The Democrats used to insist, a few long weeks ago, that FBI Director Comey was the reason why Hillary lost the election. Now it seems they prefer to blame the Russian hack: a term which suggests that Russian intelligence operatives or associates directly hacked the elections in America on November 8, 2016. Which is completely false of course. There were leaks of DNC emails and there were leaks of John Podesta’s emails, and this may very well have been the work of hackers linked to Putin’s regime. Although the public has not been able to see the proof, despite the Intelligence Community insisting the proof is there, and also insisting that most of that proof will have to remain off limits to voters and curious citizens in general.

So, perhaps here’s a way to combine these two villains – Russian Intelligence, and the hard-working head of a major American, Domestic (mostly) Intelligence force that we know as the FBI. Get James Clapper, Director of National Intelligence, to release a public version of the report and meet with Congress, Obama, and a day later, Trump.

In other words, let’s see if Clapper can de-legitimize Trump’s incoming administration, seeing we believe that Comey threw the election to Trump. Has there been a more politicized transition between administrations? Ever? With Obama signing as many executive orders as he can before his pen gets ripped out of his hands, and with what Democrats (and a few senators like Lindsey Graham) hope will be a disturbing and embarrassing probe of the hacks of the DNC and John Podesta, Trump’s honeymoon ended sometime in mid-November it now seems.

But here’s the thing: Trump loves a brawl. Trump loves to take on his critics, and does so on his terms. Yet somehow both Obama, and much of the media think that Trump can no longer benefit from his outsider, renegade tactics. Now that he is assuming power. What if they and the rest in government and industry and NGO’s who still suffer Trump Derangement Syndrome are wrong once again?

The briefings next week, and the whole Russian hack narrative, will surely test this thesis. And it may be that any new information that does come out could erode some of Trump and his administration’s political capital. But the assumption that the leaked emails changed the course of the election are just that: assumptions that have not been proven. And cannot practically be proven. You’d have to show how voters in the Blue-Wall states from Michigan down to Pennsylvania voted against Hillary and for Trump because of those leaked emails. And not because of Obama’s policies and how they impacted on those voters’ lives. Good luck with that.

But that won’t be the issue in these briefings. The point of the briefings will be to somehow show Putin’s fingerprints on these hacks. And that should not be nearly as difficult as proving that the hacks caused Hillary to lose the election to Trump.

Will Trump mostly ignore or downplay the briefings? Will he praise the intelligence work, while questioning some of the assumptions behind the Russia hack narrative? Or will he punch back? This skirmish could be a key for the President-Elect.

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