What I do know is this, which is why I’m choosing to respond to Trump’s tweet: The Russians stole my emails. When they did that, they committed a crime. They also invaded my privacy, and the privacy of a multitude of friends, family and colleagues with whom I communicated. That, combined with vicious lies spread by the alt-right media such as the so-called Comet Ping Pong conspiracy, exposed them to potential harm, as was evidenced by the shooting at Comet. The crime the Russians committed, as the intelligence community has concluded, was for the purpose of helping Trump get elected president.
So the responsible thing for a U.S. president to do, in these circumstances, is to have the backbone to stand up against Russian interference in U.S. democracy — not to question, as Trump did on Thursday, the competence of our own intelligence community and to publicly doubt, once again, the conclusion that Russia was behind the hacking. Trump talks big on Twitter, but when he came face to face with Russian President Vladimir Putin on Friday, we heard him say what an honor it was to meet him. It has been reported that Trump asked Putin about the election hacking, giving Putin the chance to issue an obligatory denial, despite all the evidence gathered by the U.S. intelligence community. One can only hope that Trump made clear to Putin that the United States won’t tolerate continued Russian interference in elections, as we’ve seen in the United States, France and now in Germany and across Europe. (This is one conversation that it would be nice to have a tape of.)