Key Takeaways From Intelligence Community Testimony On Alleged "Russian Hacking"

For those disaffected Hillary snowflakes looking for some level of concrete, tangible evidence from today's Senate testimony from the "intelligence community" that "Russian Hackers" purposefully colluded with President-elect Trump to steal the 2016 election from Clinton, we have some bad news: your desire for evidence required to start World War III over your candidate's loss has still not been fulfilled.  Better luck next time.

As we suspected, today's testimony offered up by James Clapper and others of the "intelligence community" to the Senate's Armed Forces Committee has largely been nothing more than another smear campaign rife with political rhetoric but light on facts and tangible evidence.

With that, here are some of the notable one-liners from the day.

John McCain opened the hearing by noting that the goal of the day was not to "question the outcome of the presidential election" but to gather "facts" about what happened...even though no facts actually followed, but we digress.

“The goal...is not to question the outcome of the presidential election. Nor should it be. As both President Obama and President-elect Trump have said, our nation must move forward. But we must do so with full knowledge of the facts."

Senator Jack Reed (D-Rhode Island) used his time to call for the creation of a "special select Senate committee" to look further into the "Russian Hacking" narrative since it spills across the jurisdictional divide.

 

Meanwhile, 30 minutes into the hearing, James Clapper told the Senate committee that he had no intention of providing any meaningful new details regarding the "Russian Hacking" narrative but instead intended to just repeat the same useless political rhetoric that has been slowly leaked to the mainstream media over the past several weeks.

“We plan to brief the Congress and release an unclassified version of this report to the public next week with due deference to highly sensitive sources and methods

 

“We’re not really prepared to discuss this beyond standing by our earlier statements.”

Asked whether Julian Assange was credible, Clapper, who ironically has lost all credibility throughout this process with his rapidly evolving story line, was quick to confirm in the negative.  Per The Hill:

When asked if Assange was credible, Clapper responded with a very noticeably annoyed look, "Not in my view."

 

Navy Adm. Michael Rogers, commander of U.S. Cyber Command and director of National Security Agency responded, "I second those comments."

Meanwhile, other comments aimed at Julian Assange drew some expected criticism from Wikileaks:

 

Clapper, apparently interviewing for a commentator spot at MSNBC, warned that hacking wasn't the extent of the efforts by Russia to meddle in the 2016 election which also included coordinated efforts from RT, and other "fake news" outlets, to exploit any "fissure they could find in our tapestry."

“RT was very active in promoting a particular point of view, disparaging our system, our alleged hypocrisy about human rights, etc. Whatever crack, fissure they could find in our tapestry, they would exploit it,”

 

In an obvious slip up, Clapper admitted that the "Russian Hackers" didn't change the vote tallies...

“They didn’t change any vote tallies,” Clapper said, but “We have no way of gauging the impact that — certainly the Intelligence Community can’t — the choices that the electorate made. There’s no way for us to gauge.”

...and warned against retaliatory efforts saying that "we and other nations conduct similar acts of espionage."

"As I say, people in glass houses need to think about throwing rocks. This was an act of espionage. And we and other nations conduct similar acts of espionage."

Finally, we leave you with this parting clip from Senator Graham who vows to stop at nothing until he has his war with Russia.

 

 

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For those who missed it, here is the intro the hearing that we wrote earlier this morning.

At 9:30 AM the "Russian hacking" narrative will take center stage before a hearing of the Senate's Committee on Armed Services which is chaired by the maverick himself, John McCain.  The witnesses appearing before the committee will include James Clapper, the Director of National Intelligence, Marcel Lettre, Under Secretary of Defense for Intelligence, and Admiral Michael Rogers, Commander, United States Cyber Command.

Per a note earlier this morning from The Hill, there are five key things to watch for as the hearing progresses:

1. How many Republicans will criticize Trump’s stance? - Both John McCain, who chairs the committee, and Lindsey Graham of South Carolina, another member of the panel, have been vocal in their criticism of Trump's unwillingness to blindly accept the rapidly evolving "facts" presented by the "intelligence community."

2. How strong is the evidence that Russia hacked the DNC? - After Julian Assange again appeared on Fox News earlier this week to confirm that his source was not Russia, or any "state actor" for that matter, the "intelligence community" once again changed its narrative this morning to imply that Russia hacked the DNC and John Podesta then provided that information to Wikileaks via a third party.  Well, how convenient is that?  We look forward to receiving some concrete, tangible evidence from Mr. Clapper on this new assertion.

3. What evidence does the intelligence community have that Putin wanted to assist Trump? - The CIA, without supplying any evidence, reportedly believes that Russia was explicitly trying to help Trump — raising politically explosive questions about the degree to which it succeeded.  Meanwhile, the White House has stopped short if that conclusion telling CNN that “President Obama and this administration is 100 percent certain in the role that Russia played in trying to sow discord and confusion and getting involved, through the cyber domain, in our electoral process."  Will any actual evidence of collusion between Trump and Russian officials be presented?

4. How much will the public get to see — and when? - Will this whole charade just be more political rhetoric, which is the only thing the "intelligence community" has provided to date, or will actual tangible evidence finally be presented to support the "Russian hacking" narrative.

5. How much will either committee be able to do? - With a new administration taking over in 15 days will any of this actually matter or is it just a last-ditch effort to delegitimize the incoming administration?

Of course, Trump has maintained a healthy dose of skepticism of the intelligence community's "facts."  In a series of tweets earlier this week, Trump accused intelligence officials of delaying his briefing until Friday in order to build a case against Russia. He also noted comments from Wikileaks founder Julian Assange who has repeatedly said that his leaked material was not provided by the Russian government.

 

With that intro, a live stream of the hearing can be viewed here:

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