It could also be lots of other people

People who work in intelligence in the US – career experts, civil servants as opposed to politicians – are disturbed that Trump refuses to accept their finding that Russia stole files from the Democratic National Committee computers in an effort to influence the U.S. election.

The former officials, who have served presidents in both parties, say they were bewildered when Trump cast doubt on Russia’s role after receiving a classified briefing on the subject and again after an unusually blunt statement from U.S. agencies saying they were “confident” that Moscow had orchestrated the attacks.

“It defies logic,” retired Gen. Michael Hayden, former director of the CIA and the National Security Agency, said of Trump’s pronouncements.

Trump has assured supporters that, if elected, he would surround himself with experts on defense and foreign affairs, where he has little experience. But when it comes to Russia, he has made it clear that he is not listening to intelligence officials, the former officials said.

Trump doesn’t have “little experience” in defense and foreign affairs. He has none. Zero. He’s a real estate developer – what would he know about defense and foreign affairs?

In the first debate, after intelligence and congressional officials were quoted saying that Russia almost certainly broke into the DNC computers, Trump said: “I don’t think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, okay?”

It’s all just opinion, innit. It’s guesswork, it’s hunches, it’s looking thoughtfully out the window and coming up with something. There’s no reason for Trump to pay any attention to senior intelligence officials because they don’t know any more about it than he does, since it’s all just opinion.

In the second debate, he said “Maybe there is no hacking,” despite having been told in a briefing that government officials were certain Russia hacked the DNC.

Former acting CIA director John MacLaughlin said all previous candidates took the briefings to heart.

“In my experience, candidates have taken into the account the information they have received and modulated their comments,” he said. Trump, on the other hand, “is playing politics. He’s trying to diminish the impression people have that [a Russian hack of the DNC] somehow helps his cause.”

I for one look forward to Putin’s influence in US affairs.

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