No doubt Russia must be watched for its chronic efforts to sow more chaos in American elections — despite Barack Obama’s naïve assertion in 2016 that no entity could possibly ever rig a U.S. election, given the decentralization of state voting.
Lately the heads of four U.S. intelligence and security agencies — Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats, FBI Director Chris Wray, Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, National Security Agency Director Paul Nakasone, and National Security Adviser John Bolton — held coordinated White House press conferences to remind America of the dangers of Russian chicanery. Trump, who is prone to conflate documented Russian efforts to meddle and cause chaos with unproven accusations of Trump-Russia collusion, should heed their warnings and beef up U.S. counter-espionage efforts and cyber deterrence.
But why do our intelligence heads seem to feel so exasperated that they’re not getting through to the American people? Why do they need to reassert the immediacy of the Russian threat?
The FBI joined forces with one political campaign to thwart the efforts of the opposing campaign. Has that happened before in American history?
Is it because Trump has poisoned the waters of American espionage and surveillance by his understandable furor over the never-ending Mueller investigation and his perceived downplaying of “Russian meddling”?
Consider the larger context.