Hillary Clinton and her team tried to warn us about Trump's ties to Russia
This week has seen some truly stunning revelations about President-elect Donald Trump and the help he received from the Russian government in securing his electoral victory, including allegations that Russia compromised Trump, and may have colluded with his associates in their campaign to influence the election. Although Hillary Clinton has largely stayed out of public view […]
This week has seen some truly stunning revelations about President-elect Donald Trump and the help he received from the Russian government in securing his electoral victory, including allegations that Russia compromised Trump, and may have colluded with his associates in their campaign to influence the election.
Although Hillary Clinton has largely stayed out of public view since the election, her key aides are beginning to speak out about the looming potential crisis, and the alarm bells they tried to sound about it months ago.
Clinton Digital Director Jenna Lowenstein published this tweet following the new revelations:
The video to which she is linking could have been put on YouTube yesterday, but it is actually from mid-October, and presciently details the possibility that Russia might be trying to interfere with the U.S. election:
Why would Russia want to interfere in our election? We may have some of the answers. pic.twitter.com/xSy0EuTAzy
— The Briefing (@TheBriefing2016) October 18, 2016
And of course Clinton herself issued a clear warning about Russian interference and her opponent’s relationship with Putin, during their final debate:
Watching that clip now, is it any wonder that Clinton’s team — and many of her supporters — are bothered (to put it mildly) that her urgent warning was not heeded?
It was one of a number of times Clinton, or members of her team, sounded the alarm, while the corporate media covered her email for 600 days, as though that were our most pressing national security concern.
Lowenstein is not the only Clinton staffer who no longer keeping silent: CNN reported on a number of former Clinton aides who are joining the chorus to remind the country that this should not be a surprise to anyone who was paying attention:
“It is frustration and disappointment that a lot of the indications of what is coming to light were out before the election but it didn’t get the focus and the attention that it deserved,” Jesse Ferguson, a former Clinton spokesman said, arguing that the content in leaked emails — controversies, perceived slights and other salacious details — were covered more closely than where the information was coming from.
“I haven’t been watching this thinking to myself, damn, I wish I had done this,” said one former Clinton aide. “I don’t want to sit here and be arrogant and say, ‘oh no, we did everything perfect.’ When you lose and when the story is not told, then there is always something you could have done different. But would it have changed the outcome? I don’t know.”
The aide added: “Frankly, I think the media blew it.”
Some former Clinton staffers are translating this frustration into action, the report continues:
The Democratic National Committee is building a “war room” to combat Trump led by Zac Petkanas, the Clinton campaign’s rapid-response director, and Adrienne Watson, a Clinton spokeswoman, and outside groups like American Bridge, an opposition research firm, have reorganized to rebuff the Republican president.
“I am heartened,” Petkanas said Wednesday, “that people are taking it seriously now and I think that it is better later than never.”
For those of us who have been warning and worrying about it for months, it can be frustrating to watch the stories about Trump and Russia grow and worsen almost every day. But it is good to know that Clinton campaign alumni are still hard at work on behalf of the nation’s security and democracy. As these revelations continue, and as Trump’s parade of disastrous nominees continues, that job only grows larger and more important.
Reminding people that we were right all along is not a matter of personal satisfaction for Clinton supporters; in fact, it is a decidedly unpleasant experience to watch our dire warnings materialize into reality. But it is a matter of demonstrating not just why our voices should have been listened to then, but ought to be heeded now and in the future. The corporate media that abetted Trump and Russia continue to prove that they are no more up to the task today than they were before Trump’s victory, and so we must be.
(Melissa McEwan contributed to this article.)
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