Democratic Senator: Russian Interference Had An Impact On The Election Results (No, It Didn't)

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Jan 16, 2017 9:00 AM

The Obama administration has accepted the results. The Department of Homeland Security saw no spikes in malicious cyber activity that would constitute an attack on election night. The Clinton campaign, seeing no reason to file a recount or challenge results of their own due to zero evidence showing the results were hacked, conceded the contest. The outgoing Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, said that there is no evidence that the Russians tampered with the election tallies, but added that there was a concerted effort by Russia to flood social media with trolls and propaganda. Yes, a bit disconcerting, but it's not a hack. Our election wasn’t hacked. Still, because there was a report by our intelligence agencies that the Kremlin unleashed the trolls on us.

Still, the left is clinging to anything that would a) delegitimize Trump as president; and b) allow them to continue to avoid facing the truth about Hillary Clinton’s shoddy presidential bid. That truth being she was a terrible candidate who could very well be president-elect right now if she had bothered to reach out to millions of white working class voters. Alas, she didn’t and she got beat. Democrats are still shell-shocked. And like barnacles on a ship--they'll latch themselves onto any absurd excuse that will explain how she could have lost to Trump. For Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), Vice Chair of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, it’s just peddling straight-up myths about the Russian interference. Oh, and she had some commentary about the FBI as well (via The Hill):

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) said Sunday that she believes Russia’s attempt to interfere in the United States presidential election had an impact on the ultimate outcome.

“I think that, and I think the FBI, in the October surprise — I call it an October surprise, of announcing a subsequent investigation [into Hillary Clinton's private email server], did have an impact,” Feinstein told NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

“And I believe the Clinton people believe it did, too. They were polling and they were up, and all of that diminished.”

[…]

"I do. I believe that" Russia's interference altered the outcome of the election.

[…]

Feinstein said Sunday that she was not prepared to say Comey should be fired.

Well, those are two different issues. The letter from FBI Director James Comey informing Congress that the FBI would be reviewing hundreds of thousands of emails from the laptop of top aide Huma Abedin is not connected to the Russian spy games theory that’s taken hold of the Left. On that front, again, the Obama administration has accepted the results, with White House Chief of Staff Denis McDonough saying that President Obama feels that Trump was “freely elected” on November 8. This remark from the Obama White House appears to be a break from Rep. John Lewis (D-GA), who said that Trump isn’t a legitimate president, who was helped by a conspiracy that involved the Russians to destroy Clinton’s candidacy. Oh, and there’s no proof that there was a conspiracy either. What we do have is a lot of unsubstantiated gossip.

On the Comey letter, Nate Silver of FiveThirtyEight said that that letter probably caused Clinton to lose the election since late breakers in the swing states moved away from her. That could be the case. Frankly, it doesn’t matter since there wouldn't have been a letter from the FBI if Clinton had followed federal regulations on government communications and record keeping. The FBI and its director wouldn’t have even been players in the 2016 election. There would have been no federal investigation, no stories about our national security possibly being compromised, no flashbacks of the Clintons playing by their own rules, and no questions about classified information going through unsecured channels. Instead, Clinton established a private email server that wasn’t approved by the State Department and if she had sought approval—it wouldn’t have been authorized. There’s a reason for that. In the end, the Comey letter, along with the email investigation and the ensuing media fallout, is entirely Clinton’s fault. Just as losing the election is all her fault.

Ms. Feinstein, your horse just couldn’t seal the deal. It’s time to move on. She lost. It’s over. And while the Russians may have unleashed propaganda and social media trolls, there is zero evidence that it had an impact. Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook said that fake news didn’t sway the election in December:

SAVANNAH GUTHRIE, TODAY SHOW: After the election, Facebook itself found itself in the news, because there was a criticism that Facebook played a role in disseminating some of this false information. Or "fake news" that was out there. In retrospect, looking back on it, do you feel like that is a thing that Facebook and Mark Zuckerberg have come to realize is more of a problem that Facebook or Mark Zuckerberg originally thought?

SHERYL SANDBERG, FACEBOOK: We've been working on this for a long time and we have taken important steps, but there is a lot more we can do. We know that people don't want to see hoaxes on Facebook and we don't want to see hoaxes on Facebook.

And so we're working on it because misinformation is something we take seriously. And something we're going to continue to iterate on the service.

GUTHRIE: Did it play a bigger role that you thought it would, in retrospect?

SANDBERG: Well, there have been claims that it swayed the election, and we don't think it swayed the election, but we take those claims seriously. We take this responsibility really seriously, and we're looking at things like working with third parties, helping to label false news, doing the things we can do to make it clearer what is a hoax on Facebook...

Democrats, the Clinton chapter in American politics is over. And she’s never coming back. I’m not saying you can’t feel disappointed, but it’s a straight-up lie to say that the Russian interference cost Clinton the election. To start, maybe calling supporters of your opponent “deplorable” isn’t the best idea, among other foul-ups. 

Feinstein had said that she had dinner with Clinton after the election, noting that the former first lady is "hurting" after her upset loss.