In an interview with the Associated Press, “President” Donald Trump discussed a variety of matters, including Russia and its election hacking. In what is a difficult transcript to read and understand what Trump is speaking about at any given moment (one of many reasons he will never sit down with Special Counsel Robert Mueller), Trump spoke about Paul Manafort, about the midterms and how he will not be to blame if the Republicans lose seats, and Saudi Arabia.
At one point, after being questioned about Manafort and whether Trump would pardon him, Trump segued into the following: “Do you know these Russian hackers you’re talking about from Moscow? They have nothing to do with me. How many people are they? Only 28 people? They have nothing to do with me. They were hackers from Moscow. Some of them supported Hillary Clinton. They had nothing to do with me. You look at all the stuff, it’s just nothing to do with me.”
A few obvious points – one, why does the number of hackers (28 or 2 or 50) make any difference about whether or not they have anything to do with Trump? In addition, Trump has no apparent basis for any claim that they supported Hillary Clinton. This non sequitur continues his thread of asserting that the Russians worked with Clinton to influence the election. Apparently, Russian hackers and Clinton conspired to throw the election to Clinton’s opponent, which makes zero sense.
Donald Trump’s statements and nonsensical pontifications come as the Justice Department announced the indictment of a Russian woman, Elena Khuyaynova, for conspiracy to defraud the United States, seeking to “sow discord in the U.S. political system.” Rather than address the seriousness that Russians are once again attacking our election system, Trump has as usual made up stuff to continue to protect his handler, Vladimir Putin. When asked about Russian meddling on Friday, Trump blamed former President Barack Obama, stating, “Obama didn’t spend a coin to stop it.” So, on one hand, Trump appears to admit that there was hacking, and on the other hand, the truth will come out, and we will see just how much love and affection Trump had for Russia and how much love in the form of manipulation came from Russia, with love.