Russian interference in our 2016 election has been a hot button issue for a while now. Congressional and Senate Democrats are pushing for an investigation into the President’s ties to Russia. They have criticized the administration and their surrogates, Michael Flynn, Jeff Sessions, and Rex Tillerson, of having inappropriate contact with Russian officials. Recent testimony at a Senate Intelligence Committee hearing showed that a Republican presidential candidate was hacked by Russians.
A national security expert revealed the details and how Senator Marco Rubio was the one targeted because of his hostile accusations against Russia and their President Vladimir Putin. Senior Fellow Clint Watts from the Foreign Policy Research Institute Program on National Security appeared before the Committee.
In his expert opinion he argued that Rubio’s campaign was negatively damaged by the Russian hacking. Watts testified to the following,
“Russia’s overt media outlets and covert trolls sought to sideline opponents on both sides of the political spectrum with adversarial views toward the Kremlin. They were in full swing during both the Republican and Democratic primary season and may have helped sink the hopes of candidates more hostile to Russian interests long before the field narrowed. Sen. Rubio, in my opinion, you anecdotally suffered from these efforts.”
In response Senator Rubio made some shocking revelations stating,
“In July of 2016 shortly after I announced that I would seek re-election to the United States Senate, former members of my presidential campaign team who had access to the internal information of my presidential campaign were targeted by IP addresses with an unknown location within Russia. That effort was unsuccessful.”
Rubio also noted that someone with a Russian address tried to hack him just the week before. However, he confirmed that both times they were unsuccessful. Throughout his entire time as a public servant Rubio has been staunchly opposed to the Putin regime and denounced their tactics and governmental system.
Rubio, who dropped out of the race after losing to Trump in the March 15 Florida primary, did not elaborate beyond his statements, nor did a spokesman or a former campaign official.
Rubio sits on the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is probing Russian meddling in the election. The House Intelligence Committee is, too, but that effort has become engulfed in controversy over questions about whether the Republican chairman, Rep. Devin Nunes of California, had colluded with White House officials.
When hackers gave WikiLeaks reams of damaging information about Hillary Clinton, Rubio refused to discuss what he said was an attempt by a foreign government to influence the electoral process. “I want to warn my fellow Republicans who may want to capitalize politically on these leaks: Today it is the Democrats. Tomorrow it could be us,” he said in October.
Whereas people have criticized the Trump administration for being too easy on the Russians whom we have a long and sordid history with. But the White House has vociferously denied these allegations. If these statements are true then it is all Americans who are at risk whether Democrat or Republican.
It is so incredibly important to band together in this time to protect our branches of government from the interference of foreign actors. This is a bipartisan issue and should be treated accordingly.
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