Judd Legum writes: President-elect Trump says that information published by Wikileaks, which the U.S. intelligence community says was hacked by Russia, had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.” This was not the view of candidate Trump, who talked about Wikileaks and the content of the emails it released at least 164 times in last month of the campaign.
ThinkProgress calculated the number by reviewing transcripts of Trump’s speeches, media appearances and debates over the last 30 days of the campaign.
Trump talked extensively about Wikileaks in the final days of a campaign that was ultimately decided by just 100,000 votes in Michigan, Wisconsin and Pennsylvania combined.
For months, Trump insisted that Russia was not responsible for hacks targeting Hillary Clinton’s campaign and the Democratic Party. In a December interview on Fox News, for example, Trump called intelligence linking Russia to the hacks as “ridiculous,” adding “I don’t believe it.” During the campaign Trump had suggested that the hacks could have been the work of “someone sitting on their bed that weighs 400 lbs.”
On Friday, Trump received a classified briefing from the FBI, CIA, NSA and the DNI laying out the case that Russia was responsible for the hacks and then funneled the information through Wikileaks as part of a propaganda campaign intended to swing the election to Trump. (A declassified version of the report was released to the public.)
After the briefing, Trump moderated his stance. In a statement, Trump did not explicitly say the hacks were the work of Russian operatives, but also did not deny their involvement.
Instead, Trump honed in on a different argument: Whoever was responsible, the information that was hacked and then distributed through Wikileaks had “absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election.”
Trump claims this is the view of the intelligence community. That is false. [Continue reading…]