Russia swung the election to Trump

Former Director of National Intelligence, James Clapper, finally admitted what most of us already suspected: Donald Trump didn’t really win the election, Russia did.

In his new memoir, “Facts and Fears: Hard Truths From a Life in Intelligence,” Clapper gives a scathing analysis of Trump’s victory (well, loss) against Hillary Clinton, and the role Russia played in the 2016 election. According to Clapper, Trump wouldn’t have won the election without Russia’s help:

“Of course the Russian efforts affected the outcome. Surprising even themselves, they swung the election to a Trump win. To conclude otherwise stretches logic, common sense, and credulity to the breaking point. Less than eighty thousand votes in three key states swung the election. I have no doubt that more votes than that were influenced by this massive effort by the Russians.”

The Russians swung the election to Trump.

And but-for Russia, Hillary Clinton would now be president.

But it’s actually worse than that. As Clapper notes, Trump has remained “aggressively indifferent” to the news, and then fact, of Russia’s interference. At the very least you had soft-collusion (my term) with Russia — Trump Jr., and Trump himself, making clear that they welcomed Russia’s help. And at worst, they were knowingly part of a criminal conspiracy to defraud the American people of one of our most fundamental rights, the right to vote.

Donald Trump is mortally afraid of the Mueller probe because he fears, rightly, that the growing evidence of collusion with Russia calls into question his electoral legitimacy. And he should be. Even had Team-Trump not actively colluded with the Russians (I think they did), Russia still got Trump elected, and Trump’s victory is still, thus, tainted.

It’s bad enough that Trump “won” by losing the popular vote — a metric that in nearly every country in the world would spell loss. But Trump won the presidency of the United States due to the intervention of a foreign enemy, and one he welcomed (“Russia, if you’re listening…”) Had Hillary Clinton been elected under similar circumstances, let’s imagine how that would have played out:

1. Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell would have said from day one that Hillary wasn’t legitimately elected, and they would have attempted to block the swearing-in until the American people could find out what “really” happened.

2. Trump would have declared himself the winner, and the GOP would have rallied around him. They’d have even held their own swearing-in, and set up their own White House in exile, if not openly-challenging Hillary’s right to occupy 1600 Pennyslvania.

3. The Republicans would have stopped all legislation, and nominations, until the American people could be assured that a Russian spy wasn’t working out of the Oval Office.

4. It would have been non-stop “Treason” hearings on the Hill.

5. The GOP would have called for Hillary and Kaine to step down and be replaced by a member of the other rightfully-elected party (Paul Ryan).

6. And the electoral college would have been gone by now had two Democratic presidents in two decades been elected after having lost the popular vote.

And finally, if Democrats said “no” to any of this, there would have been well-orchestrated riots in the streets. Eventually, some in the Democratic establishment would have urged Hillary to step down “for the good of the country.”

So what are we going to do about it?

Follow me on Twitter: @aravosis | @americablog | @americabloggay | Facebook | Instagram | Google+ | LinkedIn. John Aravosis is the Executive Editor of AMERICAblog, which he founded in 2004. He has a joint law degree (JD) and masters in Foreign Service from Georgetown; and has worked in the US Senate, World Bank, Children's Defense Fund, the United Nations Development Programme, and as a stringer for the Economist. He is a frequent TV pundit, having appeared on the O'Reilly Factor, Hardball, World News Tonight, Nightline, AM Joy & Reliable Sources, among others. John lives in Washington, DC. .

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