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January 3, 2017

Why the Public Seems Unconcerned About Russian Election Hacking Claims


There’s a good reason why so many Americans seem mostly unconcerned about Obama administration accusations that Russians hacked the U.S. elections: You can’t trust anything the president says.

Barack Obama and his administration have been caught in so many misleading statements and downright lies—including Politifact’s 2013 “Lie of the Year”—that you never know when he’s telling the truth.

Take the most recent example: the administration’s decision to abstain from voting on UN Security Council Resolution 2334. 

The Obama administration strenuously denied playing any role in drafting the resolution. Then Israeli officials hit the airwaves claiming they have proof positive that the U.S. was involved in drafting the resolution.  

Then it was discovered that back in November Secretary of State John Kerry discussed the possibility of sponsoring just such a resolution in a closed-door meeting with New Zealand’s foreign minister—lending credence to the Israeli claim. 

Oh, and remember Obama’s claim that there were no undisclosed side agreements in the Iran deal—until it was exposed that there were several. 

And now the president is taking every opportunity to explain to the country what a great job he has done—mostly because no one else is saying it. And yet the presidential candidate running as Obama’s third term was soundly beaten because no one believes the president’s spin. 

So when the president, liberals and the media explain that Russian hackers helped defeat Hillary, most people just shrug—and the voters may be right. 

Wordfence, a private sector cyber security firm, recently released a report explaining that it is not clear that Russians were involved in the hacking of Democratic emails. The company identified the malware used and claims it is old and widely available. “This is how we determined that the FBI/DHS report contains an old malware sample that is publicly available and the hacker group that distributes it appears to be Ukrainian.”  

IPI has no expertise in hacking, so we can’t comment on the accuracy of Wordfence’s claims. 

But we do have expertise in several policy areas, and it is clear from what we have seen that the president and his administration repeatedly misled or lied to the American people on a number of issues. 

Historically, assertions made by a president and his administration deserved the benefit of the doubt. But claims made by this administration deserve nothing but doubt—which is exactly what it is receiving.


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