Donald Trump
Credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

Here is something to keep in mind.

In testimony Wednesday before the House Select Committee on Intelligence, [former Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh] Johnson said that Russia’s meddling, directed by Russian President Vladimir Putin, was “unprecedented” in scale and scope.

In testifying to this point, Secretary Johnson was only confirming the congressional testimony of many other current and recently retired members of the intelligence community. Our country actually has sixteen intelligence agencies, all of which have concluded “that Russia did in fact meddle in the election, through cyberattacks and other activities, with the explicit aim of influencing the outcome” in favor of Donald Trump.

But this didn’t keep the president from tying to convince us the Johnson’s testimony was exculpatory.

This was part of Trump’s overall effort to suggest that the Russians didn’t really interfere in the election, and if they did they didn’t try very hard. And, besides, it’s the Democrats’ fault for not preventing it.

Of course, this all completely detached from reality. Just today, Time is reporting that Russia’s meddling was far more expansive and extensive than initially realized:

The hacking of state and local election databases in 2016 was more extensive than previously reported, including at least one successful attempt to alter voter information, and the theft of thousands of voter records that contain private information like partial Social Security numbers, current and former officials tell TIME.

In one case, investigators found there had been a manipulation of voter data in a county database but the alterations were discovered and rectified, two sources familiar with the matter tell TIME.

Not every piece of evidence indicates intrusion of state and local election databases, but the pattern is evident enough.

Cyber-security officials testifying at the Senate hearing acknowledged for the first time the extent of the Russian effort to interfere with the election. Twenty-one states saw such intrusions last year, a senior official from the Department of Homeland Security, Jeanette Manfra, said…

…The Russian efforts against state and local databases were so widespread that top Obama administration cyber-security officials assumed that by Election Day Moscow’s agents had probed all 50 states. “At first it was one state, then three, then five, then a dozen,” says Anthony Ferrante, a former FBI cybersecurity official and member of the White House team charged with preparedness and response to the cyber intrusion. At that point, says Michael Daniel, who led the White House effort to secure the vote against the Russian intrusions, “We had to assume that they actually tried to at least rattle the doorknobs on all 50, and we just happened to find them in a few of them.”

But this all a “big Dem HOAX!”

That the president doesn’t seem to accept the facts let alone care about them should tell you all you need to know.

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Martin Longman is the web editor for the Washington Monthly. See all his writing at