From time to time, over lunch, I watch foxnews online as they broadcast live white house press briefings or investigative sessions from the U.S. Congress. Today FBI Director Comey and NSA Rogers took the hot seat before a Congressional committee to talk about Russian Involvement in the U.S. election.
There isn't any commentary or speakers guiding the programming, Just an opportunity for watching in a very transparent manner. And this was very interesting. Here is what I can tell you about what I witnessed:
- During the time I watched, nobody brought up any evidence of Russian tampering in the actual election.
- "Russian Involvement" seems to have been about the Russian Government wanting to encourage social disappointment/disenfranchisement in the U.S. democratic system rather than any actual hacking or direct influence in stealing votes or something like that.
- During the time I watched, "Russian Involvement" was confirmed by the military and intelligence community, but only in terms of decades of similar behavior without any specific mention of U.S. participants either liberal or conservative, and the intelligence community assumes they will go on attempting to involve themselves in future U.S. elections.
- Congressional conservatives focused on asking questions about the likelihood of this Russian influence being different from previous years and elections and if there is any known collusion or criminal wrong-doing between the Trump election team and Russian figures.
- Congressional liberals focused on bringing any fact connecting Trump and his business with any Russian business or venture or governing figure.
Comey reffered to a report that had been given to the committee outlining a review of any and all connections between Russian "actors" and the Trump group in terms of turning trump into a colluding ally. The report concludes, they could not find evidence of collusion. Within the discussion, the intel community agreed that it was not about backing Trump but a blatant dislike of Hillary Clinton. So Russia backed Trump in order to be disruptive toward Clinton, but by August they had no hope he would win, and so worked to disenfranchise Clinton voters from August until the end of the election. NSA Rogers and FBI Comey agreed and confirmed that there was no material "hacking" of our election.
Congressional liberal representatives mostly focused on any Trump business connection in the country of Russia regardless of political connection or advantage. They continue to focus on defunct reporting filled with unprovable reporting from disreputable sources. They blur the lines between was is a fact about a legitimate business dealing in Russia with an unprovable speculation, asking the FBI and NSA to speculate on hypitheticals along with them, which Comey and Rogers would not do.
But the liberal Congressional committee members would not give up. "Are these a bunch of coincidence, or are we seeing deep political and financial ties" with Russia and their interference in our election and Trump? Are the associations a "coincidence or convergence"? Again, Comey and Roger would generously offer in reply, that Russia does attempt to exploit any financial or political angle they can, but because there is no evidence of this in the case of Trump, and making a statement would be tantamount to speculating on non-factual hypotheticals and so they refuse to do it.
Does this mean they won't find something? They might. Who knows? At this point, the liberals in Congress look like toothless speculators from the Wild West yelling "There's gold in them hills!" simply because they are not following the evidence but focus on their conspiracies because they reeaaallly want to find the gold in them there hills!