back to article Prez Obama expels 35 Russian spies over election meddling

President Barack Obama has ordered the expulsion of 35 suspected Russian spies in response to "malicious cyber activity and harassment" by Putin's government for attempts to undermine the 2016 election. In a statement issued on Thursday, Obama ordered a number of actions in response to "the Russian government’s aggressive …

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  1. malle-herbert
    Trollface

    I wonder...

    Why that Russian tweet sounded so much like it could have been written by Trump...

    1. Dan 55 Silver badge

      Re: I wonder...

      Is it because both are raging authoritarian populists?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
        Windows

        Re: I wonder...

        It's 2016.

        Everybody is a raging authoritarian populist.

        You can just distinguish people by how many countries they have already bombed.

      2. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        WTF?

        Re: Dan 55 Re: I wonder...

        "....raging authoritarian populists...." You talking about Obama? I mean, it's not like the industry has been warning for years that the grid (and other utilities - remember the Stuxnet furor?) are badly protected against hacking, yet all of a sudden (when the DNC needs to blame an election result on it) Obama starts "punishing" the Russians! I'd have to say this is far too little and far too late from the Obama administration, just a frustrated tantrum rather than what they should have started years ago. It's not like the idea of air-gapping was born yesterday (IIRC, the Bell-LaPadula security model talked about it in the '70s!), so - given the shrieking about Chinese and Russian hacking for at least the last five years - why hasn't anyone in Obama's administration done anything to enforce basic security measures like air-gapping as a Federal requirement on utility operators, let alone areas like voting machines? It's not like Gee Dubya didn't set the ball rolling with the Energy Policy Act of 2005. Properly enforced air-gapping virtually eliminates the threat of the kind of phishing attacks used in Vermont. But no, Obama was more interested in "building his legacy" than actually focusing on real issues.

    2. Roo
      Windows

      Re: I wonder...

      "Why that Russian tweet sounded so much like it could have been written by Trump..."

      It would make sense given that Trump seems to be doing Putin's dirty work these days.

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: I wonder...

        > It would make sense given that Trump seems to be doing Putin's dirty work these days.

        Riding the Duma? Explain!

        1. Roo
          Coat

          Re: I wonder...

          Michael Morell: "In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr Putin had recruited Mr Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

          My coat is the one with the "Spotter's Guide to Black Helicopters" in the pocket.

    3. Richard Wharram

      Re: I wonder...

      https://twitter.com/pwnallthethings/status/816621553643294720

      Seems a fair enough bet the Russians were involved tbh.

  2. Bob Rocket

    Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

    This is the report

    https://www.us-cert.gov/sites/default/files/publications/JAR_16-20296A_GRIZZLY%20STEPPE-2016-1229.pdf

    Other than highlighting Weiners laptop got pwned (clicked on link to underage girls) at the bottom of page 2 it provides no evidence of The Russians hacking

    the DNC (it was an insider leaking)

    Podesta gmail account (standard phishing from script kiddie)

    Clintons basement server (was never hacked).

    There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders from his holiday complex in Hawaii three weeks before he is made redundant.

    1. bombastic bob Silver badge
      Devil

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      "There is something wrong with the system when a Lame Duck President can be issuing Executive Orders from his holiday complex in Hawaii three weeks before he is made redundant."

      more like irrelevant.

      Obaka's just doing whatever damage he can on the way out the door. Of course HE doesn't see it that way, but that's the overall effect. Hell, might as well screw Israel as much as possible to placate the Islamists while we're at it, blame Russia, make a stupid lame attempt at "retaliation" like we're on a kindergarten playground or something.

      What a Maroon! Well, some people at least expected this kind of thing. So you have a pile of executive orders being issued, while he can, without a care as to the consequences, since the election is OVER and HIS SIDE LOST. So he'll get his "digs" in anyway.

      Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all...

      1. J. R. Hartley

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        No, he's taking a stand against the terrorist state of Israel for the genocide they commit against Palestinian children on a daily basis. Of course, it's nowhere near enough and he should have done it 8 years ago. Thankfully Israel's days are numbered though.

        1. TheTick
          Thumb Down

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          "the genocide they commit against Palestinian children on a daily basis"

          I doubt that committing genocide every day is sustainable, surely they would run out of children to murder?

          Or you're just talking crap.

          1. Alien8n

            Re: Palestine

            The issue with Israel and Palestine is the fact that Israel refuses to admit that what they're doing is wrong. They insist on trying to reclaim the historic kingdom of Israel from 2000 years ago, while seeing the Palestinians as little more than a nuisance to be eradicated.

            The way I see it there are only 4 possible solutions to the issue:

            1. The 2 State Solution. Basically what the UN Resolution is demanding, an end to illegal villages on Palestinian land and a recognition of Palestine as a nation. In return Palestine recognises Israel as a nation. Remember, part of the reason Palestine doesn't recognise Israel is because many of them were forcefully expelled from their homes. Land they owned and farmed for generations was taken from them at gunpoint and handed over to total strangers.

            2. Continue as is. Basically nothing changes, for Palestinians they'll see continuing encroachment on their lands, as they're forceably removed. Israel will see continued attacks from Palestinians as the Palestinians get increasingly desperate and disillusioned.

            3. A Single State Solution. Israel effectively annexes Palestine completely, forcing the remaining Palestinians out of the country (they've already made it clear that they will not accept Palestinians into Israel as it would require Israel to no longer be a Jewish State). Every country around Israel has already stated they won't accept any more Palestinian refugees since the last expulsion by Israel.

            4. A Single State Solution. If the Palestinians won't leave, and Israel effectively annexes Palestine to ensure the Palestinians can't retaliate you basically carpet bomb from one end of Palestine, to the other, killing every single man, woman and child living there. (They've come pretty close to doing this already, stopping short of completely flattening Gaza City.)

            At the end of the day there will be no peace until both sides sit down and listen to the other side. The irony is Blair actually had the experience to do this, but blew his credibility with Iraq. Maybe Jerry Adams should have a go instead?

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Palestine

              "The issue with Israel and Palestine is the fact that Israel refuses to admit that what they're doing is wrong. "

              The political power in Israel has slowly shifted from European Jews influences to those of Jews who were expelled from Arab countries after 1948/67/73. The result is the increasing adoption of the "winner takes all" style of power that is more prevalent in countries in the region.

              It is not helped by the Jewish religious hard-liners who hate the culture of a liberal democratic Israel. They often hold a balance of power and are out-breeding the rest of the Israeli Jews. They want their biblical lands restored to them alone - and that is the political impetus behind the West Bank settlements.

              It was said of Yasser Arafat that several times he "snatched defeat from the jaws of victory" by refusing what were seen as unrepeatable major opportunities for a two-state deal. He wanted everything.

              Israel pulled out of Gaza - forcibly removing their settlers in the process. They left behind intact working agricultural and industrial infrastructure that could be put to good economic use. These facilities were then looted and destroyed by the people of Gaza. The political understanding that their withdrawal would result in less cross-border rocket attacks from Gaza by militants proved worthless.

            2. Steve 114

              Re: Palestine

              Humanity never endorses 'peace' when two tribes reside on the same territory. That's an anthropological fact, and failure to acknowledge it is prime cause of the miseries of the world. (Complication to note - even a stable society will tend to split into two tribes. Evolution is unkind).

          2. Roo
            Windows

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            "I doubt that committing genocide every day is sustainable, surely they would run out of children to murder?"

            The CIA "World Factbook" estimates neonatal mortality rate in the Gaza Strip to be 17 per 1000 vs 3.5 per 1000 for Israel as a whole. Something isn't right there.

            1. Anonymous Coward
              Anonymous Coward

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              Palestinian territories population increase rate is estimated around 2%, birthdate around 25 per 1000.

              Total pop around 6 million.

              Gaza strip estimated around 3% (8 yrs ago) and 40 per 1000 (10years ago)

              There's also the Palestinian diaspora of about 4million

              Israel about 2% pop increase rate. On 8.5 million (75% of which are Jews)

              It's a numbers game.

          3. iRadiate

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Genocide != Infantcide

          4. Updraft102 Silver badge

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Yes, like how they were genocidally building houses prior to this latest UN act of anti-semitism. Palestinians build bombs, no one says anything. Israelis build houses, and they're accused of genocide.

        2. Aitor 1 Silver badge

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          Oh, and the genocide started just right now, as his side lost the elections?

          I don`t like Trump, but the actions Obama is taking are a disgrace, and he should be ashamed of doing them after the vote and a few weeks from leaving office.

          If he wanted to mess with Israel, he had two terms to do it. Chose not to, but now, he is messing around... this is not in the interest of the USA.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            >>"If he wanted to mess with Israel, he had two terms to do it. Chose not to, but now, he is messing around... this is not in the interest of the USA."

            Oddly enough (odd because I'm a long-term critic of Israeli foreign policy), I agree with you. There's a real air of 'ha! they can't punish me now!' about Obama's recent shifts on Israel. I mean unlike you (I'm guessing, could be wrong), I actually want to see the US stop blindly supporting Israel but it's hardly heroic on Obama's side, more like a kid on the last day of school knowing the teachers can't put him in detention. I guess I'll take what I can get but like you say - he's had two whole terms to do this. This isn't really very helpful.

            1. Aitor 1 Silver badge

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              I would like the US to stop supporting Israel, and I think that it is not in the best interest of the US tu support, in general, "bad things in the name of power". When I say the US, I mean "the majority of the US population".

              I am not a US citizen, and I don´t live in the US (we could, my wife is a US citizen).

              What I think is bad for the US is this thing of burning the house before the new tenant comes in, as we have been kicked out. This is really bad for the US. Strategies have to be at least medium term, and a President that us going out has no mandate to do these things. It is just wrong.

              I did not go into these things because I did not want to appear to be judging from a bias. Albeit I am, but the opposite that you thought I was.... I try to be fair.. of course I fail, but I least I try.

              1. h4rm0ny

                Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

                >>"I did not go into these things because I did not want to appear to be judging from a bias. Albeit I am, but the opposite that you thought I was.... I try to be fair.. of course I fail, but I least I try."

                Sorry, no offence was meant and I agreed with your post. It was a surmise as I said at the time. I found it interesting and positive that even two people who (I thought at the time) had different political views, could agree on the destructiveness of Obama's current approach. Apologies for guessing wrong.

        3. Lars Silver badge
          Pint

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          @ J. R. Hartley

          I don't think you meant to say "Thankfully Israel's days are numbered though." literally. Israel is run by a regime dragging the whole population towards fascism and apartheid at an accelerating speed. All because they want to keep it all. And they want to make the two state alternative go away.

          We all know this, there is noway to hide it, nor is it. The UN resolution you find (all of it) on YouTube and it's worth the time. Took me about four beers. At the very end you find the Israeli regime representative with the most childish and appalling speech in that room.

          The US did the right thing not to veto that resolution. Kerry's speech is appropriate too, and listen to the whole speech and not just to some snippet you find on YouTube. There are lots of both Israelis and Jews around the world who oppose this regime and its goals. They need all the support we can give them and I wish they would stand up and speak out louder. And for the rest I would hope they stopped turning a blind eye to the reality.

          What else, time to wish everybody a better next year.

          I haven't been able to decide what to call this 2016 year yet. Is it the "Year of the hairs", the "Year of the lying arseholes" or the "Year of the men children". So help me out.

      2. Captain Badmouth

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all..."

        Apparently Paul Ryan and quite a few republicans are in full agreement with Obama on this, and Trump has actually issued a statement using more than 140 brain cells :

        "Nevertheless, in the interest of our country and its great people, I will meet with leaders of the intelligence community next week in order to be updated about the facts of this situation."

        1. W Donelson

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          The GOP thanks Russia and the rogue FBI groups for assisting them to Absolute Power.

          But now, the GOP wants the Power only for itself, and must kick Russia out to complete the coup d'etat.

          This is the nature of POWER.

          The investigations found that Russia meddled, and cyber-war will result.

          Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

          1. Anonymous Coward
            Anonymous Coward

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Look for a Trump impeachment early, followed by a Pence presidency and the end of democracy.

            Democracy ended some while ago in many "democratic nations" where you have entrenched political parties who have adjusted the system to try and ensure that no challenger parties can get a foothold, and the established parties play Buggins turn for who runs government.

            The extensive and blatant gerrymandering of electoral boundaries in the US is a fine example. In the UK a broadly similar situation has been upset by the emergence of electors failing to follow the script, whereas in the US, Trump had to take on the Republican party, whose establishment didn't want to back him.

            1. smartypants

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              " In the UK a broadly similar situation has been upset by the emergence of electors failing to follow the script"

              There were two scripts. There was the script you mean (i.e. the one supported by every main party at the last election because it was the right thing to do), and the alternative - that our country had been 'taken away', promises of windfalls to the NHS, threats of 70 million brown turkish hordes descending on us, the dismissing of any business concerns as merely 'project fear'.

              2017 is the year when we find out how little anyone had thought about the real consequences of Brexit, and just how far politicians are likely to pursue the idiotic in an attempt to save face.

      3. Matt Bryant Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: bombastic bob Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        "....Let's see how long it takes for Congress and Trump to undo it all..." Actually, the GOP has been trying to goad the Obama administration into some more effective action over cybersecurity for years, so they're unlikely to undo this executive order. I did chuckle at Trumpet's Twitter dig though - he manages to defuse the issue with Putin by making it look like Obama is just throwing a bad loser's tantrum on his way out the door.

    2. Nehmo

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      The DNC leak:

      The contents of some are certainly discrediting for the Democrats. I see the most important one as the old Podesta email which showed Citibank's Michael Froman decided on almost every Obama cabinet position.

      But the most disturbing consequence is that the (assumed) leaker, Seth Rich, was murdered. I previously didn't believe the "trail of bodies" stories about the Clintons. But this time the circumstances are too suspicious.

      The media described him as a "worker" or "operative", yet he his title was Director of Voter Expansion Data (Turnout) since 2014.

      The DC police went out of their way to describe the killing as a robbery that went wrong. But nothing was taken, and police are usually hesitant to label something as a robbery when the evidence doesn't point to it.

      He was shot several times, even while on the ground, while in a camera blind spot, which is rare for that area. Would a dumb robber have scoped out the blind spots?

      Even Seth's family (dad) is shown on TV telling people to not speculate on anything other than robbery. Most families want a serious investigation, and they tend to not believe the simple excuse.

      As we know, WikiLeaks hinted that Seth was its source. http://yournewswire.com/wikileaks-seth-rich-leaked-clinton-emails/

      1. h4rm0ny

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        I'm sorry to see some reflexive downvoting on your post as it's entirely factual. The CIA have a history of lying - including to their own government (example, they lied about their use of torture to a House Committee) and interfering with multiple country's democratic processes. They have a long and documented history of such. They even ran drugs to finance themselves independently of US government funding. In contrast, Wikileaks provide substantiated information and as far as I'm aware, have never been caught lying about such matters. Wikileaks say it's not Russia and was in fact a leak from within the DNC. CIA say it isn't but refuse to provide evidence - again, even to their own government. (The Chair of the House Intelligence committee was refused a briefing from them when he requested one).

        Any logical and evidence based balance of probabilities would be to say that Wikileaks is more likely telling the truth.

        And if it is a leak rather than hacking, then the immediate logical follow-up is that the CIA will want to prevent the truth emerging. Someone willing to leak that data is also someone who could plausibly confess to it. Seth Rich is one of the suspected sources of the leak. He could demolish the CIA's entire case by going public as the source. Or rather he could before he coincidentally died a few miles from his house in an alleged robbery. Fun fact: people who mug you for your wallet and phone are usually content to just get those items and run. They don't normally go out trying to shoot people dead. (Especially, you don't normally find their victims dying from multiple shots to the back).

        So again, it's a shame to see some people go "Conspiracy Theory" and vote it down (or do so for other reasons). Maybe my post will be too, but there's nothing in the above that is implausible nor flawed reasoning. What it comes down to is that some people don't want to accept the liklihood that people in the US government are willing to have someone killed to suit their agenda. Despite that such people have knowingly killed hundreds of thousands with wars like Iraq or the bombing of Libya knowing full well that such loss of life would be the result. To reject the idea that the CIA or similar would assasinate someone or that people in government would turn a blind eye to it, is to reject countless historical cases where they have done exactly that, and on far grander scale than one life.

        In short: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA. Based on evidence one has to say the former. If the former is telling the truth is it the case that US parties have the motive and demonstrated willingness to dispose of someone who could expose them. Overwhelmingly yes to both of those again. None of this is unsupported so downvote away!

        1. Rob D.
          FAIL

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          > I'm sorry to see some reflexive downvoting on your post as it's entirely factual.

          Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote.

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            >>"Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote."

            When a post is entirely factual, I like to see disagreement with the contents take the form of reasoned argument rather than just voting them down without explanation. At the time of my post (and still to the time I post this), the person I replied to had been modded down by a number of people but nobody had actually given any reason why anything they wrote was wrong. Which is not that surprising as what they wrote is easily verified.

            I fully understand that one could vote down a purely factual post - for example any of those interminable "Try Linux" posts every single sodding time there's a story about a Windows issue no matter how off-topic it is; or if there's obvious lack of context or understanding such as "It was really cold last week" on a story about global warming. But this is neither so yes, I do find it disappointing when I see an on-topic, being voted down by a few people but none of whom dispute that it's actually accurate.

            Do we know that Seth Rich was the leaker? No, we don't. Can we say it's very possible he was? Yes - we have a more reliable source stating it was a leak and he is a likely candidate and there are several actual hints that he was as well. It's pretty reasonable to suggest that his being shot multiple times in the back near his home in Bloomberg could be linked to an agency well-known for assassinations. Given that if it was a leak then someone (plausibly Seth Rich) was in a position to discredit said agency's story. If someone's first reaction to reading the above is "Conspiracy Theory" rather than "but that part doesn't make sense", then I humbly and politely ask them to take a few moments and ask themselves if there is anything that is obviously wrong in it. Nobody is saying we know it to be the case. But it's perfectly possible and, if one thinks that Wikileaks is telling the truth, then it actually becomes quite likely.

            So short version: clearly I do understand that a purely factual post can be worthy of a downvote. But isn't it better to actually point out the obvious flaws in it? And if that isn't easily done, then downvoting isn't the next best thing, imo.

            1. veti Silver badge

              Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

              Was Seth Rich the leaker? Well, I'm not aware of any evidence that he was. But even if he was - what follows from that? Does it mean Russia is innocent?

              Hell no.

              If Wikileaks had any interest in "full disclosure", then there was absolutely no need for the materials to be released the way they were - staggered across several weeks, with promises of press conferences and 'teasers' released to the media beforehand. That was a well orchestrated campaign, and I don't have the slightest doubt it was the Russians who orchestrated it, in co-operation with the Trump campaign. (Witness the time Trump referenced a story based on a misquote that had, at that time, only ever been published in RT.)

              Putin's fingerprints are all over Trump's victory, with or without Seth Rich or any other stooge who may have helped out his little game of kingmaker. I suspect that a thorough investigation would find the same dabs on the Brexit result - at the very least, there's no doubt the trolls of Olgino were very active in the British media this summer.

              But the interference in America was blatant. What's more, the CIA recognises it as straight out of their own playbook - it was exactly the kind of campaign that the US ran in Ukraine back in 2004.

              1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
                Windows

                Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

                "Witness the time Trump referenced a story based on a misquote that had, at that time, only ever been published in RT."

                Proof that Trump's campaign outfit reads RT in spite of John Kerry telling all good US citizens not to?

                the trolls of Olgino were very active in the British media this summer.

                Please explain how Internet trolls lead to a successful Brexit vote. Several inferences are missing here.

                "But the interference in America was blatant."

                Still don't see the blatantness. Citation needed.

              2. JohnG Silver badge

                Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

                There is absolutely no evidence that any Russians had anything to do with the Wikileaks leaks. The emails concerned were obtained in a person to person exchange made in Washington, between a disenchanted democrat staffer (who had legal access to the emails) and a former British ambassador. There was no hacking and no Russians involved.

                Wikileaks have a history of leaking information in small chunks, not least to retain the interest of the news outlets who publish their material. No doubt those affected by the leaks would rather everything was leaked in a single batch, to get all the bad news out on one day - but that is a selfish goal.

                The story that "the Russians did it" has been presented without any evidence and seems mostly designed to deflect attention from the content of the leaks and from criticism that a number of Democrats have been discussing government business using free commercial email services e.g. Gmail.

                Feel free to come up with any evidence that "the Russians" were involved.

          2. Mark 85 Silver badge

            @Rob D. -- Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Have a non-reflexive down-vote purely for not being able to understand that a factual post can be completely worthy of a down-vote.

            Then you can have some downvotes for not providing factual information that refutes the original. Downvotes around here are sometimes just a knee-jerk as people don't want to hear the truth. To quote: "You can't handle the truth"... applies here.

            Politics isn't about honesty. It's about power and getting elected. If the truth gets stomped into the ground and buried, the ones that action benefit don't care as they got what they wanted.

        2. Version 1.0 Silver badge

          Re: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA

          Neither has any real credibility as far as "truth" goes, although when it comes to getting rid of Presidents I'd say that the CIA has the edge.

        3. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          In short: which group has the greater credibility - Wikileaks or the CIA.

          That's not as much of an either-or decision as you seek to portray, the third option is neither.

          Wikileaks had a very clear agenda. One of the first things you want from any source that protrays itself as being "for the people" is that it refrains from bias, otherwise it is not offering facts to allow people to make up their own mind, it is actively influencing people. If they had been digging as deep in GOP leaks as Democrats they would have had more credibility, but with this they blew the last remnant of credibility they had. They had an opportunity to reclaim credibility, and they studiously avoided taking it.

          The CIA is also not exactly without agenda, and has pretty much become too big for anyone to control - again, not a source with much remaining credibility.

          In conclusion, I would not trust either. Both have a raging allergy to accountability* and transparency, so I'd not have any confidence in either doing something that was even remotely associated with assisting democracy.

          * As demonstrated on numerous occasions by Assange™

          1. h4rm0ny

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            >>That's not as much of an either-or decision as you seek to portray, the third option is neither.

            Neither doesn't really work. CIA say it wasn't a leak. Wikileaks say it was. And you sounding very clever say that neither is right? What would "neither" mean? Or are you suggesting that both are so lacking in credibility that there is no evidence either way. If so, please give some examples of where Wikileaks has lied or passed out false information. I'll be waiting.

            >> If they had been digging as deep in GOP leaks as Democrats they would have had more credibility

            You presume that there are available equivalent leaks for the Republicans as well. Given leaks of this scale are rare, you'd need to provide some reason why you think this is so. Wikileaks are a place for people to leak information to. They don't magic up a bunch of emails at will. There were very notable circumstances for the DNC leak - internal corruption, a popular candidate (who might have beaten Trump) being sabotaged by staff who were supposed to be neutral... On the Republican side, you already knew most of the Republican big wigs wanted to oust Trump. I mean they even discussed disregarding the result of the primaries openly. Where is your evidence that Wikileaks was passed leaked Republican emails and deliberately sat on them? Because that's what you're claiming with the above.

      2. Updraft102 Silver badge

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        It's kind of funny how everyone seems to gloss over the point that even if it was the Russians did manage to phish a Democrat (who was too dumb to recognize a phishing email) and convince him to willingly give away his password (that's not hacking, btw; that's more like someone hitting reply all when he meant reply and having the message received by the wrong people), the resultant leak was the truth-- and incredibly, it's the Democrats out there saying that someone leaking the truth about how shady and unethical their behavior was cost them the election (as if being shady and unethical is okay, and someone else was the bad guy for letting us all know they were doing it).

        Well, that being the case, maybe they deserved to lose. Since the American media isn't doing its job of ensuring an informed electorate, someone else stepped up and provided just a little bit of truth in a race that has mostly been awash in lies from the media (who then have the audacity to accuse others of spreading fake news).

        Isn't it kind of a weird situation when the "news" media lying through their teeth and actively campaigning for one of the candidates is okay, but someone out there spreading just a little bit of truth about this is somehow an upending of democracy?

        There still has not been any evidence anyone "hacked the election." There was a leak of emails that harmed the Democrats. Are they really trying to sell us on the idea of an overinformed electorate? That we knew too much about what the Dems had planned, and it was all the fault of the Russians?

    3. thegroucho
      FAIL

      Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

      Bob Rocket:

      It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?

      Lame argument anyone ...

      1. Bob Rocket

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        thegroucho,

        the US system is not based on the overall popular vote it is based on elector constituences, Trump won more constituencies than Clinton so he gets to be President.

        This is similar to the UK where the electorate vote for MPs and MPs decide on the PM.

        The issue is that the US election was on Nov 9th but the outgoing President doesn't hand over power until Jan 20th. In the UK, the Government is dissolved before the election and a new Government constituted as soon as is practicable afterwards.

        President Obama is just working out his notice (by holidaying in Hawaii) he should not have the levers of power, these should fall back to the Senate/Governors until the new President is sworn in.

        (in order to stop a petulant outgoer trashing the place before they go).

      2. Mark Simon

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        “It is not however wrong for someone to become a president despite winning less votes than the losing candidate?”

        It’s happened a few times in Australia, when the party with the smaller popular vote got the majority of seats. It’s a fundamental flaw with a system laughingly called “democratic”: you don’t actually vote for the policies or the leader, you vote for a party who has voted for a candidate who has voted for a leader who has bolted together some policies to make the whole thing look as if they’re doing something to justify your vote. And this only every 3 or 4 years.

        A majority of a majority isn’t always a majority (70% of 70% is only 49%).

        1. Lars Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          @ Mark Simon

          We had the same system in Finland too but it become more and more obvious that those 200 electors had their own agenda with all their secret meetings and what not. Since then we vote directly for the President, all political parties together and all in the television too. And why not, the President should represent the hole country after all. That a "MP" represents his constituency is an other question and understandable.

          1. h4rm0ny
            Trollface

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Maybe the USA should get rid of the electoral college if they dislike it so much. They could have a proportional representation system... Like Russia does. ;)

        2. GrapeBunch

          Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

          In parliamentary systems it's much worse. In Canada, a person can become Prime Minister typically with 39% of the vote. It could be that in the Democracy of Ancient Greece, that same person might have been exiled (ostracized) by an overwhelming 60% of the electorate. Coulda woulda shoulda, but the same guy was Prime Minister until the 61% found a happy interlocking way to "vote strategically".

          In the 1960 election, Wikipedia shows Kennedy winning the popular vote, but it's murkier than that, see this map and the commentary about Alabama at the bottom. Kennedy won in the Electoral College 303-219, meaning that there was only one state with enough EC votes to be called a "swing state", NY. Harry F. Byrd received 15 EC votes, though he had not been a candidate for President. Stuff that in your college and smoke it.

          To the person who said that the EC is part of the system and then in the same comment went on to complain that the outgoing President should be neutralized, I say: "Your slip is showing!"

          I rather like Obama's outgoing flourish. Even though USA and Russia are both nominally constitutional democracies, there's still a bit of antipathy toward "Rooskies", and Obama is making whatever conciliatory position Trump might have in mind look like he's being soft on the "Rooskies". That can work to the Dems' advantage in 2020 or even 2018. Despite Netanyahu's hissy fit, USA (b.1776) has been like both father and mother to Israel (b.1948), but being in the same family doesn't always mean getting what you want. Rare are the opportunities for telling a delicate offspring that they have gone too far, and this is one.

          1. Bob Rocket

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            @GrapeBunch,

            The EC system is the one under which this election was run, a different system (popular vote for example) would have produced a different campaign from both the main players, I find the EC system a bit bizarre but the UK runs its own mad system (all electoral systems are mad, the key is to find one that everybody agrees is rubbish and use that).

            Would President Obama have behaved the way he is doing now had Hillary won ?

            I personally don't think he would have done, his outbursts seem to me to be petty and vindictive, it sullies the good work he has done in the past and sets a dangerous precedent for future action by outgoing Presidents.

            It appears childish and petulant, if I behaved like that my mum would've slapped my legs, that other Democrats applaud his actions shows just how far they have fallen.

            They will be out of power for a very long time, this sorry episode will haunt them for a generation at least.

          2. gnasher729 Silver badge

            Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

            Actually, in the USA you could become president with just fifteen votes. Not fifteen percent, but fifteen. Ok, it would require that in the fifteen largest states you get _one_ vote each and nobody else gets any votes at all in these states. Fifteen largest is enough for the majority in the electoral college.In the other states you could then have tens of millions (I guess about 80-100 millions) against you and still win.

      3. ToddR

        Re: Evidence it was the Russians what dunnit

        Do you not understand how the US electoral system, (as defined by the founding fathers), works? It's a bit like the UK One too!

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