Kids’ll do the darnedest things.
What parent hasn’t cried out in frustration when their progeny trods upon the rug with muddy shoes? Who hasn’t smacked their head when junior whacks a baseball through the window?
And what mother or father hasn’t had to sit their little princess down for a talk after she’s hacked our voting systems and thrown our representative democracy into disrepute?
Well, at least we won’t have to tell our kids to learn to code!
Sadly, this isn’t misrepresenting the context behind Hillary Clinton’s remarks on former Obama aide Davide Plouffe’s “Campaign HQ” podcast by that many degrees. You’re probably familiar with this appearance because it’s where Clinton more or less accused Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard of being a potential Russian asset who could throw the election to Donald Trump.
“I’m not making any predictions but I think [Russia’s] got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate,” Clinton said, according to Fox News. “She’s the favorite of the Russians. They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far.”
The remark was a rather unsubtle reference to a New York Times article earlier in the week that had floated, among other possibilities, the potential that Gabbard’s message was being amplified by Russian botnets and state media.
However, if you didn’t go beyond the Gabbard remarks, you missed out.
Clinton was in high Infowars-y dudgeon during her interview with Plouffe, going as far as to indicate that the 2016 election might plausibly have been interfered with because of, um, the 2018 Florida gubernatorial race and 10-year-olds being able to hack into our election systems. The connections are only slightly less tenuous when not delivered in adumbrated version.
“You know, we don’t really know to what extent the election was interfered in because nobody will look for it. We do know that in Florida a lot more happened than has been admitted publicly,” she said in an apparent reference to the close race between Republican Ron DeSantis and Democrat Andrew Gillum, according to The Daily Caller.
“We know we’re really vulnerable,” she continued. “Every, you know, every Hackathon that happens, you know, 10-year-olds are hacking our voting systems and the networks that connect them.”
Listen to part of the interview here.
The claim seems to be related to an 11-year-old hacking into a replica of the website that Florida’s Secretary of State uses to report election results and changing them during the DefCon hacker’s conference in Las Vegas back in 2018, according to USA Today.
As it turns out, another politician got dinged by fact-checkers over the summer when she used the same story in a distorted fashion.
“We have to take seriously the security of our elections because of the vulnerabilities that exist — still, now — that really have the ability to undermine our democracy,” one Tulsi Gabbard told HBO’s Bill Maher during an appearance on “Real Time with Bill Maher” in July, according to PolitiFact.
“There’s a hacking conference that’s held every year in Las Vegas, where I think a 14- or 15-year old-girl from Florida hacked into a replica of Florida’s election system in less than 15 minutes.”
Well, that’s awkward, and for more reasons than one.
“First, there wasn’t hacking into a replica of the election system — but rather a website made to look like Florida’s Secretary of State website that reports preliminary election results. In other words, not the system that receives and counts actual votes,” PolitiFact reported, deeming Gabbard’s claim “Mostly False.”
“And second, what was hacked into was not even a replica — as in an exact copy of the website — because it did not contain the proprietary security features that the Secretary of State website has.”
PolitiFact published a statement from the National Association of Secretaries of State about the matter:
“While it is undeniable websites are vulnerable to hackers, election night reporting websites are only used to publish preliminary, unofficial results for the public and the media. The sites are not connected to vote counting equipment and could never change actual election results,” the statement said.
This should all be a surprise to roughly zero people.
No evidence has yet been produced that some outside actor — probably operating from Moscow or St. Petersburg, no doubt — affected the 2016 election via hacking our voting machines.
Yet, Hillary Clinton continues to believe that the reason she’s not in the White House is because of some grave conspiracy that goes all the way to the top — and those 10-year-old hackers have proved it, somehow.
The only thing Clinton is proving by statements like this is that she can’t get over 2016.
I suppose this is understandable. However, it’s time for people with more common sense to stop following her down this very deep rabbit hole.
Hillary’s inability to accept reality is one thing.
The fact that David Plouffe didn’t push back is quite another.
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