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One of the most telling things to come out of this week’s Treason Summit is the realization by many Trump administration staffers that Donald Trump is simply incapable of differentiating between “Russia meddled in the election” versus “Trump colluded with Russia during the election.” I argued that there is no difference, and Trump seems to think so as well, which is why he consistently conflated the two issues as if they’re connected, because they are connected. As I said, Russia didn’t “meddle” in a vacuum – they had a goal, to get the compromised Candidate Trump elected, and they were working in concert with the Trump campaign. The question of “Trump truly doubts the intelligence on Russian meddling” has never been a thing: he actively obfuscates the intelligence because he knows it makes him guilty. He doesn’t realize the obfuscation also makes him look incredibly guilty too, I guess. Now the New York Times spells it out: Trump was given a high-level security briefing, with ample evidence, of Russian meddling… back in January 2017.
Two weeks before his inauguration, Donald J. Trump was shown highly classified intelligence indicating that President Vladimir V. Putin of Russia had personally ordered complex cyberattacks to sway the 2016 American election.