When ‘They’re Lying’ is Actually the Less Scary Option

When ‘They’re Lying’ is Actually the Less Scary Option May 24, 2018

When parsing the claims of politicians, we are often having to decide whether they are lying or telling the truth. Usually, we would prefer that they be telling the truth. But this statement from Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen is far more scary if she’s telling the truth.

Following a classified election security briefing for Congress, Nielsen spoke to reporters, including CNN’s Manu Raju.

“Do you have any reason to doubt the Jan. 17th [2017] Intelligence Committee assessment that said it was [Russian President] Vladimir Putin who tried to meddle in this election to help President Trump?” Raju asked.

“I do not believe that I’ve seen that conclusion that specific intent was to help President Trump win,” Nielsen insisted. “I am not aware of that.”

I hope she’s lying, which she would be doing in order to not inflame Trump and make him throw a tantrum. Because if she really hasn’t bothered to read those assessments, she clearly would be in dereliction of duty. One of DHS’s key responsibilities is protecting our cyber security systems, including electoral systems. We’ve had the Russians hacking into servers of major political leaders and into voter registration systems (thankfully they can’t get to the actual voting systems because those don’t go online).

If the DHS Secretary really is unaware of all that and the highly publicized assessments from our intelligence services, that means she isn’t doing anything to fix and protect those systems. And that’s far more frightening than the prospect that she’s lying to avoid another flamefest from her boss.

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