It now turns out that the phony allegations against me were put together by my political opponents and a failed spy afraid of being sued....— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
Totally made up facts by sleazebag political operatives, both Democrats and Republicans - FAKE NEWS! Russia says nothing exists. Probably...— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
released by "Intelligence" even knowing there is no proof, and never will be. My people will have a full report on hacking within 90 days!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 13, 2017
Well, the allegations (phony or not has yet to be determined, especially the claims about money from Russia) were certainly put together by Trump's political opponents and "sleazebag political operatives." But he can't finish the thought without blaming U.S. intelligence agencies again. This report wasn't released by U.S. intelligence, it was in circulation for months by the private firm that produced it, or other private actors. But Trump can't blame Russia. And why is that, again?
I don’t attribute any of this to back-channel phone calls or an alleged secret meeting in Prague. But I’m at a loss to explain, in the absence of collusion, why Trump and his coterie would behave this way, and why Pence would go join in their attacks on the intelligence “bureaucracy.” Something is deeply wrong with the incoming president-elect and his White House team. They seem not to understand, or to care, that their job is to represent and protect the United States, not Russia. Their behavior in the past two weeks makes this problem indisputable. Until we know more, they cannot be trusted.
Saletan has a very carefully amassed mountain of evidence to support his still too-cautious-by-half conclusion. There really isn't anything more that can be known which would justify Trump's actions as Saletan catalogues them, or as presented in these tweets. And while this investigation won't necessarily be the most thorough possible (who knows, yet?), it certainly indicates attention will be paid:
The leaders of the Senate Intelligence Committee said the panel will investigate allegations Russia used cyber attacks to influence the U.S. presidential election, including any links between Russia and the political campaigns.Trump's report won't be the only one out there; but if his report exonerates the Russians, it will be the most telling.
The committee plans to interview senior officials of both the Trump and Obama administrations and may issue subpoenas to compel testimony, the panel’s Republican chairman, Richard Burr, and its top Democrat, Mark Warner, said in a statement.
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