It started with Hillary Clinton concocting an absurd story to explain away her pathetic election defeat, pushing a story that 17 intelligence agencies were confident that Russia meddled in US elections, only to have that list whittle down to 3 intelligence agencies being kind of confident that Russia did something to help Trump beat lazy Hillary.
— Stefan Molyneux (@StefanMolyneux) June 29, 2017
To this day not one intelligence expert has explained what exactly “meddling” means when referencing Russia and US elections. Did the Kremlin hack voting machines in Wisconsin?
Politifact states that “mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016″, but where is this “mountain of evidence?” A seven page report by US intelligence agencies (i.e. Hillary partisan deep state hacks) who did not even have the balls to sign their names to.
Politifact states Facebook, Google and Twitter have investigated their own networks, and their executives have concluded that Russia used the online platforms in attempts to influence the election. Politifact leaves out the fact that Russia did all of this meddling with a budget of $100,000.
If Hillary Clinton only knew about the power of Facebook ads, she might have directed $100,001 to FB, outspend Russia, and be the Madame President.
We can only imagine that in 2002, Politifact may have stated that the Lie of the Year was that Iraq does NOT have WMDs.
It appears that the “Lie of the Year” is voted by Politifact readers, which means that Deep State propaganda really does work. The American public is so ill informed on what is actually going on in the world, that they are susceptible to believe the most outrageous of lies formulated by intelligence agents and corrupt politicians.
Politifact has proven one lie, that of American exceptionalism. An exceptional nation would never have invaded Iraq over made up claims that it harbored WMDs. An exceptional nation would never actually believe that Russia could meddle in their elections without any concrete evidence to back up such claims.
— PolitiFact (@PolitiFact) December 12, 2017
A mountain of evidence points to a single fact: Russia meddled in the U.S. presidential election of 2016.
In both classified and public reports, U.S. intelligence agencies have said Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered actions to interfere with the election. Those actions included the cyber-theft of private data, the placement of propaganda against particular candidates, and an overall effort to undermine public faith in the U.S. democratic process.
Members of Congress, both Democrats and Republicans, have held open and closed door hearings to probe Russia’s actions. The congressional investigations are ongoing.
Facebook, Google and Twitter have investigated their own networks, and their executives have concluded — in some cases after initial foot-dragging — that Russia used the online platforms in attempts to influence the election.
After all this, one man keeps saying it didn’t even happen.
“This Russia thing with Trump and Russia is a made-up story. It’s an excuse by the Democrats for having lost an election that they should’ve won,” said President Donald Trump in an interview with NBC’s Lester Holt in May.
On Twitter in September, Trump said, “The Russia hoax continues, now it’s ads on Facebook. What about the totally biased and dishonest Media coverage in favor of Crooked Hillary?”
And during an overseas trip to Asia in November, Trump spoke of meeting with Putin: “Every time he sees me, he says, ‘I didn’t do that.’ And I really believe that when he tells me that, he means it.” In the same interview, Trump referred to the officials who led the intelligence agencies during the election as “political hacks.”
Trump continually asserts that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election is fake news, a hoax or a made-up story, even though there is widespread, bipartisan evidence to the contrary.
When the nation’s commander-in-chief refuses to acknowledge a threat to U.S. democracy, it makes it all the more difficult to address the problem. For this reason, we name Trump’s claim that the Russia interference is a hoax as our Lie of the Year for 2017.
Readers of PolitiFact also chose the claim as the year’s most significant falsehood by an overwhelming margin.
It seems unlikely — though not impossible — that Russia interference changed the outcome of the election. We at PolitiFact have seen no compelling evidence that it did so.
Trump could acknowledge the interference happened while still standing by the legitimacy of his election and his presidency — but he declines to do so. Sometimes he’ll state firmly there was “no collusion” between his campaign and Russia, an implicit admission that Russia did act in some capacity. Then he reverts back to denying the interference even happened.
It’s not so much that Trump trades in falsehoods — it’s more that he tries to create a different version of reality simply by asserting it.
That denial is of a different order from most presidential posturing, said Nicholas Burns, who served as ambassador to NATO under President George W. Bush.
“I’ve worked for both parties,” Burns said during public testimony to the Republican-controlled Congress this summer. “It’s inconceivable to me that any of President Trump’s predecessors would deny the gravity of such an open attack on our democratic system.
“I don’t believe any previous American president would argue that your own hearings in the Senate are a waste of time or, in the words of President Trump, a witch hunt. They’re not; you’re doing your duty, that the people elected you to do.”
Seriousness of Russian interference
Countries have meddled in each other’s internal politics before. But 2016 was different.
New cyber tools had come online, with Facebook putting robust sharing options in the hands of its users. In previous presidential cycles, online organizing had been innovative or unusual. In 2016, the sharing of political information online was widespread, cheap and easy to execute.
Meanwhile, Russia was concerned about its standing after conflicts with the former Soviet republic of Georgia. International sanctions resulted from Russia’s 2014 annexation of Crimea, which Putin wanted to see lifted.
Putin also had particular animosity toward Hillary Clinton, the Democratic nominee who had served as secretary of state. Putin openly blamed Clinton for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012. A publicly available intelligence assessment said that Putin also “holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.”