On Morning Joe this morning Condi Rice (at about 14 minutes in) said Putin is probably pleased with all the chaos that his hacking has unleashed, because it has caused people to question the strength of American democracy. He is happy that his actions are tearing apart our democratic system. He wants to sow doubt about the legitimacy of US elections. She thinks we should stress that we have confidence is our electoral system. She says we should not jump to the conclusion that Putin wanted to elect Trump. Rather she thinks that he just wanted to discredit our political system. (Part 2 of Rice interview.)
I think she has a good point. It is arguable that the Democrats are destroying democracy in order to save it, like the old aphorism that in Vietnam, American troops destroyed a village in order to save it.
Morning Joe also discussed Ted Cruz’ questioning of Sally Yates regarding her refusal to defend Trump’s immigration order. They thought she destroyed Cruz. She had a good point that there were conflicting statutes, the one Cruz cited which seemed to support Trumps order, and the statute Yates cited that seemed to discredit it, because it discriminated on racial or religious grounds. But then she went on to undermine her own statutory argument. She says that the executive order was unconstitutional. I don’t think the Constitution grants any right to a non-resident alien physically located outside of the US. Thus, she may have a statutory argument, but not a Constitutional one, which she said was the basis for her action. Even on the statutory argument, she relies on statements Trump made while campaigning. I think using those statements is unprecedented in statutory interpretation. It is an issue the Supreme Court should (and may) decide. I would argue that to invalidate the order, opponents should find some basis from religious discrimination in official conduct of the Trump administration while in office. I don’t think that has been shown so far.
Video of Yates’ statement: