Since it’s been firmly established Russia did indeed hack and interfere in the 2016 election, Republicans are now either trying to discredit those who informed us of this fact or saying it’s really not a big deal.
On CNN Thursday morning, Congressman Tom Cole (R-OK) told host Poppy Harlow that the fact Russia meddled in the most basic foundations of American democracy was “nothing to hyperventilate about.” That led Harlow to reply:
“Really? [You are] not too concerned?”
“I’m always concerned. But people have been intervening in American elections since the 1790s. The first people that did it were the French. And if we think the Russians haven’t influenced American elections in the past, we’re naive. And frankly, if we think we don’t try to influence transfers of power in other countries, we’re pretty naive. So, it’s part of international relations.
“The real question is did it have much impact? I don’t think so.”
Part of international relations?! It’s an act of war!
Clearly amazed by what she was hearing from a member of Congress, Harlow then asked:
“Wait. Why is that the real question? It seems like you’re saying this is par for the course, this is okay.”
Again, Cole tried to dance around his words:
“I didn’t say it’s okay. It is par for the course. Do you think other countries don’t try to influence what we do in elections?”
Harlow countered by reminding Cole:
“There was a widespread disinformation campaign as you know, Congressman. Something that was so concerning to the U.S. intelligence community that it sparked that January 6 intelligence report from a year ago that I know you read.
“That does not seem like par for the course.”
But Cole remained nonchalant, telling Harlow:
“It’s not unusual in international affairs. I think you accept it, you guard against it, you deal with it.”
Accepting the hacking of our election is very likely to lead to even more hacking by Russia and other nations. Wonder if Congressman Cole would consider it a bigger deal if the culprit had been North Korea instead of Russia. Something tells me he’d be ready to fire off a few nuclear weapons in the direction of Pyongyang.
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