Almost two years to the day after Trump suggested Russia should commit election crimes, news broke that Russia tried to hack Democratic Sen. Claire McCaskill.
Russians launched an attack against Sen. Claire McCaskill's (D-MO) campaign, deploying the same type of hacking attempt used against former presidential candidate Hillary Clinton.
The story, first reported by the Daily Beast, broke almost two years to the day after Trump suggested that Russia should commit crimes to help his 2016 campaign.
In late 2017, around the time Trump was in Missouri campaigning against McCaskill, Russian agents sent phishing emails to McCaskill's staff in an attempt to steal passwords and thus gain illegal access to their email accounts.
McCaskill, known for her tough stance on Russia, is the first known target of the Kremlin in the 2018 campaign.
Ultimately, these attacks were unsuccessful.
"Russia continues to engage in cyber warfare against our democracy," McCaskill said in a statement. "While this attack was not successful, it is outrageous that they think they can get away with this. I will not be intimidated. I’ve said it before and I will say it again, Putin is a thug and a bully."
The day after this new broke of Russia attacking American democracy, reports surfaced that Trump and Putin are discussing another one-on-one meeting, with the White House seemingly more concerned about the time and location than the the wisdom of another rendezvous. Russia earlier rejected Trump's invitation to come to the White House, and instead invited Trump to Moscow.
Trump's unusual, and possibly criminal, relationship with Russia was a topic during the 2016 campaign. Almost two years before news broke of Russia's crimes against McCaskill's campaign, Trump went on national television asking Russia to engage in criminal activities to hurt then-Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton.
"Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said, referring to allegations that Clinton had deleted or hidden 33,000 of her personal emails.
Apparently Russia was listening, as the first attempts to steal information from the Clinton campaign happened later that day.
Despite the overwhelming evidence that Russians are helping Trump and Republicans, Trump continues to lie about the issue. Just three days ago — the day before it was revealed Russia was trying to harm Sen. McCaskill — Trump made an official statement claiming Russia would do the opposite.
"Based on the fact that no President has been tougher on Russia than me, they will be pushing very hard for the Democrats," Trump's statement said. "They definitely don’t want Trump!"
Wrong. Less than two weeks ago, Putin unequivocally declared that he did, in fact, want Trump to win.
Russia continues to engage in criminal activity to help Republicans. Earlier this month, special counsel Robert Mueller's investigation indicted 12 Russians for their role in 2016 election hacking crimes. A few days later, an alleged Russian spy with close ties to the conservative movement, Maria Butina, was arrested on conspiracy charges.
Democrats, the political party being attacked by a hostile foreign entity, recently tried to increase funding to help states with election security.
Republicans, the political party Russians are seeking to aid through criminal activities, refused, mounting enough votes to defeat the effort.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.