Donald Trump has issued a brief statement about President Obama’s decision to take retaliatory measures against Russia in response to its alleged hacking of DNC and John Podesta email accounts. Trump said:
It’s time for our country to move on to bigger and better things. Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated on the facts of this situation.
The first sentence will capture most of the attention. It will be greeted with derision by many. Read by itself, it should be.
Russian cyber-intrusion is a serious matter. If the Russian government or its agents intruded via hacking into our politics, I think don’t think our response should be simply to “move on.”
Trump’s second sentence seems to recognize this. He considers it in our national interest to met with leaders of the intelligence committee to learn the facts pertaining to the alleged Russian hacking. If intelligence officials lay out persuasive case, there’s no reason to think that Trump, having taken the time to listen, will ignore the problem.
Whatever was true during the presidential campaign, from now on Russian cyber-intrusions are Trump’s problem. Yes, he wants to “move on” from talk about how little or how much past hacking helped him and hurt Hillary Clinton. But this doesn’t mean that the problem of Russian cyber-intrusion, including any that occurred in connection with the presidential campaign, is a matter of indifference to the president-elect.
Read as a whole, I think this is what Trump’s statement means.
My reading comports with what Trump’s new press secretary Sean Spicer said today:
If the United States has clear proof of anyone interfering with our elections, we should make that known. Right now we need to see further facts. . . .
I think you have a lot of folks on the left who continue to undermine the legitimacy of his win and the nature of how big [sic] that win was.
One can reject the left’s narrative about why Trump won without being unconcerned over Russian interference, if demonstrated. This, it seems to me, is where Trump is. I hope so, anyway.