Admiral Michael Rogers, commander of US Cyber Command, director of the National Security Agency (NSA) and chief of the Central Security Service, has made a shocking revelation at the role played by Russia in the recently held American elections.
Rogers spoke candidly about how cyber-attacks and foreign interference affected the outcome of the 2016 presidential election.
“There shouldn’t be any doubts in anybody’s mind: This was not something that was done casually, this was not something that was done by chance, this was not a target that was selected purely arbitrarily,” Rogers said at a Wall Street Journal election forum. “This was a conscious effort by a nation state to attempt to achieve a specific effect.”
Rogers was directly indicting Russia, following the accusation of U.S. officials that the Kremlin were behind the hacking of the Democratic National Committee’s internal email server in July and the breaching of Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta’s personal Gmail account.
The argument was laid out in a post on Medium this week, which provides some evidence that may raise eyebrows of Clinton supporters.
“Why were our internal and public polls so unprecedentedly off the mark? Think-pieces have struggled to answer with ideas like "voting patterns have changed" or Conway's "shadow supporters" purposefully misleading pollsters. But maybe the explanation is both crazier and much simpler. Maybe Russia, continuing their well-established patterns of tipping elections and quietly toppling governments, in line with their clear preference for Trump, took advantage of electronic voting and simply hacked a few key vulnerable counties in Wisconsin, PA, and FL to take out a historically anti-Russian Clinton in favor of Trump.”
The machines most susceptible to hacking are the direct-recording electronic voting machines -- electronic touch-screen machines with no verifiable paper trail.
Additionally, as the Medium post notes, "In paper ballot counties Obama won in 2012, the ballot county losses are 1–2 percent. However in counties Obama won in 2012 that are purely digital, she lost by 10–15 percent."
In addition, Russian hackers reportedly targeted state election systems in Arizona and Illinois. Coincidentally or not, the Russian deputy foreign minister said after the election that Russian government officials had conferred with members of Trump's campaign squad.
The top Democrat on the House Oversight Committee called Thursday for an investigation into Russia's meddling in the US election, in a letter sent to the Republican in charge of the committee.
House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi supported the idea Thursday as well, saying the hacking should be investigated.
Maryland Rep. Elijah Cummings sent a letter to chairman Jason Chaffetz calling for a "bipartisan" look at Russia's involvement in the election.
Chaffetz was "open" to the idea in a private meeting the two had, Cummings wrote, but wanted "evidence." Cummings wrote the letter as follow-up to publicly show Chaffetz such evidence.
Chaffetz did not immediately respond to the letter.
The Democrat congressman said that though the hacks were on Democratic groups, the outrage at Russia's actions should be bipartisan.
"Elections are the bedrock of our nation's democracy," Cummings wrote. "Any attempt by a foreign power to undermine them is a direct attack on our core democratic values, and it should chill every member of Congress and American -- red or blue -- to the core."