Donald Trump’s fake election integrity commission is ignoring Russian hacking, the biggest, clearest, and best-documented threat to the integrity of our elections. As candidate and as White House occupant, Trump himself has downplayed, doubted, and outright rejected Russian election hacking as a hoax.
Yet when Trump signs the Russia sanctions bill (and the White House says he will), he will be affirming this Congressional finding:
On January 6, 2017, an assessment of the United States intelligence community entitled, “Assessing Russian Activities and Intentions in Recent U.S. Elections” stated, “Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the United States presidential election.” The assessment warns that “Moscow will apply lessons learned from its Putin-ordered campaign aimed at the U.S. Presidential election to future influence efforts worldwide, including against U.S. allies and their election processes” [H.R. 3364—”Countering America’s Adversaries Through Sanctions Act,” Section 211(6), as approved by U.S. Senate, 2017.07.27].
This White House demonstrated that we cannot expect consistency in word or deed from the current Executive Branch. However, Donald Trump is about to sign into law the fact that even his new chief of staff admits: Russia, at least our second-greatest geopolitical rival, is trying to influence our elections to undermine American democracy.