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Trump Could Get His Intel from the Government. Instead, He Gets It from Fox News.

July 24, 2018 in Economics

By Julian Sanchez

Julian Sanchez

President Trump’s performance at a joint news conference
with Vladimir Putin this past week was a stark illustration not
only of his strange and persistent deference to the Russian
president, but also of his profound alienation from his own
government. In command of the most powerful intelligence-gathering
apparatus in the world, Trump still prefers to get his information
from cable news pundits and right-wing websites.

Helsinki was only the latest example of a pattern that has
marked his administration from the outset. His tweets and
off-the-cuff remarks constantly reference weird theories from the
fringes of the right-wing media ecosystem, yet he exhibits little
interest in the resources uniquely available to a president. He has
asked for far-less-detailed daily briefings from the
intelligence community than his predecessors got, and he reportedly ignores background material on
policy decisions. Cut off from systems designed to inform him Trump
instead echoes dubious narratives crafted to energize his
supporters.

Invited by a reporter at Monday’s news conference to
denounce Russian electoral interference, Trump’s first
response was a
rhetorical question based on a false premise: “You have
groups that are wondering why the FBI never took the server. Why
haven’t they taken the server?”

To those not steeped in Trump-friendly blogs and cable programs,
it might have seemed like a bizarre non sequitur. But regular
viewers of Fox News would have understood “where is the
server?” as shorthand for a fanciful theory that it was not
Russian hackers but an insider at the Democratic National Committee
who made off with DNC emails that were published by WikiLeaks.
According to this narrative, DNC officials have denied law
enforcement access to their computer systems to conceal an
“inside job,” and the attribution of the theft to
Russian intelligence was made without this obviously crucial piece
of evidence. Trump has raised questions about the supposedly
“missing” server again and again on Twitter.

Most of the dubious
theories he espouses imagine a “deep state” cabal working to bring
him down.

Yet the answer to those questions is embarrassingly simple: The
FBI did get all the relevant information
from the DNC’s network. The incident-response firm hired by
the DNC, CrowdStrike, had exact digital copies of the systems that
U.S. authorities say were targeted by a Russian military operation
in 2016, as well as logs showing the intruders’ actions in
the system as they occurred. As CrowdStrike, the DNC and senior FBI
officials have all repeatedly made clear, all the data captured by
CrowdStrike — which would be far more useful for forensic
purposes than having access to the physical machines after the fact
— was …read more

Source: OP-EDS

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