There were many calls for a 9/11-style response to the 2016 attack, but President Trump has viewed efforts to investigate and defend against Russia’s threat as direct challenges to the legitimacy of his own election win.
After 2016, Democrats argued that Putin succeeded in helping Trump to the White House. Republicans argued in turn that Democrats who continued to talk about Russian interference were themselves helping Putin by undermining trust in elections.
The winner all around? Putin. Whether the Russian operations actually swayed votes doesn’t matter. That Americans are fighting over the question does.
What they’re saying: A C-SPAN/Ipsos survey last October found that barely half of Americans believe the 2020 elections would be conducted openly and fairly.