With former campaign manager Paul Manafort and son-in-law turned presidential advisor Jared Kushner slated to testify on Russian ties, the issue of whether or not Donald Trump’s campaign possessed clear ties to Russian influence isn’t going away. Not to mention the separate-but-related story of Russia’s known hacking of the Democratic National Committee and other aspects of the 2016 election, which various intelligence agencies have commented on. It’s all one big diplomatic mess, and now former Vice President Dick Cheney has decided to weigh in.
According to The Hill, Cheney discussed the matter at length during the Economic Times‘ Global Business Summit meeting in New Delhi, India on Money. Trump himself received little attention, as Cheney briefly mentioned how “surprised” the country was at his election victory. Russian President Vladimir Putin and Russia’s election interference, on the other hand, took center stage.
“There’s no question there was a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin and his government, his organization, to interfere in major ways with our basic fundamental democratic processes,” he told his audience. “In some quarters, that would be considered an act of war. I think it’s a kind of conduct and activity we will see going forward. We know he’s attempted it previously in other states in the Baltics.”
Continuing, Cheney noted he “would not underestimate the weight we as Americans assigned to the Russian attempts to interfere with our internal political processes.” Though the matter did not necessarily mean Trump’s victory, and his presidency, were therefore “illegitimate,” the former vice president cautioned against others’ attempts to downplay the matter — both at home, and on the international scene.
Throughout his address, Cheney referenced Russia’s digital and boots-on-the-ground military strategies in Crimea, the Ukraine at large, and elsewhere in the region. For some, much of what President George W. Bush’s former right-hand man had to say mirrored revelations reported in a recent New Yorker article — “Trump, Putin, and the New Cold War” — which cataloged Putin’s rise to power, animosity for the United States, and use of hackers.
(Via The Hill)