Trump’s National Security Adviser Acknowledges What Trump Himself Won’t

President Trump has been labeling reports of Russian interference in the 2016 election as “Fake News” for the better part of a year now, and he’s been ignoring warnings about the potential of similar efforts in this year’s midterms, but his National Security Adviser isn’t:

Evidence of Russian meddling in the 2016 election is “now really incontrovertible,” White House National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster said Saturday.

“As you can see with the FBI indictment, the evidence is now really incontrovertible and available in the public domain, whereas in the past it was difficult to attribute for a couple of reasons,” McMaster said while speaking at the Munich Security Conference just a day after the Justice Department announced several indictments in special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation into Russian interference.

McMaster has said previously it had been difficult to say definitively because “technically it was difficult” but “also you didn’t want to divulge your intelligence capabilities.”

“But now that this is in the arena of a law enforcement investigation it’s going to be very apparent to everyone,” McMaster said.

He said that despite the evidence Russia attempted to interfere, he believed it may “reevaluate what it’s doing,” adding, “All that has done is appeal to those big fringes while uniting all of our politics actually against Russia and Russian interference.”

On Friday, the DOJ announced charges against 13 Russian nationals and three Russian entities for allegedly meddling in the 2016 election. The charges included conspiracy to defraud the United States. Three defendants were also charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and five defendants with aggravated identity theft.

The indictments come as part of Mueller’s larger investigation looking into possible ties between President Donald Trump’s campaign associates and Russia. Trump has repeatedly denied any collusion.

Earlier this week, CNN reported that even amid several intelligence officials expressing to a Senate panel that Russia had interfered in 2016 and had plans for 2018, Trump was still not convinced on the matter, according to three sources familiar with the President’s thinking.

I suppose the fact that Trump’s advisers, at the very least, are acknowledging reality is a good thing. The fact that the President continues to publicly deny it, though, is a strong indication that he likely isn’t taking the warnings of those advisers seriously and that little to nothing will be done to stop the Russians or others from doing the same thing all over again.

FILED UNDER: 2016 Election, Intelligence, National Security, US Politics, , , , , , ,
Doug Mataconis
About Doug Mataconis
Doug Mataconis held a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May 2010 and contributed a staggering 16,483 posts before his retirement in January 2020. He passed far too young in July 2021.


  1. Mister Bluster says:
  2. TM01 says:

    It’s almost like Mitt Romney was right.