The overwhelming Democratic victory in the recent midterms was proof positive that —despite some flaws and more than a few exploitable weaknesses — our democracy still works.
Power over the House of Representatives was wrested away from the Republicans who have been abusing it to provide cover for our increasingly erratic and incompetent president and the White House was sent a resounding message that the vast majority of Americans do not support its cruel agenda. It was the first clear sign since the election of Donald Trump that our country might finally be back on the right track.
That said, Trump’s presidency has already proven to be a godsend for our adversaries abroad. They’ve been able to look on in glee as Trump trashes our national reputation, weakens us economically, and alienates our closest allies. Vladimir Putin’s gambit to help Trump win in 2016 has paid major dividends for the Russian Federation.
Now, we’ve learned that Putin attempted to double down on his investment last month. Secretary of Defense James Mattis has revealed that the glorified thug who serves as the current Russian president tried to “muck around” in our recent midterm elections.
Mattis added that “we are seeing a continued effort along those lines.” The Secretary made the bombshell announcement while giving remarks at the Reagan National Defense Forum at the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library.
While there were reports in advance of the elections that Russia was gearing up to attack our democracy, this is the first concrete confirmation that such efforts were attempted.
“We’ll do whatever is necessary to defend them,” Mattis said of our democratic processes.
Hopefully, it’s not simply empty bluster on the part of Mattis. The Trump administration has repeatedly demonstrated an unwillingness to stand up for the United States against Russian aggression and encroachments. A large part of this failing is due to a pathological inability on the part of the president to admit that his election victory was tainted by foreign interference.
While Mattis didn’t provide many details on Putin’s efforts during the midterms, it’s safe to presume that it was a pro-Trump operation. The Russians have a vested interest in keeping Republicans in power because the GOP is hollowing out our democratic institutions from the inside out.
Luckily, Russia wasn’t able to steal the midterms, but we must remain vigilant and stay guarded against their next attack.
Defense Sec. Mattis says Putin tried to “muck around” in U.S. elections last month. @Acosta: “That’s pretty striking given the fact that just before those midterms, … Trump admin officials were trying to downplay this notion." https://t.co/TVniMqt2ou pic.twitter.com/gZsSpXYQfU
— CNN Newsroom (@CNNnewsroom) December 1, 2018
Watch Mattis’s full remarks below.