Yesterday President Obama called for a comprehensive investigation into any activities which Russia may have played in regard to last month's U.S. election. He said he wants the results before he leaves office on January 20th, and will distribute those results to stakeholders in the election. As one of those stakeholders, I'm anxious to see the findings.
Today the CIA issued a statement saying that Russia deliberately influenced the election with the aim of helping Donald Trump get elected. If that is true, it is the biggest electoral outrage to be perpetrated on the United States of America since Watergate - or perhaps ever!
There was talk of Trump's business ties to Russia even before the election, and he has never shied away from fawning over Kremlin strongman, Vladimir Putin, a man Trump sees as some sort of model leader. Some are now saying that FBI Director Comey's overt meddling in the election was, in part, an attempt to take the focus off of Trump's connection to Russia.
Another story out today is that Trump is preparing to name Rex Tillerson, the CEO of Exxon-Mobile as Secretary of State - after dutifully humiliating Rudy Giulani and Mitt Romney by waving the job under their noses and then yanking it away. Tillerson has a history with assisting Russia in their petroleum extracting efforts, and has been publicly honored by Putin. Naming him as Secretary of State would seem to strengthen Putin's influence in the new administration.
Questions about Putin and Russia that should have been thoroughly vetted and answered before the election, in some cases did not even get asked. Now, more than a month after the election, we are still left with vexing questions over what role an adversarial foreign power had in rigging the results of one of the more surprising and problematic elections in U.S. history.
Trump, who lost the popular tally by nearly three million votes, now claims a "massive" electoral college victory - an electoral victory that was smaller than both of Obama's elections as well as that of Bill Clinton in 1996. But it's massive to Trump, much like his ego. (Ironically, it hasn't been that long ago that Trump was complaining about the unfairness of the electoral college.)
As a citizen of the United States and therefore a stakeholder in the nation's electoral process, I want to know what role Mr. Putin and Russia played in the recent election. If our old Cold War adversary was maliciously meddling at the sacred core of our democracy, what are we going to do about it? Can the results stand if they were "rigged" by a foreign power - or will it be no big deal?
And does the President-Elect have a plan to keep this rape of democracy from happening four years from now? After all, the bromance may be over by then and Putin might be supporting someone else.