Senator Lindsey Graham is one of the few Republicans speaking up about the depth and breadth of Russian hacks into our political system. And by hacks, I don't just mean into emails. I mean how they used the information as propaganda, spreading it and co-opting mainstream outlets in order to inflict maximum damage on Democrats while leaving Donald Trump and the Republican party unscathed.
Speaking on CNN, Senator Graham told Wolf Blitzer, "I do believe the Russians hacked into the DNC. I do believe they hacked into Podesta's email account. They hacked into my campaign account."
He continued, "I do believe that all the information released publicly hurt Clinton and didn't hurt Trump. I don't think the outcome of the election is in doubt. What we should do is not turn on each other but work as one people to push back on Russia."
Amen, Senator Graham. Amen. (As an aside, that does NOT mean war.)
Graham went on to call for a bipartisan effort to restore American democracy to Americans, saying, "[The Russians are] trying to destabilize democracy all over the world. Not just here.
"Here's what we should do. We should tell the Russians that on no uncertain terms, you interfere in our elections, we don't care why, we're going to hit you and hit you hard, we're going to introduce sanctions, it'll be bipartisan."
Yes. That's a start. Even though Graham shrugged off the impact the hacks had or may have had on the outcome of the election, he's right.
However, there is another issue no one is really addressing, and that is the access Russia attempted into state voter databases. We really must know much more about this, including what data they were able to get, and how they used that data.
Lindsey Graham and I do not often agree, but I do on this. It needs to be taken seriously. Very seriously. Remember, we do not have any idea how deeply Trump's finances are entwined with Russian interests. As long as that is unknown to us, we should assume there are deep financial ties which are of mutual benefit to Trump and Putin.