conference with Mr. Saakashvili. “The United States is steadfast in its commitment to Georgia’s sovereignty and territorial integrity.”
The far-left never tired of portraying Hillary Clinton as a warmonger, but the truth is she was hawkish in her dealings with Vladimir Putin, an oppressive oligarch who deserved to be treated with caution. The result was that Putin worked to swing the election to his BFF Donald Trump, or at least inflict as much damaged on Hillary as possible. Mission accomplished.
What I don’t understand is why the moderate GOPers, who always claimed President Obama was “soft on Russia,” fell in line behind Donald Trump. I’m thinking of folks like Marco Rubio and Tennessee’s own Bob Corker, who called Obama’s actions weak on Russia. And yet they fell in line behind Trump, whose campaign’s ties to the Kremlin were no secret, and who had long praised Putin. I don’t get it.
“Putin has kind of got it in for Hillary,” said Clifford Kupchan, chairman of the consulting firm Eurasia Group and a Russia expert who attended private meetings with Putin during the Clinton years. “The statements after the Duma riots were like kerosene on a fire, and it really made Putin angry.”
This was before the election, when a Hillary Clinton win seemed all but assured. But Putin’s man squeaked by on a technicality, and now we’re all suffering the consequences.