Something rotten is still brewing in Washington D.C., and as is often the case, it involves Senate Majority Leader, Republican Sen. Mitch McConnell.
According to The Washington Post, the CIA performed and presented a high-level investigation into the suspected interference of the 2016 U.S. presidential election by Russian hackers backed by their government in Moscow. But not everyone in D.C. was willing to admit — or do anything about — the intelligence agency’s findings.
U.S. intelligence has identified the individuals who provided thousands of stolen Democratic Party emails — and they have connections to the Russian government. The CIA has concluded that not only did the Russian hacks shake the American people’s faith in the system, they actually worked to aid Donald Trump become the next U.S. president.
A senior U.S. intelligence official presented the findings to U.S. senators, saying:
‘It is the assessment of the intelligence community that Russia’s goal here was to favor one candidate over the other, to help Trump get elected. That’s the consensus view.’
During a secret briefing for congressional leaders in September, however, McConnell dismissed the findings and cast doubts about the accuracy of the data. As reported by the Business Insider, several unnamed officials stated that McConnell even went so far as to threaten to rebuke the Obama administration if it publicly challenged Russia. Despite recommendations from his own country’s intelligence stating that Russia was interfering with the U.S. elections — well enough in advance to counter the cyberattacks — McConnell dismissed them and refused to take action.
Key senators were updated with the latest CIA findings last week in a closed-door meeting. Officials requesting anonymity told the Washington Post that the intelligence agent told the senators that it was “quite clear” that Russia’s intention was to get Donald Trump elected. On Friday, President Obama announced that he had ordered a “full review” of the Russian cyber-espionage and wants the full details before leaving office in January.
McConnell has not even tried to hide his own blatant favoritism of the Republican president-elect. Aside from being so partisan as to publicly announce his intentions of destroying the Obama administration, Trump has just hired McConnell’s wife, Elaine Chao, to be his secretary of transportation, according to POLITICO. Chao is the former secretary of labor and deputy secretary of transportation for the George W. Bush administration.
McConnell also has no moral qualms about using his authority to promote his personal agenda, and has said he will not recuse himself from voting on his wife’s appointing, according to the Washington Post.
The Trump team also dismissed the updated findings on Friday, releasing a statement that read:
‘These are the same people that said Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. The election ended a long time ago in one of the biggest Electoral College victories in history. It’s now time to move on and “Make America Great Again.”‘
President-elect Trump has been dismissing the findings of U.S. intelligence agencies throughout his campaign and since winning the election on Nov. 8. He has been regularly skipping intelligence briefings, as well. According to MSNBC, President Obama has ordered his national security team to provide Trump and his cohort, Mike Pence, access to his daily briefings, but Trump has been ignoring the majority of the meetings and averaging only one per week since he became president-elect.
And Mitch McConnell’s legacy of personal gain at the expense of American voters continues. If the “checks and balances” of U.S. government are to function, senators are going to have take the concept of “separation of powers” seriously by drawing strict lines between what is required of them and what will best serve their personal interests. McConnell has never been shy about ruthlessly using his position, whether for personal gain or simple revenge.
In stark contract, Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham is planning to investigate into the election interference ordered by the Russian government.