The ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, Rep. Adam Schiff (D-CA) injected some positivity during his appearance on This Week for the folks who believe that Russia should not be let off the hook for their interference in American presidential elections, no matter what Trump pretends happened.
KARL: So let's pick up with the Russian hack. You heard from president-elect Trump last night saying he's still not convinced it's the Russians. He says hacking is a very hard thing to prove so it could be somebody else. OK. You have been briefed on the intelligence.
How solid is the evidence that it was the Russians?
SCHIFF: It's very solid. It's indeed overwhelming and the president-elect, as you know, also said that he knows things that other people don't know. He needs to stop talking this way.
If he's going to have any credibility as president, he needs to stop talking this way. He needs to stop denigrating the intelligence community. He's going to rely on them. He's going to have to rely on them.
And this is the overwhelming judgment of the intelligence community and, frankly, all of the members of the intelligence committees in Congress, Democrats and Republicans. None of us have any question about this. The only one who does apparently is Donald Trump.
And this is the problem. There's only one thing worse than someone who wins elective office after everyone told them that they would win and that's someone who wins after everyone told them that they would not because they believe in the infallibility of their own judgment. And this is very dangerous.
As expected, the time had come to cue in the both-siderist reference. Karl brings up an earlier interview with the new Trump Press Secretary, aka Minister of Propaganda. Sean Spicer's false equivalency of the Chinese hack of the OPM database with the Russian hack that directly affected the election was not a valid comparison.
KARL: We did have that hack by the Chinese, the OPM attack; this was 22 million federal employees affected. The Obama administration did nothing that we know of publicly.
Why did they do nothing about that huge hack done by China and then this, just on the way out the door, make this big statement about the Russia hack?
SCHIFF: Well, I think what Mr. Spicer fails to appreciate is there was one form of hacking for the purpose of foreign intelligence gathering and that's what the Chinese did with OPM. They gathered this information about federal employees that they could use for their foreign intelligence purposes.
And you're not going to -- well, you're not going to prevent foreign nations from stealing data that they think is in their interest. The best thing you can do is defend against it.
But here's what's different about what Russia did. They didn't just steal data; they weaponized it. They dumped it during an election with the specific intent of influencing the outcomes of that election and sowing discord in the United States. That is not something China has ever done. That is not something, frankly, Russia has ever done here, although it has done it in Europe.
I believe it's very disconcerting that it's not a big deal to so many that a foreign, rather hostile nation like Russia has meddled in our election, as evidenced by Karl's acquiescence with Spicer's comparison, which Rep. Schiff handily dismantled. .
KARL: And if Trump moves to undo what President Obama has done here, what's going to be the congressional response?
SCHIFF: The reaction is going to be even more vigorous, I'm convinced, in favor of stronger sanctions against Russia. You're going to see Democrats and Republicans, like McCain and Graham and others, come together with a strong sanctions package because frankly even though what the administration did was more than symbolic, it was very meaningful. It is not enough to deter Russia.
Karl continued to try to blame the Democrats for not being careful enough, you know, like Hillary's private server. *wink wink*
KARL: But they were careless.
SCHIFF: -- they were careless. But that doesn't let Russia off the hook. Yes, it got them in the door. But Russia and Putin and the Kremlin, they are the ones that made a decision to dump and weaponize that information.
Weaponizing data and just stealing data are two things that apparently are indiscriminate to the Pro-Trump media. As Drumpf would Tweet, 'Sad!'