Saturday, January 14, 2017

2016: Emails Hurt Clinton, but Not Russian-hacked Emails.

Nearly a month ago, conservative Ed Rogers, in the Washington Post, wrote that
the Obama administration.   .   . knew the Russians were behind the Democratic National Committee and attempted Republican National Committee hackings, but .   .   . decided not to take any decisive action because they were assuming a Hillary Clinton victory, and therefore felt President Clinton could deal with the Russians when she took office.
It’s obvious Democratic “shock” about Russia supposedly swinging the election to Trump is purely connected to their “awe” that Trump actually won.

Here are five truths you aren’t hearing from media/Democrats about what actually went on before November 8:

1.  The truly great hacking scandal was the mountain of classified information Hillary Clinton ran through her home-brewed, highly-hackable server.

Credit to Democrats for having the chutzpah to talk about emails and Russia while sliding by the real scandal — Hillary’s unprotected private server.

2.  When Trump asked for Russian help in hacking emails in July, he was talking about Clinton’s 33,000 missing emails and not about unclassified campaign worker emails.

The real hacking bonanza would have been recovering the 33,000 emails that Clinton scrubbed into oblivion (using software called “BleachBit”).  Some were likely the most damaging that passed under Clinton’s eyes, messages that would have made it impossible for the FBI to avoid indicting Clinton.

3.  The October “Wikileaks” emails from Clinton campaign manager John Podesta’s computer were 100% unclassified, were dated prior to March 19, 2016, but were authentic (authenticity never disproven), not Russian doctored.

The emails embarrassed campaign insiders, sure.  They show allegedly pro-Clinton people trashing the candidate and others in the Clinton world, and revealed incestuous collaboration between the campaign and media.  While some emails slandered the religious right (already against Clinton), Catholics, Jews and, even blacks, these little-reported emails didn’t swing 45,000 Pennsylvania votes.

4.  The Russians had good reason to seek to damage Hillary Clinton’s upcoming presidency, but they didn’t believe Podesta’s private messages would deliver the election to Trump.

Although the U.S. intelligence community’s report on Russia’s hack of Podesta’s emails came from only three agencies (out of 17) and drew suspiciously strong (and anti-Trump) conclusions not normally found in intelligence assessments, even this biased report said that:
When it appeared to Moscow that Secretary Clinton was likely to win the election, the Russian influence campaign began to focus more on undermining her future presidency.
5.  Obama’s, Clinton’s, and the media’s strategy for dealing with “Wikileaks” was to ignore the emails and instead focus on Trump’s failings.

Democrats and their media friends in October realized that dwelling on Russian involvement might make the Podesta emails, not Trump’s failings, the campaign’s centerpiece.  Not discussing the Wikileaks revelations largely worked; even Clinton supporters don’t claim Podesta’s messages shifted key state votes.

Here’s what Democrats have gotten away with since November.  They moved the email controversy from Clinton to Wikileaks, from Wikileaks content to Russian involvement, and from Russian mischief to Trump as a Putin puppet, doing so after an election during which they suppressed email discussions as much as possible.

Here’s what really happened: Clinton’s people dropped an “October Surprise” — the eleven-year-old salacious “Access Hollywood” tape — timed to the beginning of early voting in most states. They then kept the focus on Trump’s bad behavior, surfacing one Trump victim after another.

But Democrats lost control of the narrative when FBI Director Jim Comey, following through on a previous commitment to be publicly forthcoming, on October 28 reported his agency was looking for classified information on Clinton aide Huma Abedin’s ex-husband’s computer. 

Even though Comey wrapped up that investigation at lightning speed (9 days), re-clearing Clinton before the election, a return to the real email issue — Clinton’s unauthorized, private server — damaged her campaign.  This proved especially true because a newly disciplined Trump at the same time stuck to his teleprompter and to actual issues, helping swing campaign attention back to Clinton.

Comey’s reopened investigation may well have impacted the key Trump victory states of Pennsylvania and Michigan.  Both states don’t have early voting, a point the Clinton campaign may have overlooked (along with Clinton’s taking Wisconsin for granted by not visiting the state).

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