Hillary endorsed Obama administration misinformation about the Russia hacking scandal in her debate comments Sunday. She even heaped her own fabrication on top.
The result was an open invitation for Trump to make points. But the opportunity flew right over his head.
Here's what she said:
"Our intelligence community just came out and said in the last few days that the Kremlin, meaning Putin and the Russian government, are directing the attacks, the hacking on American accounts to influence our election."
He started to go astray when he added "Maybe there is no hacking."
Trump may very well be absolutely correct about that. It may have been an internal leak. But he was speaking to a national audience who had been hearing "Russian hacking, Russian hacking, Russian hacking" interminably ever since Wikileaks released its expose on the anti-Bernie email machinations of the Democratic National Committee. Few people have any doubt there has been hacking.
There was no gain here for Trump. And there was also no gain for the American people in understanding the dangerous war provocations of the Clintons, Obamas, McCains and the like.
Trump's target of opportunity should have been simply Clinton's own words. It is true that the Obama administration put out a press release about Russian hacking, conveniently two days before the debate. But it mentions neither Putin nor the Kremlin. They were Clinton's gratuitous embellishments.
Even if Trump was ignorant of the official press release he could have simply asked Hillary for the facts she relied upon. The best she could have rendered would have been allegations. And Trump could have labeled them as such and again asked for the facts.
And then there was the administration's press release itself. Here's what it said:
"The US Intelligence Community (USIC) is confident that the Russian Government directed the recent compromises of emails from US persons and institutions, including from US political organizations. The recent disclosures of alleged hacked emails on sites like DCLeaks.com and Wikileaks and by the Guccifer 2.0 online persona are consistent with the methods and motivations of Russian-directed efforts. These thefts and disclosures are intended to interfere with the US election process. Such activity is not new to Moscow -- the Russians have used similar tactics and techniques across Europe and Eurasia, for example, to influence public opinion there. We believe, based on the scope and sensitivity of these efforts, that only Russia's senior-most officials could have authorized these activities."
To boil this down, it (a) says that they are confident some unspecified element of the Russian government directed the hacking, (b) claims the activity matches Russia's MO, although offering no specific substantiation for whatever that MO might be, (c) uses mind reading to conclude an intention to disrupt the American election process, and (d) nonetheless expresses an ardent belief that only "Russia's senior-most officials" could have initiated the purported but unsubstantiated malicious interference.
What a sad commentary that is on "The US Intelligence Community." I've heard nothing from any US official sources that presents evidence of anything. Just rumor and innuendo. Apparently it does not take much for our government to become "confident" of Kremlin culpability.
Earlier there was a New York Times article that pinned the hacking not on Putin but on some kid in Biysk, deep in Russia's Altai Region.