Monday, January 09, 2017


I used this article in an update to this longer post on why Russia would intervene in our election. Spoiler alert: it was not to elect Trump.

Here's another part of that article that sums it up:

So on one hand, Russian TV viewers hoped that under the good Trump, the United States would stop plotting against Russia, there would be peace on earth, and the new U.S. president would immediately repeal economic and political sanctions slapped on Russia over the Ukraine conflict. On the other hand, TV viewers were being prepped for the announcement of a stolen victory, which would serve as yet more proof that the shortcomings of the Russian electoral system are par for the course, and that fraud and falsifications can be found everywhere.

These constructs do not fit with a Trump victory. The narrative was needed only to reiterate how great a role Putin plays on the world stage, and how cunning and unscrupulous the American elite is. The Kremlin was counting on a Clinton win.

In addition to this failure to prove how corrupt our system is (so don't pay attention to Russian flaws), the Russians set their people up for disappointment in foreign affairs by essentially telling the Russian people that Trump would make Russian-American relations great again; and that (wink, wink, nod, nod) the glorious Russian government engineered this foreign policy triumph.

As I've argued, Russian intelligence has some 'splainin to do to Putin.

Putin's 2016 election operation is in ACME level of blowback territory.

UPDATE: Stratfor addresses the intelligence report on Russia's actions:

I don’t think that the Russians expected to get Trump elected. They wanted to intrude on the election and make sure the public knew they intruded. The Russian goal was to generate uncertainty about the election and, if possible, destabilize the U.S. as a result.

That at least backs part of my view.

But they also say that Russia preferred Trump. I have serious doubts that the Russians really wanted the wild card of Trump when they could have had the more known and predictable Clinton who would be restrained by her anti-intervention base from the Left and who would be vulnerable to blackmail because of the private server that Clinton had while Secretary of State, and which I have little doubt that Russia has.

Stratfor doesn't mention that latter angle, especially. I don't subscribe to Stratfor. So perhaps I've missed a debunking of such access and opportunities. And perhaps I am wrong about Clinton having emails that would subject her to blackmail. I could be wrong. I'm speculating based on the existence of the private email server and the mass deletions when the law requires their retention as public records.

I respect Stratfor's analysis even when I disagree with it or question it. So I put it out there for you.

UPDATE: And why did Russia get away with their efforts and why did the Russians believe President Obama would let them get away with it? Tip to Instapundit.