Couldn’t, Didn’t, Wouldn’t

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Word Games, Anyone?

Contraction correctness is the big news of the day as Trump contends he inadvertently made a mistake in his comments about siding with Putin’s claim that Russia had nothing to do with infiltrating U.S. elections. He didn’t really mean that, Trump declared later in a so-serious-cross-my-heart-statement.  When Trump told the world that he didn’t “see any reason why it would be Russia,” messing with U.S. elections. Then topsy-turvy, the next day he told us he did not mean to say “I don’t see any reason why it would be” Russian interference. He read from a transcript of his speech saying “The sentence should have been, ‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia.’ Sort of a double negative. Instead it came out ‘would’”! Get that?

Ah, yes, it was just a matter of forgetting to use an apostrophe and the letter n t.  Then he said “I accept our intelligence community’s conclusion that Russia’s meddling in the 2016 election took place. But he added: “Could be other people also; there’s a lot of people out there.” Meaning it wouldn’t or didn’t necessarily be Russia doing the meddling.

Wouldn’t it be helpful if someone could decipher what Trump is really saying and what he really plans to do about keeping our country safe from cyberattacks on elections as well as attacks on government agencies and business facilities?  Russian hackers have been busy for the past few years penetrating commercial networks providing critical services like energy, nuclear, water, and aviation. The Department of Homeland Security and FBI have warned that hackers target businesses and government through routers, switches, and internet providers. The hackers even get into home computers, tablets, cell phones and other electronic equipment, hoping to find a link that will incapacitate our government, education, health, social systems.

I don’t count on Trump to take action to defend our security. He wouldn’t know how. He couldn’t be bothered. He didn’t even heed the warning of Director of National Intelligence Dan Coats that Russian cyberattacks are continuing and “blinking red.” Other countries such as China, Iran, and North Korea have done their share of cyberattacks on the U.S. but in Coats’ words: “What’s serious about the Russians is their intent…their intent to undermine our basic values, undermine democracy, create wedges between us and our allies.” More people in Trump’s administration need to tell their boss to act on his words: “‘I don’t see any reason why it wouldn’t be Russia’” messing with us. Double negative or not, Putin’s Russians are attacking us bigtime.

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