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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 11/10/18

Trump's New Acting Attorney General Claimed There Was No Evidence Russia Interfered in the 2016 Election

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Long after US intelligence declared Moscow intervened, Matt Whitaker said no "single fact" supported this.

BUSTED: Trump denies knowing Matt Whitaker
BUSTED: Trump denies knowing Matt Whitaker
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As soon as President Donald Trump installed Matt Whitaker as acting attorney general, media outlets began mining his appearances as a radio and television pundit and discovered he had repeatedly denigrated the Mueller investigation, which he now will be overseeing, and claimed there was no collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia. Mother Jones reported that Whitaker had gone so far as to claim that Trump, as president, had the power to kill the Mueller probe -- or any slice of it -- for any reason and was immune to any charge of obstruction of justice. All of this has led to critics questioning whether Whitaker ought to recuse himself from the Trump-Russia investigation -- which he has declined to do -- and speculation that Whitaker would accept a Trump order to crush the Mueller investigation.

Well, there's more. On one of his 2017 pundit outings, Whittaker even denied that Moscow had attacked the 2016 campaign. During a May 30, 2017, radio show appearance, he declared, "A foreign power attempting to interfere in elections is obviously a very salacious claim, but you know again I have not seen a single fact that would suggest that anything like that has happened. But this doesn't prevent folks from going on CNN and other media outlets and saying that it happened."

Note the date. Whitaker said this five months after the US intelligence community had publicly released an assessment that concluded that "Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election." The report, issued on January 6, 2017, noted, "Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary [Hillary] Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump." The document said the secret Kremlin scheme blended "covert intelligence operations -- such as cyber activity -- with overt efforts by Russian Government agencies, state-funded media, third-party intermediaries, and paid social media users or 'trolls.'" In other words, Moscow attacked the United States with information warfare in part to help Trump win the presidency.

What was Whitaker thinking when he said there was no evidence to back up the assertion that Russia assaulted the election?

Go to Mother Jones to read the entire article.
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David Corn is  Mother Jones ' Washington bureau chief. For more of his stories,  click here . He's also  on  Twitter  and  FacebookRSS  |    David is (more...)
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