After President Trump met with met with Russian President Putin for two hours at the G20 summit in Germany, he received the “expected” answers (according to Secretary of State Tillerson) when he asked Putin if the Russian government interfered with the 2016 presidential election: Putin denied any hacking or other meddling.
As Nikki Haley, our UN Ambassador, correctly put it: “Everybody knows that Russia meddled in our elections; this is Russia trying to save face.”
Another thing ‘everybody knows’ or at least should realize, is that America, in it’s own best interest, will readily interfere in the day-to-day operations of the Russian government or the operations of any foreign government; ally or enemy. There is nothing shady or unexpected about this, it’s expected and fought against by every government, including the U.S. government.
If we are surprised by a foreign government’s actions, or it’s aggression, shame on us; we should have seen it coming. In fact, while we can’t (and don’t, under penalty of treason) publically talk about the spies we have at work in every friendly, neutral or enemy country, it’s not a secret to any government’s security agency because every one of them has spies over here.
After he was back home in the U.S., President Trump made the statement that “it is time to move forward in working constructively with Russia.” Some news outlets, organizations have already begun to criticize him and say that Trump ‘swallowed Putin’s lie’ or that he is being naïve, but as UN Ambassador Hailey wisely argues: working with Russia on cybersecurity “doesn’t mean we trust Russia; we can’t trust Russia and we won’t ever trust Russia. Then she paraphrased the Chinese General and military strategist Sun-Tzu*, ‘you keep those that you don’t trust closer so you can keep an eye on ’em and keep them in check.
(“Keep your friends close and your enemies closer” is usually attributed to either Sun-tzu, Machiavelli (“The Prince”) or Michael Corleone (“The Godfather”).