Now that the conventions are over and the campaign gets underway for real next week, the Trump regime is quietly making moves to cover up their election fraud.
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence has informed the House and Senate Select Committees on Intelligence that it'll no longer be briefing on election security issues, a senior administration official told CNN. It'll provide written updates, the official said.
Now ask yourself why the ODNI would refuse briefings on election security right before a presidential election? Why would the regime not want Congress to ask questions directly to the ODNI's office, the people responsible for making sure the elections are protected?
I have a pretty good idea as to why.
Miles Taylor, a former Department of Homeland Security chief of staff, says President Trump's disinterest in election security and unwillingness to take a tough stand against Russia have made the November election more vulnerable to hacking and disinformation attacks.
Trump viewed any discussion about Russia’s interference in the 2016 election as attacking the legitimacy of his presidency – and ignored recommendations from his officials intended to help protect the vote, Taylor said in an interview.
During the first and only publicly acknowledged National Security Council meeting on election security in advance of the 2018 midterms, Taylor said, the president was dismissive, distracted and unwilling to issue a public warning to Russia and other U.S. adversaries to back off.
Instead of listening intently to officials briefing about the election threats, Trump talked about which counties he won in 2016, Taylor said. Officials were unable to convince him to issue a public warning that Russia would face serious consequences if it interfered in the midterms. Instead, those messages were largely delivered by lower-level officials.
“His bully pulpit was one of the things that we saw as most critical to keeping the bad guys from doing this,” Taylor said. “If the president of the United States stands up and says there are going to be severe repercussions, that sends a very different signal to a capital like Moscow than it does for the assistant secretary for X, Y or Z to say there will be consequences. But that’s what we were left with.”
A recent assessment from U.S. intelligence officials found that Russia is already “using a range of measures” to interfere in the 2020 contest aimed largely at hurting Trump's opponent Joe Biden.
“The president's attitude toward election security was effectively an open door to adversaries who wanted to meddle in our democracy,” Taylor said. “He has essentially offered up warm appeasement rather than tough deterrence. The consequences are evident in the fact that these countries have not been dissuaded from interfering. They have continued their efforts. In fact, more are getting in the game.”
Taylor is one of several former Trump officials to come out in favor of Biden in the 2020 election.
He's made no secret of his disdain for the president in a series of YouTube videos in recent weeks produced by the group Republican Voters Against Trump. Among his serious allegations is that Trump offered pardons to federal officials if they faced charges for actions aimed at limiting illegal border crossings.
But his criticisms on election security are particularly damning because they suggest the president is, at best, ambivalent about foreign efforts to undermine the very machinery of democracy.
He went so far as to argue the president’s disinterest in election security may be driven by an expectation that any Russian intervention in the 2020 election will help his candidacy, as it did in 2016. That’s a claim Democratic leaders have also leveled at Trump and Republican congressional leaders.
“Our biggest vulnerability from an election security standpoint going into this cycle is the president really hasn't made this a priority,” Taylor said. “He hasn't focused on how to keep governments like the Chinese, the Russians and the Iranians from meddling. And the simple reason is the president sees that interference largely as being beneficial toward him.”
The biggest single threat to national election security is Donald Trump himself. And the last thing Trump wants is televised hearings where the Acting Director of National Intelligence John Ratcliffe is on the hot seat saying Russia is in the middle of another massive operation to help Trump against Joe Biden while Trump is all but begging Putin to do just that.
The election is being compromised as we speak, and the cover-up is already underway.