Anne Jolis

Regrets on Russia, Syria, or Iran? Obama Has None

The Electoral College will cast their votes for president of the United States tomorrow without any last-minute intel on alleged Russian cyber-meddling, according to a statement from the Office of the Director of National Intelligence. A group of electors had called for a briefing before the December 19 vote, though it’s unclear what they’d hoped to discover that everyone didn’t already know on November 8.

President Obama acknowledged as much on Friday in a year-end press conference. ‘The truth of the matter is, is that everybody had the information. It was out there,’ he said, swatting away the suggestion that he should have made more of the Russian intrusions before the election. He also dismissed the notion that the contents of the purloined emails swung the vote:

‘They hacked into some Democratic Party emails that contained pretty routine stuff, some of it embarrassing or uncomfortable, because I suspect that if any of us got our emails hacked into, there might be some things that we wouldn’t want suddenly appearing on the front page of a newspaper or a telecast, even if there wasn’t anything particularly illegal or controversial about it.’

That ‘routine stuff’ included correspondence regarding multi-million dollar donations to the tax-exempt Clinton Foundation in exchange for a few minutes of Bill or Hillary’s time. That may seem sensational to us plebs, but perhaps President Obama has a point that it was all in a day’s work for the Clintons. A similar argument applies to Donald Trump, by the way. The New York Times has reported that Russian hackers also got a hold of Republican National Committee emails. The RNC denies it, but either way it’s hard to imagine what indecorous tidbit or eye-popping tax return might damage the man who crowed in January, ‘I could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot somebody, okay, and I wouldn’t lose any voters.

Already a subscriber? Log in

Keep reading with a free trial

Subscribe and get your first month of online and app access for free. After that it’s just £1 a week.

There’s no commitment, you can cancel any time.


Unlock more articles



Don't miss out

Join the conversation with other Spectator readers. Subscribe to leave a comment.

Already a subscriber? Log in