Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen has played some silly games with the question of Russian interference in the 2016 election, saying she had no reason to doubt the analysis of our intelligence agencies but that she hadn’t read that analysis or looked at it in any detail. This week she finally decided to be perfectly clear on the matter.
One of President Donald Trump’s top cabinet officials told a gathering of cybersecurity leaders on Tuesday that the Russians attacked the 2016 presidential election and that “America will not tolerate this meddling.”
“Two years ago, a foreign power launched a brazen, multi-faceted influence campaign … to distort our presidential election,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen during an opening roundtable at the DHS National Cybersecurity Summit in New York. “Let me be clear: Our intelligence community had it right. It was the Russians.”“We know that, they know that. It was directed from the highest levels. And we cannot and will not allow it to happen again.”
But of course, we are letting it happen again because Trump has tried consistently to downplay it and dismiss it and has done nothing in terms of policy to address it. I have no doubt there are officials within various agencies who take the matter seriously and are doing the best they can to fight against it, but without presidential leadership and funding, their efforts won’t be as effective as they otherwise could be. We need an inter-agency task force to deal with it on multiple levels. We used to have a cybersecurity adviser in the White House who would handle that kind of thing, but Trump doesn’t have one because he doesn’t think it’s necessary. What a shock.
And don’t be surprised to see Nielsen out of a job soon. She has clashed with Trump multiple times. I bet she doesn’t even let him grab her by the genitalia.