President Obama has called for an investigation into Russian cyber hacking that may have influenced the presidential election on Trump’s behalf. Before the results are even available, Trump has denied the possibility and flippantly denigrated the work of intelligence agencies. This puts Republicans in a hard place. If they follow Trump’s lead, they give Russia a free pass on a very dangerous incursion into U.S. political life. If they press the investigation, they risk Trump turning on them. I think they are all scared to death to be the focus of one of his tweet attacks.
“The report highlights and exacerbates the increasingly fraught situation in which congressional Republicans find themselves with regard to Russia and Trump. By acknowledging and digging into the increasing evidence that Russia helped — or at least attempted to help — tip the scales in Trump’s favor, they risk raising questions about whether Trump would have won without Russian intervention.
Trump, after all, won by a margin of about 80,000 votes cast across three states, winning each of the decisive states by less than one percentage point. So even a slight influence could have plausibly made the difference, though we’ll never be able to prove it one way or another.”
Trump hardly has a big mandate, although that’s not going to temper his appointments and clearly hasn’t made him feel he has to reach out to those of us for whom his election is a horror show. His new Secretary of State nominee has strong commercial ties to Russia, just like Trump. Hard to think either of them is going to want much of a critical focus on Russia, no matter the danger to our democracy.