Although special counsel Robert Mueller’s Russia investigation found that the 2016 Trump campaign’s interactions with Russians did not rise to the level of a criminal conspiracy, Mueller’s final report left no doubt that Russian government operatives went to great lengths to interfere in that presidential election. And cybersecurity experts are warning that Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election could also be a major problem for the United States. But journalist Eric Lutz, in an article published by Vanity Fair this week, reports that President Trump’s hypersensitivity on this subject and his “fragile ego” are getting in the way of efforts to protect U.S. elections from Russian interference.
One of the things that frustrated former Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen about the president, according to the New York Times, was his reluctance to discuss cybersecurity with her. Acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney, Lutz notes, asked Nielsen to refrain from bringing up Russian interference in U.S. elections during meetings with the president—as it was a sore subject with him.
“Trump’s election-meddling angst has long been a pain point for his administration,” Lutz reports. “The president has consistently cast doubt on the extent of Russia’s 2016 interference, going so far as to take (Russian President) Vladimir Putin’s word over that of his own intelligence officials.”
Lutz reports that Trump deeply resents “the notion that he didn’t beat” Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton “all by himself” in 2016 and had any outside help. Regardless, Lutz adds, Russian interference in the 2020 presidential election is “already being deployed” against Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Kamala Harris and other Democratic primary candidates. And Trump Administration decisions like the elimination of a White House cybersecurity director position “may have kneecapped the government’s ability to address the problem, even as 2020 looms,” Lutz observes.
Lutz concludes his Vanity Fair piece with a quote from Kevin Carroll, a former Department of Homeland Security official who told the New York Times, “Russian intelligence’s 2016 covert actions to divide Americans by interfering in our election were so successful. Putin will amplify them in 2020.”
Mitch McConnell: AOC started Trump’s racist tweets by calling detention centers ‘concentration camps’
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) on Tuesday refused to condemn the President of the United States for sending racist tweets in which he told four non-white congresswomen to "go back" to their countries of origin.
McConnell spoke on the matter at a press conference, but he did not explicitly rebuke President Donald Trump.
"There's been a lot of discussion about the events of the last couple days, I'd like to address it myself," McConnell volunteered. "I think there's been a consensus that political rhetoric has really gotten way way overheated all across the political spectrum."
Former Trump communications aide admits to hiring prostitutes
President Donald Trump's former communications aid Jason Miller admitted to hiring prostitutes in 2015 and 2017, an exclusive report revealed Tuesday.
Mediaite broke the news that Miller had hired "multiple" prostitutes for sexual acts at massage parlors. The comments were part of a videotaped deposition, and Miller confessed that he was using the sexual services as recently as "a few months ago" from the deposition he gave on May 30.
WATCH: Civil rights icon John Lewis drops the hammer on Trump — and has no qualms about calling his remarks racist
On Tuesday, the fallout continued from remarks President Trump made telling four freshman congresswomen -- and women of color -- that they should go back to their own countries.
While some prominent Republicans criticized the president, they stopped short of calling his comments racist.
MSNBC reported Tuesday that Rep. John Lewis (D-GA) -- a civil rights icon -- deemed Trump's remarks racist.
"This is not any, any way for the president of the United States of America to be attacking to be saying what he's saying about these young women," Lewis said.
"It's just dead wrong. We must use everything in a nonviolent way to say that it's wrong."