JRL NEWSWATCH: “American Hustle; What Mueller Found – and Didn’t Find – About Trump and Russia” – Foreign Affairs/ Stephen Kotkin

File Photo of White House with South Lawn and Fountain

“… Russian intelligence organizations … could manage entirely on their own to hack e-mail accounts, line up cutouts such as WikiLeaks to disseminate damaging material, impersonate Americans on social media, and study elementary research available in open sources about battleground states and swing voters. * * * … Robert Mueller file photo, adapted from image at fbi.govThe sections of the report that treat what Russia intended and achieved are its most heavily redacted …. The public version of the report attributes the interference to orders from ‘the highest levels’ of the Russian government, but not … Putin specifically. … Many of the sections on the role that technology played in making the Russian interference possible are heavily redacted: close to two-thirds of the text dealing with Russia’s activities in cyberspace is blacked out. * * * … Russia did not choose the respective party’s presidential candidates … [or] invent the Electoral College. Clinton ran the only possible Democratic campaign that could have lost, and Trump ran the only possible Republican campaign that could have won. … Above all, Russia did not design the preposterous patchwork and vulnerabilities of … [U.S.] election machinery. Putin … did not [create the facebook founder who] … set up a private company that attains phenomenal profit … monetizing Americans’ love of oversharing and constant need to feel outraged. Montage of Instagram, Twitter and Facebook Logos, adapted from image at nps.govNor did Putin force … media outlets that this … company was helping put out of business to praise [it] …. Nor did he compel investors to pour money into this latent Russian weapon … expanding its reach and power. No: Facebook fell into Putin’s lap in 2016, and it is still there. …”

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