FBI Director James Comey and the Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are clearly no friend to each other, but they found themselves in near total agreement during Monday’s open hearings: Russia did indeed rig the 2016 presidential election in favor of Donald Trump. In contrast the Republicans on the committee seemed overmatched and ill prepared, at one point trying to deflect blame onto a reporter while mangling her name.
Comey flatly said “They wanted to hurt our democracy, hurt her, help him” with regard to the Russian government, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Comey also stated that he’s known since last December that Russian had a “clear preference” for Trump and that it was a “fairly easy judgment.” NSA Director Mike Rogers, also testifying, largely concurred. Adam Schiff, the ranking Democrat on the House Intel Committee, piled on by laying out in great detail the metric ton of connections and communications between the Trump campaign and the Kremlin during the election.
In contrast, the Republicans on the committee largely appeared underprepared for the hearings. Devin Nunes, the committee Chair, tried to offer a bumbling defense of Donald Trump to little effect. His fellow Republican Mike Conaway of Texas tried to distract from the Trump-Russia scandal by making it the fault of the media. At one point he inexplicably blamed “Elaine Something” for the scandal. Washington Post reporter Ellen Nakashima then quickly took to Twitter to confirm that Conaway had been trying and failing to refer to her:
Not all of the Republicans on the committee stumbled. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, who has been increasingly breaking from her party of late, acquitted herself well while asking Comey about how Russia might continue hacking future elections. But the larger picture couldn’t have been more clear: the FBI has now officially confirmed that Russia rigged the election for Donald Trump, meaning the Democrats were correct all along. All that’s left to demonstrate is that Trump knew it at the time. Contribute to Palmer Report
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