Donald Trump’s Wednesday press conference — his first in five months — included his first true acknowledgment that Russia hacked the U.S. election. Of course, this moment was flooded with deluge from the “Golden Showers” report, which part of “compromising” information waved over Trump by the Kremlin. Trump’s back-and-forth with the press included a bizarre segment where he ranted about tiny cameras and germaphobia, and all of this alleged debauchery is bound to Trump’s ties with Russia.
All of this is completely circular and leads hack to Russia gleefully hacking to push for a Trump victory. For months, Trump has denied that Russia would hack the U.S. political process. He usually deflects to China or 400-pound hackers, but here was his response when a reporter asked him to send a message to Putin (if he believed Russia was behind the hack):
“He shouldn’t be doing it, he won’t be doing it. Russia will have much greater respect for our country when I’m leading it than when other people have led it. You will see that. Russia will respect our country more. He shouldn’t have done it, i don’t believe he’ll be doing it more now. We have to work something out.”
Not only that, but Trump actually said, “I think it was Russia.”
Yep, that’s definitely a recognition by Trump that Russia hacked the election, although the “work something out” bit may simply mean that he’s planning to lift those pesky sanctions leveled by Obama. In response to that punishment, Putin decided to play the waiting game and declined to expel U.S. diplomats from Russia. During today’s press conference, Trump repeatedly expressed hopes that he’ll get along with Putin, so there’s every chance that those sanctions will soon become a vapor trail.