By Jay Bookman
December 10, 2016
The U.S. intelligence community has concluded with “high confidence” that the Russian government succeeded in hacking into computer and email systems at both the Republican National Committee and the Democratic National Committee, according to the Washington Post and the New York Times.
However, intelligence experts say, Russia leaked no data acquired from its Republican targets because doing so would have harmed its goal of electing Donald J. Trump as president. The professionals at the CIA and other agencies, including the FBI, reached these startling conclusions as far back as September, but when asked to form a bipartisan public front to protest this foreign intrusion, Republican leaders in Congress balked. As a result, the findings were not made public prior to the election.
The contrast between the secrecy in which these investigative findings were held and the public airing of the Clinton email investigation is interesting to say the least.
we see the Wall Street Journal reporting this morning that Trump’s top candidate to be secretary of State is now Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson. And what is Mr. Tillerson’s great appeal?
As the WSJ reports:
Among those considered for the post, Mr. Tillerson has perhaps the closest ties to Russian President Vladimir Putin, having negotiated a 2011 energy partnership deal with Russia that Mr. Putin said could eventually be worth as much as $500 billion. In 2012, the Kremlin bestowed the country’s Order of Friendship decoration on Mr. Tillerson.
This pre-existing relationship with Mr. Putin complements Mr. Trump’s push to improve U.S.-Russia ties. A number of Republicans have urged him to be wary of working closely with Russia, warning that it is trying to expand its influence in a way that runs counter to U.S. interests in places such as Ukraine and Syria….
As Exxon’s CEO, Mr. Tillerson has spoken against sanctions on Russia. Mr. Tillerson’s work there dates to when Mr. Putin rose to power after Boris Yeltsin’s resignation.
[Of course part of the appeal of Mr. Tillerson to Trump is that he has been a major funder of global warming denialists.