Lie. noun. “an inaccurate or false statement;(Random House Dictionary); see also Donald Trump.
Whether by active decision, by passive inattention, or by sheer exhaustion, major news outlets are not frequently using the noun “lie” to refer to lies by President-Elect Donald Trump. And yet Donald Trump frequently makes inaccurate or false statements that are intended or serve to convey a false impression, often serving the purpose of imposture, the act of the President-Elect pretending to be in command of facts when he is not. There is a three-letter word for these kinds of acts by Donald Trump. The word is “lie.”
Two consecutive statements by Donald Trump on Twitter in the last 24 hours are lies:
As you can see from the statistics below each statement, there are many Americans paying attention to them, responding favorably to them, and forwarding them on to others. For that reason alone, these statements are relevant. They are also lies.
First, Donald Trump claimed that according to the newly-released Intelligence Community Assessment report commissioned by President Barack Obama, the Democratic National Committee was hacked by but the Republican National Committee “had strong defense” that prevented hacking. This is a lie. You can read the report for yourself (click here for a copy); if you do, you’ll notice that there is only one reference in the report to anything “Republican,” and it is this:
“Russia collected on some Republican-affiliated targets but did not conduct a comparable disclosure campaign.”
There is no assessment of the RNC’s defense in the report, no characterization of the RNC’s defense as “strong,” and moreover a revelation that Republican targets were also hacked. According to the Intelligence Community Assessment report, the difference between the DNC hacking and the Republican hacking is that the Russians decided not to disclose what they found in Republican targets — at least not yet.
Subsequently, Donald Trump claimed that “Intelligence stated very strongly there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results. Voting machines not touched!” This is a lie, a compound lie. Read the report and you’ll see that the only reference to voting machines is the following passage:
“From August to November 2012, RT ran numerous reports on alleged US election fraud and voting machine vulnerabilities, contending that US election results cannot be trusted and do not reflect the popular will.”
Nowhere does the Intelligence Community Assessment report indicate whether voting machines were or were not touched. It is not a subject of the report.
In addition, the phrase “no evidence” never appears in the report, and the only other appearance of the word “results” other than the passage above is this passage, which describes Russia’s attempt to undermine American confidence in its democratic process, seeking to undermine the outcome of the election if it did not turn their way:
“Before the election, Russian diplomats had publicly denounced the US electoral process and were prepared to publicly call into question the validity of the results. ProKremlin bloggers had prepared a Twitter campaign, #DemocracyRIP, on election night in anticipation of Secretary Clinton’s victory, judging from their social media activity.”
The Intelligence Community Assessment report repeatedly indicates that Russian government forces directed by dictator Vladimir Putin worked with the goal of influencing election results, even noting that the Kremlin worked to infiltrate state and local election boards. At no time in the report do intelligence agencies “state very strongly,” or even weakly, that “there was absolutely no evidence that hacking affected the election results.”
Two consecutive lies by the President Elect on national security issues within the last 24 hours. That is a newsworthy event, worth reporting on with the use of a simple, three-letter word to assess them.