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Robin Smith

The Los Angeles Times published an article on Oct. 9 titled "Is Russia attempting to influence the election? The Obama administration says it is." Echoing these same sentiments, other news stories ran that featured this quote from former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton, "We have never in the history of our country been in a situation [where] a foreign power is working so hard to influence the outcome of the election."

It's obvious through the activities of Russia in recent days, whether about this election, the dominance of military presence in the Middle East or the in-your-face invasion of its neighboring nation Ukraine that this nation is seeking global prominence. It's also obvious that America is not standing our ground on the global stage; Russia clearly has filled this vacuum, as evidenced most recently in its leading role in the Middle East conflicts.

Russia is not the friend of America. Russia wants to remove the U.S. from its perceived position as "the leader of the free world." That is a fact.

Americans also should have deep concerns that our nation's cybersecurity is clearly weak at best if a foreign nation can, with apparent ease, access email files of both major political parties and operatives within those organizations and campaigns. Hence, the justified concern about Clinton's use of an unsecured server in her home's bathroom closet. It's good to see the newfound concern the Democrats now have about secured information and transactions.

So, if outside influence, specifically in an election, is so reprehensible by a foreign government, then explain this statement by the strategist for Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in March 2015: "What was not well reported in the American media is that President Obama and his allies were playing in the election to defeat Prime Minister Netanyahu."

Now, let's see. Israel is America's "partner in peace" and the singular democracy in the Middle East, yet we find President Barack Obama and his team working in the elections against the incumbent Netanyahu?

John McLaughlin, the Israeli president's consultant, declared in TheHill.com that "there was money moving that included taxpayer U.S. dollars, through nonprofit organizations" funding "various liberal groups in the United States that were raising millions to fund a campaign called V15 against Prime Minister Netanyahu." Further, the U.S. State Department was expediting visas in the months leading up to foreign elections for Israeli Arabs to school them in electioneering American-style to defeat Netanyahu.

According to the July 2015 U.S. Senate report issued by the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, $350,000 was paid by the State Department to a liberal activist group, OneVoice Movement, working in opposition to the Israeli leader. Committee member Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, declared, "The United States should not be engaged in that kind of activity with taxpayer dollars."

So, Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton and all those who are suddenly disgusted and mortified with any attempt of an outside government to engage in our democratic process, please stop. You have no credibility. You have no standing, no veracity. You were actively engaged in attempting to remove Israel's prime minister and lost.

Once again, the abject hypocrisy that is perpetrated with a straight face is foundational to the anger of the American public, which has had it with liars and invertebrates who refuse to lead with honor.

Robin Smith, a former chairwoman of the Tennessee Republican Party, owns Rivers Edge Alliance.

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