First Presser: Impressed or Depressed?
Andrew Broering, Politics Contributor
President-elect Trump’s first full press conference with the media he has often ridiculed was full of surprises and did not disappoint. While the focus mainly concerned the recent report of Russian intelligence operatives claiming to have compromising info on the President-elect, there were two other exciting developments. Firstly, Trump attributed blame for the public leak itself squarely on US intelligence agencies. He dismissed the substance of the news story as “fake news” and compared intelligence agencies’ leaking of that info as a “disgraceful” tactic to discredit him that one would expect from “Nazi Germany.” This further heightens existing tensions between Trump and the United States intelligence community. The development is also interesting because the original source of the most damaging claims in that story (which the President-elect has also decried as a “witch hunt”) appears to be a former British MI6 agent.
Secondly, on the question of whether Russia was ever behind cyber-attacks, Trump did a 180 degree reversal of his prior position, acknowledging quite plainly, “I think it was Russia.” During the 2016 general election campaign, he was criticized for seeming to encourage Russian hacking efforts.
It seems the most important takeaway from the news breaking and the ensuing press conference is that we as citizens have a responsibility to seek out what is the truth. If anything from the Buzzfeed or CNN news stories leaking this unverified report are in fact true, that is vastly important. If this is fake news, it’s important to dismiss it as such. In all likelihood, it is some mixture of the two, but the important thing we have to realize is we must discover the truth for ourselves and not rely on the president or the media to do our work for us.
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