The Democratic Party has latched onto reports citing anonymous CIA sources who allege the Russians tried to sway the 2016 presidential election. After blaming Fake News, the FBI, racism, sexism and the Electoral College, it appears the newest scapegoat for Hillary Clinton's and the party's crushing defeat is Russia.
The mainstream media and the Clinton campaign were in an uproar during the general election when President-elect Trump wouldn't commit to accepting the outcome. Now they are the ones who aren't accepting the outcome, even claiming that the election was rigged. After Clinton's lawyers joined Green Party candidate Jill Stein's bogus recount efforts, campaign chairman John Podesta has now upped the ante by calling for the electors to receive an intelligence briefing before they vote on Dec. 19.
Podesta's calls come on the heels of a letter sent by a small group of electors to National Intelligence Director James Clapper, which was spearheaded by the daughter of Democratic Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi. According to Reuters, Clapper's agency, which oversees the 17-agency intelligence community, has not embraced the CIA leaker's assessment. It is important to note that the FBI also reached a different conclusion than the reported CIA sources.
Given the reported lack of agreement in the intelligence community, the biased coverage of the media of the general election, and the Democratic Party's desperate attempts to find a scapegoat, this reeks of politics. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson has already said the decentralized nature of our electoral system protects it from serious disruption. The White House has previously said there is no evidence of hackers tampering with the election. And even if Russia was behind the emails WikiLeaks uncovered, the damage was nominal at best.
There were no bombshells in the leaked information, and the mainstream media barely covered them. According to the Media Research Center, at one point during the election ABC, CBS and NBC had spent 4 hours and 13 minutes covering sexual misconduct allegations against Trump and a meager 36 minutes on WikiLeaks. The exposed emails only confirmed things we already knew: the DNC was in the tank for Hillary Clinton, the media colluded with her campaign as did the Obama administration and she is a gutless politician who says one thing in public and another in private. The damage done to Clinton was self-inflicted.
The Russians didn't make Clinton defy government rules by setting up a private email server, using software to bleach tens of thousands of emails, and then lie about it, which prompted a criminal probe by the FBI. The Russians didn't force Clinton to engage in pay-for-play scenarios involving the Clinton Foundation and foreign donations. The Russians didn't prevent Clinton from stepping foot in Wisconsin, being a likable person, or effectively driving a message that resonated with voters. The Russians also didn't prevent minority voters from turning out in cities such as Philadelphia and Detroit. President Obama even acknowledged the Clinton campaign's failure to invest time in rural towns as a major misstep.
Americans don't need Russia to intervene to sow seeds of doubt about the electoral system or to drive distrust in government. The Democratic Party clearly rigged the primary election in favor of Clinton and the Obama administration fed us propaganda and lies about Benghazi and a ransom payment to Iran. The mainstream media no longer pretends to be objective and identifying the truth is increasingly difficult.
Even though the Democratic Party refuses to look in the mirror, the reason she lost is painfully obvious. Hillary Clinton was an out-of-touch politician devoid of a vision for America or a cohesive message. And if you look at the Democratic Party's trajectory of losing over the past eight years, her loss makes sense. The party was propped up by the personal likability of President Obama in 2008 and 2012, but has suffered historic losses in Congress, state legislatures and governorships over the past eight years.
It is also the height of hypocrisy for President Obama and the Clinton campaign to all of a sudden be sounding the alarm on Russia or hacking. Hillary Clinton and her campaign maintained throughout the election that her server, which was less secure than Gmail, wasn't hacked. When Clinton was secretary of state, the Obama administration embarrassingly tried to reset relations with Russia. President Obama has turned a blind eye to the increased aggression of countries like Russia, Iran, and China, which have embraced his weakness on the world stage. Further, a congressional investigation concluded that the State Department spent hundreds of thousands of taxpayer dollars to take out Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in last year's Israeli elections.
Cybersecurity and hacking by foreign actors are serious issues that should be confronted, but to use inconclusive evidence and the citation of anonymous sources to try and delegitimize President-elect Trump's victory is despicable.
Lisa Boothe is a contributing columnist for The Washington Examiner and president of High Noon Strategies.