By Robert A. Vella
The Office of the Director of National Intelligence (ODNI) is an independent agency which assists the Director of National Intelligence (DNI) within the Executive Branch (currently held by John Ratcliffe in the Trump administration). The DNI is the top official for the U.S. Intelligence Community which serves America’s national security interests.
Yesterday, after strong criticism from Democrats, the ODNI publicly acknowledged what it has been informing Congress about in confidential briefings – that Russian strongman Vladimir Putin is orchestrating a sophisticated campaign to interfere in the U.S. 2020 election to help President Trump get reelected. In a statement of the obvious, the ODNI has added additional confirmation of Russia’s foreign influence operations to assist the political career of Donald Trump which began in 2016 and which was the subject of criminal investigations by the FBI and by Special Counsel Robert Mueller.
Even a pathological liar like Trump is having difficulty today trying to discredit this new acknowledgement of Putin’s attempts to undermine American democracy.
Fascism always reveals itself because its goals and methods are so deplorable.
By the way, the U.S. has surpassed 5 million COVID-19 cases and 163,000 deaths. For comparison, over 58,000 Americans died in the Vietnam War and over 419,000 during World War II.
Here’s the news:
WASHINGTON — Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.
At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.
But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.
The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.
Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Thursday continued his push to not only resume classes on campus but also to start youth sports again, something other states have delayed. In the meantime, Ohio’s governor, Mike DeWine, revealed that he has tested positive for COVID-19.
This comes as a staggering and sobering projection shows the coronavirus pandemic is only getting worse in the U.S. A research model used regularly by the White House suggests that the death toll in America could hit almost 300,000 in the next four months.
That’s close to double the number of people who have already died nationwide since the outbreak began. Researchers say tens of thousands of lives could be saved if everyone in the U.S. wore masks.
Nowhere in the U.S. is that life and death struggle more obvious than on the Texas border where doctors say they are desperate for help and hospital beds.
President Trump has repeatedly claimed that the U.S. has one of the lowest COVID-19 mortality rates anywhere in the world, even though the nation has recorded more deaths from the coronavirus than any other country.
The U.S. also has a mortality rate per 100,000 about twice that of Canada. While the U.S. rate is lower than Spain, the United Kingdom and Italy per 100,000 people, it is higher than such nations as Germany, France and the Netherlands.
But Trump is not focused on those numbers.
Rather than the mortality rate, Trump has been fixated on the percentage of people who die after contracting COVID-19, a figure called the case fatality rate.
In doing so, he has downplayed the scope of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S. and the extremely high rate of deaths as a proportion of the population.
Vulnerable Republicans up for reelection are facing high unemployment and serious budget shortfalls in their home states, giving White House negotiators and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) more incentive to cut a relief deal to protect their Senate majority.
Talks between Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows and Democratic leaders fell apart Friday afternoon, but Senate Republicans are still feeling pressure to reach agreement, even as President Trump threatens to use executive action instead.