NEW YORK TIMES
by Elmer Gantry
US intelligence agencies yesterday released a shocking, frightening report about a hostile foreign country's efforts to subvert America's system of government, and the incoming president does not understand the gravity or danger of the situation.
In a just-declassified document, the country's top intelligence experts declared that Russian President Vladimir Putin personally ordered a campaign to influence the US presidential election. "Russia's goals," they concluded, "were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability."
This is an extraordinary accusation, It was a plot aimed at destroying the foundation of America's system of government, fair and free elections, and -- as the report puts it -- upending "the US-led liberal democratic order."
After the intelligence briefing Donald Trump refused to acknowledge the findings of the report that Putin tried to get him elected President. Furthermore he did not condemn Russia for what some have called "an act of war" against the United States.
Kellyanne Conway, Trump spokesperson, appeared on CNN to explain Trump's position. "Look," she said, "Mr. Trump does not understand what a democracy is. It isn't fair to ask him to understand the implications of the intelligence report. What he does know, is the art of the deal and how to marry and grope beautiful women. His knowledge does not go much beyond that."
Host Anderson Cooper expressed astonishment at Kellyanne's statement. "Why then did he run for the Presidency?"
"He sort of got carried away. He got to love the adulation of the big crowds of ignorant people at his rallies. They don't understand democracy and they don't expect a president to either."
Cooper responded, "So if Putin's interference tipped the scales in Trump's favor, you could say-in a way-he won the U.S. election. Or you might say he's the most powerful man in the U.S. "
Responded Kellyanne Conway, "Say what you want; Trump won the election and it's time to focus on Melania's dress at the inaugural ball. That's what CNN will do, isn't it?"
Anderson Cooper looked chagrined.