Many conservatives and Trump supporters have been dismissive of the possibility that interference by Russian hackers changed the outcome of the 2016 election. But they would do well to rethink things. Even a cursory look at the events of the past few years reveals Russian meddling was absolutely decisive in denying Clinton her rightful position as president-elect.
Here’s a quick rundown of 13 major moments where Clinton’s seemingly invincible presidential campaign was brought down thanks Russian hacking efforts:
1996: Russian Spetsnaz special forces pepper Clinton with sniper rifle fire as she lands in Sarajevo after the Bosnian War. Shortly after, Russian hackers destroy all video footage of this event, replacing it with fake news accounts that Clinton’s visit was peaceful. Clinton’s unbelievable bravery in Bosnia is subsequently disbelieved.
Jan. 28, 2009: Russia-financed black hat hackers in Donetsk, Ukraine, hack Clinton’s personal Blackberry and modify the emails she sends. An email demanding that Clinton follow all Department of State email rules is quietly deleted, and replaced with a spoof email demanding the creation of a private email server stored at her personal home in New York.
May 2013: A Russian hack of Clinton’s teleprompter modifies her speech to Banco Itau, altering her speech to say that her dream is “open borders” with the entire Western Hemisphere, instead of her original dream of “safe, well-regulated borders.”
February 2015: Chinese hackers in the employ of Moscow penetrate the Clinton Foundation and alter its payroll to pay men far more than women, causing the Clinton campaign embarrassment when this big imbalance is brought up, undermining their efforts to run a campaign on closing the pay gap.
May, 2015: Rudolph Epstein, a minor Clinton staffer co-opted by a Russian hacker’s girlfriend, convinces Clinton campaign manager Robby Mook to outsource the campaign’s decision-making to a computer program named Ada. The program, though, is simply the work of hackers from Novosibirsk, who use it as a vehicle to sabotage Clinton’s campaign while promoting various fake news storylines. The program steadily supplies Clinton with terrible ideas, such as printing off literal “woman cards” and joking about wiping her email server “with a cloth.”
Dec. 22, 2015: A group of Moscow hackers gain access to Clinton’s campaign website, posting an embarrassing fake news article about how “Hillary Clinton is just like your abuela.” This fake news damages Clinton’s campaign by causing an unjustified backlash from the public who regard it as ethnic pandering by Clinton.
March 13, 2016: A Russian spy in Clinton’s campaign swaps out her primary debate notes with doctored copies produced by Russian intelligence. The doctored notes include a line saying Clinton wants to put coal miners out of work, which Clinton mistakenly reads, alienating working class whites across the country.
March 15, 2016: The same Russian spy implants electrodes on an unsuspecting Clinton’s neck as she takes a nap, causing her to later bark like a dog during a rally in Reno, Nevada.
April 10, 2016: Russian agents in New York City advance $4 million into Bill de Blasio’s bank account, bribing him to make a joke about being on “C.P time” (colored people time) in his delayed endorsement of Clinton for president. The nefarious ploy costs Clinton thousands of black voters in swing states.
Sept. 7, 2016: Revolutionary Russian technology allows hackers to “hack” Clinton’s memories, causing her to forget entirely about the Benghazi attack and claim no Americans have died in Libya.
Sept. 11, 2016: Biologists tied to the Russian space agency, Roscosmos, use satellites to broadcast damaging rays directly into Clinton’s brain stem, causing her to abruptly collapse at a Sept. 11 memorial service after just 90 minutes outside in mild weather.
Oct. 18, 2016: Armenian hackers tied to Moscow burrow into Clinton’s campaign bank account, diverting $1 million meant for voter turnout operations in Michigan to the non-competitive states of Indiana and Missouri. For good measure, the hackers also cancel a $2 million ad buy in Pennsylvania and Florida, buying replacement ads in Arizona instead.
Nov. 2, 2016: A hacker collective in Smolensk diverts Clinton’s campaign plane away from General Mitchell International Airport in Milwaukee, forcing her to instead land in Tempe, Arizona, and campaign there. Thanks to this interference, Clinton doesn’t have a single campaign stop in Wisconsin and narrowly loses the state to Donald Trump.