Rep. Chris Collins, the first House member who backed Donald Trump and now a member of his transition team told CNN that he believes Russia was behind the hacks, but they had no bearing on the outcome of the general election.
As you can see, a new meme has begun emanating from the Trump camp. Hooray!
The proof is that during the election season, Donald Trump and his surrogates relentlessly and breathlessly repeated every hacked email and unconfirmed rumor that emanated from these leaks, including many from the New York FBI field office, and never stopped hammering away at them.
CNN's Chris Cuomo played video of Trump admitting in 2014 that Russia was hacking into the U.S. and he asked Rep Collins, "...now the president-elect Donald Trump won't say what he said in 2014. It seems to be because, again, he's defensive about the legitimacy of the election."
Rep. Collins replied, "I think the basic problem is liberal media keeps wanting to in insinuate the hacks influenced the election and just last night Jake Tapper was saying there's no proof Wikileaks influenced this election."
Liberal media! Of course there's no actual smoking gun proof, how could there be? And notice the topic of James Comey and the FBI never came up.
He continued, "The suggestion, even by Bill Clinton yesterday - somehow he's [Trump] not the legitimate president of the United States."
Trump spent months and months doing the exact same thing to President Obama when he led the Birther charge in the media against the first African American president. But as we've seen, IOKIYAR, or as I like to say, IOKIYAT (It's OK if you are Trump)
Cuomo continued, "Why is the president-elect ignoring what the intelligence community has consensus about..."
Rep. Collins continued, "It's 95% certain that Russia did the hacking. I'm certainly willing to stipulate that." he continued, "I would stipulate Russia is behind the hacking, released those to Wikileaks and also would say it's doubtful that changed the outcome of the election."
The hacks and Wikileaks did influence the election, and to what extent is up for debate. But we do have the evidence in the way in which the Trump team used Wikileaks to promote their relentless attack narratives.
If they were "meaningless"? Trump would never have featured them in every rally and media appearance he participated in.
The idea of the popular vote became a huge issue in modern times after the disastrous Gore v Bush election. After Bush won reelection in 2004, he claimed that by winning the popular vote, he now had a mandate to try and destroy Social Security.
Trump lost the popular vote by almost 3 million votes -- unprecedented in the history of elections. No mandate. None at all.