Schiff points the finger at Democrats on Russian interference. Is he right?

by Martiz Fernando

  •   Thursday, April 20, 2017
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As the House Intelligence Committee, Senate Intelligence Committee, FBI, and a myriad of other intelligence community bodies investigate the role Russian cyberhackers played in influencing the recent presidential election, many pundits have alleged that the Trump campaign colluded with the Kremlin in order to beat their Democratic opponent, Hillary Clinton. A number of individuals close to the campaign and within the administration have been found to have close ties to the Russian government, including former national security advisor Mike Flynn’s relations with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, advisor Paul Manafort’s ties to Russian investment banks, and advisor Carter Page’s role as a foreign agent for the Kremlin. Needless to say, it certainly appears that the Trump team may have been working alongside the Kremlin in their efforts to undermine the democratic system and influence the outcome of the election. As pundits and experts point fingers at Republican operatives and the Russians, the leading Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee says that Democrats did not do enough to stop the Russians.

Adam Schiff, who has been the media spotlight after calling on the Chairman of his committee, Devin Nunes, to resign from the Russia-Trump investigation amid reports of backdoor dealing, said earlier this week that the primary focus for the intelligence community is still to determine what Russia did to affect the election and whether Trump operatives worked with them. He furthered, however, that Democrats must assume responsibility for their inaction and inability to convince Americans that this issue was something they should care about. "Where I think Democrats really fell down on the job is, we failed to persuade the country why they should care,” he told David Axelrod of “The Axe Files.” He then went on to state that this mistake would be what leads to future attacks of similar nature. "And that's not a mistake we can afford to make again,” he emphasized.

He indicated that the Russians surely had intentions to do the same thing in future American elections as well as in elections in other Western nations, as part of a major effort to expand their influence across the globe. "How do we inoculate ourselves from this in the future? Because one of the key conclusions of the intelligence community is that the Russians will do this again. This was not a one-off." He made it clear that the Democrats must show voters why these influence campaigns by the Kremlin are bad for all parties in order to prevent future dilemmas. "The only way we fight that is not just by cyber defense alone, which is never going to be enough. It has to be by informing the public and inoculating the public so they care more about the fact that this is the product of a foreign intervention than they do what is said in a stolen document."

Do you think Schiff is right in blaming Democrats for not doing enough to counter the Russian election interference? 


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