Former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was told not to bring up Russian election hacking in front of Trump because it hurt Trump's feelings.
What a snowflake.
Former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen was told she could not bring up Russia's attempts to meddle in the 2018 midterm elections, or discuss how to stop the foreign adversary from hacking future elections, because it made Trump feel like his 2016 Electoral College win was illegitimate, the New York Times reported on Wednesday.
The order came from Trump's acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, who told Nielsen that Russia's election hacking "wasn’t a great subject and should be kept below his level."
Because of Trump's thin skin, Nielsen abandoned her effort to convene a Cabinet meeting about protecting future U.S. elections. As a result, "many Americans remain unaware of the latest versions of Russian interference" in 2018, the New York Times reported.
The fact that Trump refuses to hear anything about Russia's election interference is alarming, especially given Trump's coziness with Russia and his refusal to punish the country for its attack on America's bedrock issue of free and fair elections.
Special counsel Robert Mueller's report laid out in painstaking detail the efforts Russia took to interfere in the 2016 election to benefit Trump. While the investigation could not prove any direct conspiracy between the Trump campaign and the Russian government, the report found that Trump's campaign welcomed the Russian help and was enthusiastic about how Trump could benefit from the Russian efforts. That in itself is a massive scandal that Trump cronies are dismissing to try to make the bad news cycle disappear.
Senate Republicans are already finding ways to badly spin Trump's refusal to address Russia's attacks on American elections.
"It may well be that what he was saying was let’s find the right time and place and manner in which to bring that up," Sen. Mike Lee (R-UT) said on CNN Wednesday morning of Mulvaney's attempts to block the subject from reaching Trump's ears.
GOP @SenMikeLee on reports that top official warned against telling President Trump about Russian efforts to interfere in 2020 election: “It may well be that what he was saying was let’s find the right time and place and manner in which to bring that up.” https://t.co/ANU9AHG6Rx pic.twitter.com/I3jTM7cBBz
— New Day (@NewDay) April 24, 2019
The news about Nielsen's attempts to raise Russian election interference with Trump comes after Nielsen was fired from her position for not doing enough to carry out Trump's unlawful commands and racist immigration policies.
Of course, Nielsen for months oversaw Trump's evil family separation policy and jailing of immigrant children — some of whom died in U.S. custody. So any attempt to rehabilitate her image, such as leaking stories like this to the press, should be viewed through a skeptical lens.
But no matter what, it's still terrifying that Russia is continuing to attack American elections and Trump is refusing to do anything about it.
That goes for Trump's family and inner circle, too. Trump's son-in-law, Jared Kushner, downplayed Russia's serious effort to influence the election to benefit Trump as simply "buying some Facebook ads to try and sow dissent."
That is far from the truth: Russia's efforts were pervasive and intrusive, including illegally hacking and disseminating Democratic information to help elect Trump.
And the Trump family's refusal to take this seriously shows they are open to allowing Russia benefit Trump's re-election again in 2020.
That should scare everyone.
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.