For the past six months, I’ve been quietly asking current and former counterintelligence professionals, “Who is making sure Russia doesn’t undermine our democracy?” The answer has always been the same: “I don’t know, but I hope somebody is.” But since President Donald Trump refuses to acknowledge Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, I’m not sure anybody is.
Special counsel Robert Mueller’s Trump-Russia probe is heating up. And the potential criminal charges against the president and his team has become the biggest story in the country. That’s partly because Trump is so polarizing. But the criminal probe and the growing public anger won’t do anything to stop the wider threat posed by Russia and its president, Vladimir Putin.
The threat from Moscow is not an idle one. It appears to have resulted in a successful operation against the United States, one that likely began long before Trump became president. The Russians not only penetrated the president’s inner circle but also used social media to spread fake news and may have even targeted voting systems.