It may be time for a deep breath.
In the wake of a CIA assessment that Russia interfered in the U.S. election to boost Donald Trump, some media personalities are seizing on the report as proof Moscow just installed its own version of a Manchurian candidate.
The Washington Post first reported on the CIA assessment Friday. But despite internal disagreements over the analysis -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence has not embraced the CIA finding, and neither has the FBI -- the report has fueled efforts to derail Trump in the Electoral College and call the entire election into question.
Ryan Lizza at the New Yorker concluded America now finds itself in an “unprecedented” situation.
We are in an unprecedented situation: a president that 54% of voters opposed elected with the help of a Russian intelligence operation.— Ryan Lizza (@RyanLizza) December 10, 2016
GOP strategist John Weaver concluded the country has been hit by “cyber 9/11” and Russia “committed a Pearl Harbor cyber attack” to put Trump in the White House.
Anything short of the American people learning every detail of this cyber 9/11 attack on our country is a victory for Putin.— John Weaver (@JWGOP) December 13, 2016
Russia committed a Pearl Harbor cyber attack on USA designed to put their favored person in the WH. We did nothing. Read that out loud.— John Weaver (@JWGOP) December 10, 2016
Those were the more restrained reactions.
Joy Behar of "The View" called on Trump to step down over his disagreement with the CIA assessment over Russia’s involvement. (Trump called the finding "ridiculous" in an interview with "Fox News Sunday.")
“He has to step down before the inauguration before they give him the nuclear codes. We are at risk when the president is fighting with the CIA,” she said to applause from the audience.
Talking about connections to Russia in members of Trump’s team, including former campaign boss Paul Manafort and pick for secretary of state Rex Tillerson, Behar asked: “Do we have to wait until the hammer and sickle is on the American flag before we stand up to this guy?” (The hammer and sickle has not been on the Russian flag since the fall of the Soviet Union in 1991.)
GQ’s Keith Olbermann offered this summary of the state of the nation:
"We are at war with Russia, or perhaps more correctly we have lost a war with Russia without battle. We are no longer a sovereign nation, we are no longer a democracy, we are no longer a free people, we are the victims of a bloodless coup – so far a bloodless coup.”
If Olbermann is right about America being at war, the WWII British motto “Keep Calm and Carry on” doesn't seem to be the operative expression right now.