What did Trump know about Russian hacking and when did he know it? For starters, according to the FBI, Trump knew it from the very beginning after he announced his official bid for the Presidency in June of 2015. According to an existing report by NBC News (link), both Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were warned by the FBI early in the campaign that, “foreign adversaries, including Russia, would probably try to spy on and infiltrate their campaigns,” and both “candidates were urged to alert the FBI about any suspicious overtures to their campaigns,” the officials said.”
That means Trump knew it when he used his global platform to implore a hostile nation to hack the State Department. Trump knew it each time he proclaimed his undying love for Wikileaks. Trump knew it when he hired, “honored friends of Vladimir Putin” like, Michael Flynn and Rex Tillerson then gave them access to our nation’s top secrets. Donald Trump Jr. knew it the day he responded back with “I love it” when he was invited to commit treason with the Russians.
Trump also knew it when his top campaign officials met with the Russians at Trump Towers and then lied about it. The newly elected President of the United States, Donald J. Trump also knew it when he successfully used his lawyers to stop the recount in key states he astonishingly won against enormous odds.
Donald Trump knew the Russians were hacking our democracy before the general public knew it. The first time Trump was asked to serve our nation, he deferred. This time, Trump has not only deferred, but he actively supported and encouraged attacks to our democracy during his campaign and again as President. Why should Trump enforce sanctions and tighten election security against the Russians when they were so effective in his last campaign?
Virginia is a lifelong contributor to and supporter of the First Amendment.