Remember when Russia hacked Hillary Clinton’s emails the day Trump asked them to? Republicans are asking Russia to help them out again.
According to a Yahoo Finance report, 40 percent of Republicans either think that it’s perfectly fine for Russia to interfere in American elections or that even if it isn’t acceptable it also isn’t really something that matters. In fact, only a quarter of Republicans are bothered by election interference.
A full forty percent of Republicans also either supported Russian interference to elect Republicans in 2018 or didn’t object to it. This number is cut almost in half, by the way, if Democrats were helped by Russia. Democrats, meanwhile, reject Russian support vehemently, at 86 percent opposing Russian interference even if it was to elect Democrats to office.
Yahoo also found that across the board, no matter who Russia supports in 2018, Trump supporters are more likely than the average American to think Russian involvement is not a concern, or is perfectly acceptable.
….Also, there is NO COLLUSION!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 30, 2017
“Trumpers have long been edging their way toward a ‘collusion is awesome’ defense for some time,” wrote John Marshall of Talking Points Memo.
Certainly the President’s defense has rapidly become that collusion is entirely legal, even though there absolutely wasn’t any. That argument is borne out by these new numbers from Yahoo.
There has been an effort by House Republicans to make it monumentally easier for Russia to gain influence in 2018 and Facebook announced Tuesday that efforts to interfere in the upcoming midterms are already underway.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, when he was director of the CIA, went on the record saying he expected Russian interference in the midterms.
“Frankly, we are under attack,” he said.
And Russia has continued to sow political discord in advance of the election. Just as the intelligence community warned it would.
Russia has made a concerted effort to integrate into Republican causes, as illustrated by Maria Butina, who helped connect the National Rifle Association with Russia in an effort to help Russia shape conservative politics in America.
And Russia has a growing number of rank-and-file Republicans supporting these actions. It seems Butina’s efforts, and the efforts of those like her, are paying off.
Forty percent of Republicans would gladly take the intervention of a foreign adversary in the political system of the United States if it helped them win. Over eighty percent of Democrats wouldn’t. The idea that Russia plays both sides seems to crumble when confronted with what side they’re winning over.
And, as Marshall said, that one side is starting to say collusion is actually a great strategy.