It’s time for everyone – especially President-Elect Trump – to get the facts right about Russian interference in the election. The conversation started months ago, when leading voices in the intelligence community began voicing concern that Russian government hackers were behind cyber-attacks at the DNC and other U.S. political organizations. In October, the U.S. government officially accused Russia of hacking and interfering in the U.S. election. And it gets worse: just this weekend, a new CIA report concluded that Russia acted with the specific intention of swinging the election to President Elect Donald Trump.
Russia’s interference with the U.S.’s presidential election is an attack on our sovereignty, our security, and the integrity of our democracy. But our president-elect doesn’t seem bothered. Over the weekend, Trump denied the CIA’s assessment, called the findings of the report “ridiculous”, and even refused to acknowledge the established fact that Russia was behind the hackings in the first place. Unclear where Trump’s getting his intel from, since he’s been refusing his daily intelligence briefings because he is “smart.”
Fortunately, it’s looking like the Trump Train will be met with serious resistance on this one. President Obama has ordered the intelligence community to do a full review before he leaves office of what happened during the election. And congressional leaders are also expressing serious concern. Over the weekend, a bipartisan group of Senators issued a call for an independent investigation of Russian interference in the election.
ACTION OF THE DAY
Call your Senator and urge him or her to support a robust, bipartisan investigation into Russia’s interference in our elections. Call: 202-224-3121 to be connected with your Senator, or find their direct phone numbers here.
State-Run TV. We’re not talking about Russia anymore. Thanks to a provision tucked into the defense bill passed by Congress last week, President-elect Trump will inherit a newly empowered state-run TV network, according to Politico. The provision dissolved the bipartisan Broadcasting Board of Governors, the agency that supervises the government-funded Voice of America (VOA), Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, Radio y Television Marti, Radio Free Asia, and the Middle East Broadcast Networks. This provision, along with a 2013 change that allows VOA to reach U.S. audiences opens a path for Trump to push propaganda through the U.S. diplomacy arm. In other words, he may be getting Trump TV after all. Full story here.
Social Security. While all eyes were on Trump and his forming administration last week, Rep. Sam Johnson (R-TX) introduced a new proposal to “reform” Social Security. But Johnson’s bill would lower benefits for virtually all beneficiaries, forcing even more hardship on seniors and working families struggling to make ends meet. And if that’s not enough, his plan will give rich Americans’ incomes a boost by lowering their taxes, all while cutting benefits for working- and middle-class Americans. Read five ways the GOP plan for Social Security will hurt seniors and other beneficiaries here.
Denial. Trump’s still in it. Over the weekend, Trump reiterated his climate denial in an interview that aired on Fox News this weekend, Trump falsely claimed “nobody really knows” what is causing climate change. Actually, basically everyone except most Republican elected officials is in agreement about what causes climate change (greenhouse gases emitted by human activities).
Rumor Has It. Over the weekend, rumors flew that Trump is tapping ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson for Secretary of State. Besides heading the world’s largest oil company, Tillerson—like others in the Trump administration—is a “friend of Putin.” Yes, that Putin. For almost 20 years, Tillerson has worked with Putin to turn the Russia into Exxon’s “single biggest exploration theater.” And ICYMI and/or skipped the beginning of this email, this news comes just one day after a CIA report showed that Russia intervened in the election with the express goal of helping Trump win. Everything you need to know about Tillerson here.
House Bolton. May be making a comeback. John Bolton is rumored to be Trump’s pick for Deputy Secretary of State. He has notably been pushing the conspiracy that Russia’s election hack was made up by the Obama administration. And his record is as bad as you’d think. More on him from the Global Progressive Hub here.
Sessions. Don’t forget about Trump’s pick for Attorney General Jeff Sessions. Voto Latino has everything you need to know about him here. And why you should call on your Senators to oppose Sessions’s nomination here.
UNDER THE RADAR
Sanctuary cities vs. Trump. Across the country, mayors are mounting a concerted resistance effort to Trumps’ hardline immigration stance by reassuring millions of immigrants they’ll remain safe. Federal funding for more than 30 sanctuary cities—including San Francisco, Ashland, New Orleans, and Santa Fe—has been threatened by Trump. Despite this threat, nearly 40 cities across the country are standing firm in opposition to Trump’s pledge to crack down on them.
Reporting. Facebook (finally) added the option to report fake news. Everyone should use it, because according to a Buzzfeed survey, a huge majority of Americans fall for fake news stories when they see them.