Trump Presidency Damaged by Russian Hacking; Even Republicans Are Rebelling

 

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Trump Presidency Damaged by Russian Hacking; Even Republicans Are Rebelling

Credibility Sinks to New Low Over Russia

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, has vowed even tougher sanctions against Russia for interfering in the U.S. election, a clear rebuke to President-elect Donald Trump. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, has vowed even tougher sanctions against Russia for interfering in the U.S. election, a clear rebuke to President-elect Donald Trump. (Photo by Win McNamee/Getty Images)

Donald Trump’s presidency appears to be severely damaged by the Russian election hacking scandal. Senior Republicans in Congress are now threatening even tougher sanctions against the Kremlin, a clear rejection of Trump’s claims that Russia was not involved.

Trump’s credibility sank to a new low yesterday in the wake of sanctions announced by President Obama to punish Russia for meddling in the presidential election.

While Obama slammed Russia, Trump continued to disassemble over the hacking, despite the conclusions of the CIA, the FBI and every other U.S. intelligence agency.

“I think we ought to get on with our lives,” Trump said during remarks to reporters Wednesday night while on vacation at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida.

In his befuddled response, Trump blamed computers for the problem.

“I think that computers have complicated lives very greatly. The whole age of computer has made it where nobody knows exactly what is going on. We have speed, we have a lot of other things, but I’m not sure we have the kind the security we need.”

If Trump thinks Republicans are marching in lock-step with his position, he would be wrong.

Sen. John McCain, R-AZ, and Lindsey Graham, R-SC, released a joint statement on the heel’s of Obama’s new sanctions, vowing an even tougher response.

“The retaliatory measures announced by the Obama Administration today are long overdue. But ultimately, they are a small price for Russia to pay for its brazen attack on American democracy,” they said.

“We intend to lead the effort in the new Congress to impose stronger sanctions on Russia,” they added.

Trump said he had not spoken to the senators, but planned to “over a period of time.”

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., a frequent critic of the president, also congratulated Obama for taking action.

“Russia does not share America’s interests. In fact, it has consistently sought to undermine them, sowing dangerous instability around the world,” he said in his own statement.

The remarks are in sharp contrast to Trump’s repeated praise for Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump’s cabinet includes several individuals with close ties to Russia.

One adviser in particular, Carter Page is drawing particular scrutiny for his deep ties to Russia, which were reportedly being investigated by the FBI, according to published reports.

Page was spotted in Moscow after the election, according to the New York Times, but the Trump campaign has refused to say why he was there.

Page’s name raised eyebrows again this week when his name surfaced in a report by a state-run news outlet in Russia. It claimed Page had sent a “threatening” letter to McCain, urging him to drop his plans to investigate the election hacking.

So far, McCain’s office has not confirmed receiving the letter, but it could become part of the record once the Senate begins its investigation.

This is a developing news story. Let us know your thoughts and be sure to follow Money & Power on Twitter for the latest developments.