IoSonoUnaFotoCamera / Flickr Trump...
IoSonoUnaFotoCamera / Flickr

Donald Trump shocked people during the campaign when he made what everyone at the time assumed was an odd ball and off color crack about Russia hacking the DNC. Now in retrospect and understanding the communication between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign which has only recently come to light, it all makes sense.

”We at the CIA find the celebration of entities like WikiLeaks to be perplexing and deeply troubling,” said CIA Director Mike Pompeo to The Hill.  “WikiLeaks walks like a hostile intelligence service and talks like a hostile intelligence service,” citing an “overwhelming” focus on the United States.

Last October the Trump campaign was indignantly denying collusion with WikiLeaks. Now it’s just denying that it was illegal. The New Yorker:

It helps to take a step back and remember how politically explosive it would have been, a year ago, to know that the Trump campaign was colluding with WikiLeaks. Consider the timeline we can now piece together. On September 21, 2016, the WikiLeaks Twitter account sent a direct message to Trump, Jr., who quickly notified four top Trump campaign officials (Jared Kushner, Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, and Brad Parscale). The highest levels of the campaign knew that WikiLeaks was in touch with the candidate’s son and close adviser. On October 3,2016, Trump, Jr., asked WikiLeaks, “What’s behind this Wednesday leak I keep hearing about?”

Four days later, on October 7th, two important events occurred. First,the U.S. intelligence community formally announced that “the Russian Government directed” the theft of e-mails from the Democrats and named WikiLeaks as one of the entities used by the Russians to distribute the stolen material. Second, shortly after the announcement, WikiLeaks began releasing the e-mails stolen from Clinton’s campaign chairman, John Podesta. […]

Now that clear coördination between WikiLeaks and the Trump campaign has been uncovered, the new line is that it wasn’t illegal. Trump and his Republican allies are betting that each disclosure, on its own, can seem innocuous or defensible, as the public becomes confused by the complicated timeline and tedious details. The Trump camp’s original broad denials start to be forgotten, and the bar for what is considered truly inappropriate coördination gets higher.

The real problem is that just as a pickle can’t be reversed and turned back into a cucumber, our sensibilities as a culture have morphed into something new and they’re never going back to what they were before. We can and hopefully will stabilize and regain our bearings once we rid ourselves of Trump but we will definitely never be the same as we were before him.

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