Aside from a handful of responsible reporters, the national media largely continue to diminish the importance of the role of Russian hackers in the DNC email leak. In a press conference Wednesday, Donald openly called for Russia to expose classified U.S. information. Will the media react appropriately and acknowledge that he has disqualified himself from the presidency? 

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the thirty thousand emails that are missing. I think you will probably be rewarded mightily by our press. Let’s see if that happens.” – Donald Trump, July 27, 2016

First, Donald’s aides successfully changed the Republican platform to be more pro-Putin, reneging on a promise to provide aid to the Ukrainians in their struggle against Russian aggression.”

Then, following the WikiLeaks dump of hacked DNC emails, Donald promoted WikiLeaks, even as it became clear that the emails were provided by Russian hackers in order to influence the U.S. election, and more information emerged that Donald may have deep financial ties to the Russian agitators whose provocation has instigated an FBI investigation.

To recap: It may sound like the plot of a spy thriller, but, unfortunately, it is no fiction. It appears as though Russian government hackers are indeed trying to derail Hillary and the Democrats in order to install Donald — an authoritarian with sympathies for rightwing extremism in Europe.

Now, two more threads to the story: The New York Times reports that Julian Assange, WikiLeaks’ founder, conceded six weeks before the publication of the hacked DNC emails, “that he hoped to harm Hillary Clinton’s chances of winning the presidency.”

In the June 12 interview with ITV, Assange “suggested that he not only opposed her candidacy on policy grounds, but also saw her as a personal foe.” And when he was asked if he would prefer to see Donald become president, he replied “that what Mr. Trump would do as president was ‘completely unpredictable.’ By contrast, he thought it was predictable that Mrs. Clinton would wield power in two ways he found problematic.” Foreign policy and: “We do see her as a bit of a problem for freedom of the press more generally.”

This is, of course, absurd on its face: Donald’s vast hostilities to the press are well-documented – and no reasonable person looks at Donald’s promises to intentionally kill civilians as an anti-terrorism strategy and believe that he will somehow be better on foreign policy than Hillary.

Donald would, however, be much more easily manipulable than Hillary would, by virtue of his comprehensive lack of policy knowledge and his catastrophic inability to resist flattery. Which is to say nothing of the possibility that he is already in debt to Russian lenders so deeply that he is personally compromised.

To the second thread in the story, then: Business Insider reports that “Russia’s troll factories were, at one point, likely being paid by the Kremlin to spread pro-Trump propaganda on social media.”

New Yorker staff writer Adrian Chen “discovered that Russian internet trolls — paid by the Kremlin to spread false information on the internet — have been behind a number of ‘highly coordinated campaigns’ to deceive the American public.”

He isn’t sure who’s paying them, but: “I feel like it’s some kind of really opaque strategy of electing Donald Trump to undermine the US or something. Like false-flag kind of thing.” Chen noted the paid trolls’ job “was to weave propaganda seamlessly into what appeared to be the nonpolitical musings of an everyday person.”

We cannot state this more plainly: The more information that is revealed about the nexus between Donald Trump, his campaign manager Paul Manafort, Russian government hackers and trolls, WikiLeaks, and Vladimir Putin himself, the more clear it becomes that a foreign government is trying to influence the US election.

And they’re doing it so that they can gain control over the US president.

Now Donald Trump is actively encouraging a foreign government to expose national security secrets. CNN’s David Gregory just described him as a child playing with forces he doesn’t understand. He’s absolutely right. Donald just disqualified himself from the presidency.

(AP Photo)