Russian President Vladimir Putin acknowledged that is was “theoretically possible” that “patriotically minded” private Russian citizens may have interfered via hacking in the 2016 US presidential election.
Putin referred to hackers as “free-spirited people,” who are like artists.
“If they are in a good mood in the morning, they wake up and paint,” he said. “It is the same for hackers. They wake up today, they read that something is happening in inter-state relations, and if they are patriotically minded – they start making their contributions which are right, from their point of view – to the fight against those who say bad things about Russia.”
“Is that possible?” he asks. “Theoretically, it is possible.”
“I can imagine that someone is doing this purposefully – building the chain of attacks so that the territory of Russian Federation appears to be the source of the attack,” Putin said. “Modern technologies allow to do that kind of thing, it’s rather easy to do.”
He then went on to state clearly that the Russian government has not been involved in hacking the election and that they weren’t planning on being involved in hacking.
“Quite the opposite,” Putin continued. “We are trying to combat it inside our country.”
“But in any case, I am sure that any hackers wouldn’t be able to influence an election campaign in any European country or anywhere else, in Asia or America,” he concluded.
I’m not sure that I agree with him on the ability of hackers not to influence the elections of countries, especially those that use electronic means of counting votes. Consider Clinton Eugene “Clint” Curtis, an American attorney, computer programmer and ex-employee of NASA and ExxonMobil, who told the world in open testimony that voting machines are not only hackable to determine an election, but that he designed the program to do it in 2000.
Curtis’ testimony came in 2006 before the US House Judiciary Members in Ohio. In 100, Curtis was hired by Tom Feeney to build software that would rig an election using electronic voter machines. According to Curtis, he could rig the machines in such a way to determine a 51/49 split in favor of the person that was wanted to win.
Take a look.
Also consider the source: The New York Times. Now, just because it comes from NYT doesn’t necessarily make it wrong. Putin is clearly stating what he thinks here. However, the story is there to promote the continued story of Trump’s opposition that he colluded with the Russians when there has been no evidence to that effect.
Do I think other countries have people that can hack into US elections? Probably, but the thing the Democrats jumped on was to push this narrative that Russia and Trump are in bed together because they were exposed by Wikileaks when they dumped their emails full of criminal activity on the American people.
However, we are learning that instead of that release being tied to the Russians, one of their own, murdered DNC staffer Seth Rich wanted to expose the criminal behavior of those in his own party, and it looks like it cost him his life.