One of the most important things we learned Monday from the House Intelligence Committee hearings on Russian influence of the 2016 elections was that the hackers may have wanted to get caught. FBI director James Comey said Russia’s cyber intruders were “unusually loud,” as though they “wanted us to see what they were doing.”
That’s counterintuitive. The Russians have officially denied taking active measures in the 2016 election. They have complained that the toxic environment in Washington has scuttled any chance for a reset in the relationship with the U.S. So if Kremlin proxies were meddling in the U.S., why would they want us to know?
Comey says this is because the specter of Russian interference in and of itself instills doubt about our electoral process. It gets people to freak out. It calls into question the legitimacy of the election Donald Trump just won. It divides us.
If that was the mission, then: mission accomplished.