The Russians interfered in the 2016 US presidential election. This is contained in a 2017 joint report by the CIA, FBI and the National Security Agency. The accepted theory on the subtle involvement of Russia is that Vladimir Putin wanted to get back at Hillary Clinton, who as Secretary of State, deliberately encouraged the protests in December 2011 that followed the announcement by Putin on his candidacy for president. It has not been established though that the Trump campaign had links with the Russians. But definitely, Donald Trump benefited from the Russian covert operation. So far, there is little hint that the Russians dipped their hands in the 2020 US presidential election. In the lead up towards the US elections, Putin issued a formal statement seeking mutual “guarantees of non-interference” in US and Russian elections and asking the US “to approve a comprehensive program of practical measures to reset our relations in the use of information and communication technologies (ICT).”
While most world leaders have sent felicitations to President-elect Joe Biden, Putin has not done so. The non-action speaks a lot: Putin prefers “conservative” Don over “socialist” Joe. Putin and Trump have a “bromance,” with the latter often expressing his admiration to the former. Instead of conceding defeat and working towards a smooth transition of power, Trump continues to question the results by claiming massive fraud. Those most loyal to him have toed the line and echoed Don’s unsubstantiated claims. These include Trump attorney Rudy Giuliani, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Attorney General William Barr and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. Speaking in Philadelphia, Giuliani said, “You just don’t lose leads like that without corruption.” McConnell declared from the floor of the Senate that Trump is “100 percent within his right” to pursue recounts and litigation. Barr gave the go signal to federal prosecutors to investigate alleged irregularities in the presidential election. But I guess the most bewildering comes from Pompeo who said that there will be a smooth transition to a second Trump administration.
Come to think of it, the Kremlin may have used Hillary Clinton as an excuse to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election. The main purpose was to put a Trojan horse in the White House. It is impossible for Russia to fight a conventional war against the US. Its strategy of infiltration through spies had failed time and again. But getting an unknowing individual – Trump – to the highest office, whose foundation on democracy and freedom is weak could very well shake, if not break, the institutions that make up the United States.
If Trump continues to criticize the election process and lure his supporters to the political ember of his dying cause, the United States of America could fall into an abyss of chaos and uncertainty. Putin will have the last laugh.