Actually I do not think the Russians ever stopped trying to help Donald Trump.

Courtesy of NYT:

Russia is using a range of techniques to denigrate Joseph R. Biden Jr., American intelligence officials said Friday in their first public assessment that Moscow continues to try to interfere in the 2020 campaign to help President Trump.

At the same time, the officials said China preferred that Mr. Trump be defeated in November and was weighing whether to take more aggressive action in the election.

But officials briefed on the intelligence said that Russia was the far graver, and more immediate, threat. While China seeks to gain influence in American politics, its leaders have not yet decided to wade directly into the presidential contest, however much they may dislike Mr. Trump, the officials said.

The assessment, included in a statement released by William R. Evanina, the director of the National Counterintelligence and Security Center, suggested the intelligence community was treading carefully, reflecting the political heat generated by previous findings.

The White House has objected in the past to conclusions that Moscow is working to help Mr. Trump, and Democrats on Capitol Hill have expressed growing concern that the intelligence agencies are not being forthright enough about Russia’s preference for him and that the agencies are introducing China’s anti-Trump stance to balance the scales.

The assessment appeared to draw a distinction between what it called the “range of measures” being deployed by Moscow to influence the election and its conclusion that China prefers that Mr. Trump be defeated.

It cited efforts coming out of pro-Russia forces in Ukraine to damage Mr. Biden and Kremlin-linked figures who “are also seeking to boost President Trump’s candidacy on social media and Russian television.”

China, it said, has so far signaled its position mostly through increased public criticism of the administration’s tough line on China on a variety of fronts.

The first thing to clarify is that what Russia and China are each doing is in no way related to each other. 

China is expressing an opinion and preference, Russia is actively trying to subvert our democracy in order to keep its preferred candidate in office. 

This is as if I were watching a foot race and said out loud that I really hope number three wins, as compared to if I tripped number ten so that number three could definitely win. 

What’s perhaps even more disturbing is that there are Republicans who seem to be actively helping Russia to smear Biden and help elect Trump.

Courtesy of WaPo:

We’re talking about Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chair of the homeland security committee. It isn’t often that a U.S. senator has to publicly deny participating in a Russian disinformation campaign, but Johnson recently had to do just that, in connection with his committee’s “investigation” into Ukraine, oil and gas company Burisma, and Joe and his son Hunter Biden.

As you’ll note, the new ODNI statement explicitly confirms that the pro-Russian Ukrainian Andriy Derkach’s efforts to spread “claims about corruption” to “undermine” Biden’s candidacy are also part of this outside Russian interference effort.

Those claims about alleged Biden corruption are part of the series of claims that Johnson is pursuing in his “investigation.”

Johnson’s probe dredges up some stuff that we heard during Trump’s impeachment. In particular, Rudy Giuliani is acting as a conduit for a group of Ukrainians with ties to Russia who appear to be trying to feed questionable information to Johnson.

One of those people is none other than Derkach, who attended the Dzerzhinsky Higher School of the KGB in Moscow and whose father was a KGB officer.

Derkach has sent packets of anti-Biden information to American lawmakers, including Johnson. Derkach has also met with Giuliani and released pieces of recorded conversations Biden had with Ukrainian leaders as vice president.

Those recorded conversations released by Derkach are supposed to confirm a narrative in which Biden, as vice president, helped oust a Ukrainian prosecutor, supposedly as part of an effort to protect Burisma, whose board included Hunter Biden.

But the tapes don’t actually confirm that. Instead, they confirm what we already know, which is that Biden was working to oust a corrupt prosecutor, in an effort that was backed by international institutions. The narrative of supposed Biden corruption has been completely debunked.

This has prompted Democrats to ask whether Johnson is using the information Derkach is feeding him to discredit Biden, and to point out that if he is, Johnson may be participating in a Russian disinformation campaign.

Well, isn’t that interesting?

Keep in mind that even after almost four years in office Donald Trump has still never criticized Vladimir Putin or suggested punishments for Russian interference in our elections, the murder of their journalists, or the fact that they placed a bounty on the heads of American soldiers. 

It is as clear as can be that Donald Trump works for the Kremlin and that our country is led by a Russian puppet. 

That should be all it takes to motivate people to show up and vote. 

P.S. When Trump was directly asked about Russia helping him again his exact words were “I don’t care what anybody says.”