Remember When Russia Attacked American Democracy?

And We Barely Noticed

Steve Jones


Putin and Trump, 2018. (BBC/Reuters)

Remember when Russia attacked American democracy? And we let them get away with it?

It happened in 2016, long before COVID dominated our fears. But Russia did attack the United States to sway the presidential election for pro-Putin, neo-autocrat Donald Trump.

Here’s an encapsulation of Russian meddling, written by Abigail Abrams for the April 18, 2019, edition of Time magazine:

Over the course of the election, a wide-ranging group of Russians probed state voter databases for insecurities; hacked the Hillary Clinton campaign, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee and the Democratic National Committee; tried to hack the campaign of Sen. Marco Rubio and the Republican National Committee; released politically damaging information on the internet; spread propaganda on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and Instagram; staged rallies in Florida and Pennsylvania; set up meetings with members of the Trump campaign and its associates; and floated a business proposition for a skyscraper in Moscow to the Trump Organization.

And we did little about it. Evidence of Russian tampering surfaced before the election, but the appearance of trying to throw the election to Democratic candidate Hilary Clinton froze President Barack Obama’s…