It appears Donald Trump may not be the only one to have colluded with Russia during last year’s presidential campaign season.
That’s what a Senate Intelligence Committee is seeking to ascertain by investigating Green Party candidate Dr. Jill Stein.
Sen. Richard Burr (R-NC), chairman of the committee investigating the Kremlin’s involvement in Trump’s election, told reporters last Monday Stein’s campaign is one of “two other campaigns we’re starting on.”
A statement on the Jill 2016 website states:
“We take seriously the issue of potential interference in our elections, as demonstrated by our continuing efforts to investigate the integrity of the 2016 election and examine our voting machines that are widely known to be vulnerable, but which still have not been examined for evidence of interference. To restore trust in our elections and democracy itself, we must safeguard our elections from all potential sources of interference, whether by foreign state actors or domestic political partisans, criminal networks, lone wolves, or private corporations – including those who control voting software.”
It adds any investigation should not be a platform to “silence principled opposition to the political establishment.”
Dr. Stein has been criticized for attending a 2015 dinner media outlet Russia Today (RT) hosted in Moscow.
Seated at the table with Stein were Russian President Vladimir Putin and former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, who earlier this month pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about the nature of his contacts with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition.
Stein previously reported to The Intercept she did nothing more at that event than shake Vladimir Putin’s hand.
“Our communications with Russian individuals regarding an invitation to speak on international relations at the RT 10th anniversary media conference will confirm what we stated publicly at that time and since: that we did not accept any payment or even reimbursement for the trip, and that we made the trip with the goal of reaching an international audience and Russian officials with a message of Middle East peace, diplomacy, and cooperation against the urgent threat of climate change.”
Regardless of what transpires, we cannot deny the rift that formed between parties, and even within parties, during the run up to the election.
Malcolm W. Nance, a career counter-terrorism and intelligence officer for U.S. Special Operations and Homeland Security, reports as much in his study of Russian interference, The Plot to Hack America.
According to Nance, dividing the American electorate was integral to Russia’s ultimate goal of creating chaos within the electoral system, pitting not only Republicans against Democrats, but Greens against Democrats, and even Democrats against Democrats–Hillary Clinton supporters against Bernie Sanders supporters.
That chaos helped give us Donald Trump.
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