US intelligence report: Putin ‘ordered’ targeted involvement in US election

A new US intel report has found that Putin “ordered” a hacking campaign aimed at harming Hillary Clinton’s electability. The report also found the Russian government showed a “clear preference” for Donald Trump.

Karikatur Trump als Marionette von Putin (picture-alliance/Zumapress/B. Slabbers)


Opinion: Donald Trump’s dangerous criticism of the intelligence services

With his blanket criticism of the work of US intelligence services, President-elect Donald Trump undermines trust in public institutions in a negligent way, DW’s Michael Knigge writes. (07.01.2017)

Trump tells US newspaper Russia hacking investigation is a ‘political witch hunt’

US intel heads slam Kremlin in alleged Russian hacking during US election

‘Full-scope cyber actor’: US intelligence officials testify on Russia’s cyber activities

Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered a media manipulation and hacking campaign targeting the 2016 US presidential election, according to a declassified version of a  US intelligence report that was released on Friday.

The report found that the Russian government specifically targeted Democratic Party nominee Hillary Clinton with the goal of harming her presidential campaign.

“Russia’s goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency,” said the report from the Director of National Intelligence. The report also alleges that Putin had a personal grudge against Clinton, blaming her for stoking 2011 protests against his rule while she was secretary of state.

Intelligence officials released a 25-page public version of the report on Friday after briefing President Barack Obama, President-elect Donald Trump and top US lawmakers with a longer, classified version.

The report also found that Putin and the Russian government “developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump.” However, the intelligence agency noted that it did not assess the impact of Russian meddling on the outcome of the US election.

Trump defended the legitimacy of his election victory on Friday following his two-hour intelligence briefing with intelligence officials on the results of the Russian meddling report.

Ties to WikiLeaks

Additionally, intelligence officials said that they believe “with high confidence” that the GRU, Russia’s military intelligence agency, used intermediaries such as WikiLeaks, and Guccifer 2.0 to release emails it acquired from the Democratic National Committee (DNC).

An annex to the report noted that when US intelligence assigns “high confidence” to an allegation, the information is based on “high-quality information from multiple sources.” However, the sources and methods of the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and the National Security Agency (NSA) are protected in the report, which may not convince skeptics.

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange has denied that a “state party” provided him with stolen emails from the DNC and from top Clinton aide John Podesta. Assange did not rule out the possibility that the emails came from a third party.

Russia has repeatedly denied the US government’s accusations of hacking during the 2016 election campaign.

Trump promises ‘aggressive’ action

Following release of the public report, Vice President-elect Mike Pence told reporters that Trump will act against cyber hacking once he takes office.

“The president-elect has made it very clear that we are going to take aggressive action in the early days of our administration to combat cyber attacks and protect the American people from this type of intrusion in the future,” Pence said outside of Trump Tower.

The much-anticipated report is likely to further agitate the debate over the outcome of an election in which Clinton won the popular vote but was beaten by Trump in the electoral college.

rs/kl (AP, AFP, Reuters)

Hillary Clinton Makes First Public Appearance Since Conceding the Election

Hillary Clinton urges supporters to ‘stay engaged’ in first speech since election 2:35

Hillary Clinton, making an emotional plea, urged supporters “not to give up” and to “stay engaged” in politics at a charity gala in Washington D.C. Wednesday night.

The appearance, which aides say was planned long before last week’s stunning loss, marked Clinton’s first public remarks since conceding the election to President-elect Donald Trump.

“I know many of you are deeply disappointed about the results of the election,” she said to the crowd at a Children’s Defense Fund gala. “I am too, more than I can ever express.”

Clinton said appearing in public wasn’t the easiest thing for her.

“There have been a few times this past week when all I wanted to do is just to curl up with a good book or our dogs and never leave the house again,” the former presidential nominee said.

Nevertheless, she attempted to inspire her audience and emphasized a line of Martin Luther King Jr. that is oft quoted by President Barack Obama throughout her speech: “The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.”

Hillary Clinton: While Divided, America is ‘Worth’ Fighting For1:28

During the rest of her speech, she emphasized bipartisanship, advocacy, volunteerism and investing in the children of the United States — no matter their race, religion or immigration status.

“America is worth it. Our children are worth it,” she said. “Believe in our country, fight for our values and never, ever give up.”

The event itself was rather fitting: Clinton was honored by the Children’s Defense Fund for “a lifetime of service.”

And the idea of service was integral to her speech.

“Service is the rent we pay for living,” Clinton told the crowd. “You don’t get to stop paying rent just because things didn’t go your way.”

Clinton also said she wanted to go back in time and tell her own mother of all her accomplishments:

“I dream of going up to her and sitting next to her and taking her in my arms and saying, ‘Look, look at me and listen. You will survive. You will have a family of your own: three children. And as hard as it might be to imagine, your daughter will grow up to be a United States Senator, represent our country as Secretary of State and win more than 62 million votes for president of the United States.'”

Clinton’s Shrinking Presence in Washington 1:26

Clinton mentioned her time at the organization, but said there was still work to do, citing the more than 31 million children still living at or near the poverty line.

She was introduced by Marian Wright Edelman, a longtime friend and mentor who founded the Children’s Defense Fund in 1973.

“I am so proud of her in so many ways,” Wright Edelman said, before noting that Clinton is leading in the popular vote. “So we’re going to say she’s the people’s president.”

Clinton discussed how influential Edelman was in her life, considering Edelman’s important work during the Civil Rights era, before discussing their work together from the 1970s to present day.

In some ways, the charity gala felt like a standard election season event: Clinton staffers littered the auditorium, members of her press corps reassembled and the campaign videographer filmed the entire event.

After the brief trip to Washington, Clinton was set to return to New York. She has no further public events on her immediate calendar.

Hillary Clinton ‘smiling and happy’ after being spotted on a hiking trail 0:23

Trump’s presidential cabinet takes shape

Trump's possible cabinet
Image captionUS President-elect Donald Trump’s top team has begun to take shape

US-President-elect Donald Trump’s team is taking shape as he prepares to move into the White House.

The Republican is widely expected to recruit from a select cadre of loyalists as he assembles his cabinet-in-waiting.

Two posts have already been hired, with a series of executive branch appointments to follow in the coming weeks.

As well as his top team, the president-elect has about 4,000 government positions to fill.

Mr Trump has hired a host of lobbyists and corporate consultants to help him navigate the Washington DC “swamp” that he pledged to drain.

Media captionIs this Trump’s White House cabinet?

Reince Priebus – chief of staff

Mr Priebus, 44, has been chosen as Mr Trump’s White House gatekeeper.

As chairman of the Republican National Committee, he was a bridge between the Republican nominee and a party establishment that was embarrassed by its own presidential standard-bearer.

But he has never held elected office and brings no policy experience to the White House in a role serving as a liaison to cabinet agencies.

Mr Priebus is close to House Speaker Paul Ryan, a fellow Wisconsinite, who could be instrumental in steering the new administration’s legislative agenda.

Reince PriebusImage copyrightREUTERS

Stephen Bannon – chief strategist

Though not a cabinet appointment, Mr Bannon could wield immense influence behind the scenes as one of Mr Trump’s key advisers.

The Breitbart News executive will be the president’s senior counsellor, though he will work as “equal partners” with Mr Priebus, creating twin power bases in the West Wing.

A number of critics have denounced Mr Bannon, a former Goldman Sachs banker, as a supporter of white supremacy.

The firebrand conservative helped transform Breitbart into the leading mouthpiece of the party’s fringe, anti-establishment wing.

Newt Gingrich – secretary of state

The combative conservative, an early Trump supporter who made it on to the shortlist of running mates, has been tipped as America’s top diplomat.

As Speaker of the House of Representatives in 1994, Mr Gingrich masterminded the Republican wave election that won control of the chamber from Democrats.

The 73-year-old former Georgia legislator quit the speakership because of ethics violations.

Mr Gingrich, who recently accused Fox News presenter Megyn Kelly of being “fascinated” by sex, made a failed run for the Republican presidential nomination in 2011.

Newt GingrichImage copyrightAP

Rudy Giuliani – attorney general

One of Mr Trump’s most ardent surrogates, Mr Giuliani is being mentioned for the post of America’s top prosecutor.

As New York Mayor during 9/11, he became the face of the city’s resilience amid the rubble of the World Trade Center.

He also introduced NYPD’s stop-and-frisk policy, which critics said was a form of racial profiling.

Mr Trump, who ran as the law-and-order candidate, has championed the tactic.

Mr Giuliani, a former New York prosecutor, ran unsuccessfully for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.

Rudy GiulianiImage copyrightAP

Chris Christie – commerce secretary

After his own Republican presidential campaign foundered this year, the New Jersey governor promptly endorsed Mr Trump.

Mr Christie, 54, currently overseeing Mr Trump’s White House transition, has been mentioned for various posts in the administration, including commerce secretary.

But he has been tainted by a scandal over the closure of a major bridge linking New Jersey and New York City, allegedly to punish a local mayor.

Since presidential cabinet appointments must go before the Senate, confirmation could be problematic while this cloud hangs over him.

Chris ChristieImage copyrightREUTERS

Jeff Sessions – defence secretary

The US senator from Alabama is being touted as a possible Pentagon chief.

At his victory bash in New York, Mr Trump said of Mr Sessions, “he is highly respected in Washington because he is as smart as you get”.

The 69-year-old was a supporter of the 2003 US invasion of Iraq, which Mr Trump recently called “a terrible and stupid thing”.

Mr Sessions sits on the Senate Armed Services Committee, the Judiciary Committee and the Budget Committee.

Jeff SessionsImage copyrightAFP

Michael Flynn – national security adviser

Mr Flynn, a retired three-star US Army lieutenant general, helped Mr Trump connect with veterans despite the candidate’s lack of military service.

He claims he was forced out of his role as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency from 2012-14 because of his views on radical Islam.

During the campaign, he pilloried the Obama administration’s approach to the threat posed by the Islamic State group.

Michael FlynnImage copyrightAFP

Steven Mnuchin – Treasury secretary

Mr Trump himself floated the idea of naming his finance chairman for the post of Treasury Secretary.

But it’s unclear whether Mr Trump’s supporters would welcome the idea of handing the levers of national tax policy to a consummate Wall Street insider.

Mr Mnuchin amassed a fortune during his 17 years at Goldman Sachs, before founding a movie production company that was behind such box office hits as the X-Men franchise and American Sniper.

However, a Trump aide has also confirmed they have asked JPMorgan boss Jamie Dimon to be US Treasury Secretary; it’s not clear how he responded.

Steven MnuchinImage copyrightAFP

Why couldn’t tech predict the US election results?

Big data isn’t nearly big enough

They got it wrong – again. Despite most opinion polls and forecasts stating that Hilary Clinton would beat Donald Trump in the US presidential election, the reverse happened. Of course, you could argue that the pollsters were dead-on correct: polls called a tight race with Clinton shading it, and that’s exactly what happened – Clinton won the popular vote, after all – but Trump routed her in terms of electoral votes.

But in-depth polls were also done state-by-state, not least by pollster guru Nate Silver at FiveThirtyEight, who calculated that Trump had just a 29% chance of winning. Conservative voters were hugely underestimated, but how?

So did ‘shy’ Trump voters lie to pollsters? Are forecasts based on the wrong data? And can new technology – some of it from a shell-shocked Silicon Valley – help breathe new life into an industry that’s now in severe danger of being discredited?

Pollsters use questionnaires, demographics and algorithms (Image Credit: Wikimedia)

How do opinion polls work?

Opinion polls are all about extrapolating trends from a relatively small data sample. The pollster asks people how they intend to vote, or how they did just vote, and algorithms are applied to create a demographically balanced national picture.

In a country of 231 million potential voters – although around 100 million don’t actually vote – it’s always going to be based as much on assumptions as on actual data. Key to this is voter turnout, which is very hard to predict; there’s simply no data on it until after election day.

“The challenge of making any prediction from data is to make sure that the data is representative,” says Matt Jones, Analytics Strategist at data science consultancy Tessella. “Traditional statistical analysis of polling data and surveys will only be representative of those that bothered to take part, and that section of the voting population is not representative.”

Polls are given huge gravitas by the media to the extent that they can be decisive in whether people bother to vote or not – so they can swing an election.

Do pollsters need to use social media?

Limited data

Machine learning is already used when running election predictions. It’s part of standard statistical analysis. “As for any statistical analysis the single most critical factor is the amount of data available on which to run your algorithms, base your predictions,” says Claus Jepson, Chief Architect at Unit4. “As of today the data set available is simply too limited to offer precise predictions, making it necessary to include human interpretations – hence making the predictions biased.”

For example, pollsters decide how much statistical weight to give to how many historical election results. “At some point in time the data available will be large enough for algorithms to effectively predict, less biased, outcomes based on polls,” thinks Jepson.

Social media and sentiment analysis

Some of that ‘new’ data is from social media, which looks set to become a fresh tool for pollsters looking to track changing opinions. “The use of ‘social listening’ of social media conversations and behaviour may have been an early warning of possible contradictions from official polls,” says Mark Skilton, Professor of Practice in the Information Systems & Management Group at Warwick Business School.

This is the science of sentiment analysis – when people write things in Twitter and Facebook posts, it’s possible to extract positive, negative, or neutral attitudes. No one is suggesting that pollsters just use Twitter to predict elections, but it can be used to improve a purely statistical model by adding a vital dynamic dimension.

For example, BJSS SPARCK analysed 14 million tweets before the election and correctly predicted the outcome, uncovering that seven out of every ten tweets sent in the last four weeks of the campaign were in favour of Trump.

“When they use social media, people become less guarded about their true social and political affiliations,” says Simon Sear, Practice Leader of BJSS SPARCK. “Their language becomes unfiltered, they ‘like’ content that appeals to them and follow people and organisations which represent their values … contrast that with having to admit embarrassing sentiment and intentions to a potentially judgemental human pollster.”

Trump’s rude awakening for Germany

US Election 2016 Results Overview

Trump wins

Photo of Hillary Clinton
Hillary Clinton
Photo of Donald Trump
Donald Trump
After 48 of 50 states
270 to win
Hillary Clinton: 228 electoral votes228
Donald Trump: 290 electoral votes290

US Election latest updates


Trump’s rude awakening for Germany

Front pages of Die Zeit and Die WeltImage copyrightDIE ZEIT/DIE WELT
Image captionGerman press reacted with shocked headlines such as “Oh my God!” and “The world is upside down”

A few hours after US President-elect Donald Trump took to the stage to make his acceptance speech, as evening fell in Berlin, small candles were quietly lit and carefully placed in front of aged, stone doorsteps and along the darkening pavements.

Berliners were marking the anniversary of Kristallnacht (when Jewish people and their businesses were violently attacked in 1938).

It was barely noted amid the febrile howl of international reaction to the US election. Neither was the 27th anniversary of the fall of the Berlin Wall, which shares the same date.

But both events – and all that they represent of this country’s past – explain, partially at least, why Germans were so repulsed by Donald Trump’s election rhetoric and why so few (4% by one poll’s reckoning) wanted him in the White House.

Berlin Mayor Michael Mueller places a rose in a crack during the central event to commemorate the 1989 Peaceful Revolution in the GDR.Image copyrightEPA
Image captionMayor Michael Mueller joins fellow Berliners in marking the fall of the Berlin Wall

There is almost universal shock and horror here. Even Germany’s foreign minister (who once described Trump as a hate speaker) could not bring himself publicly to congratulate him.

One newspaper headline exclaimed “Oh my God!”, another “We’re in mourning”. Another minister described the result as “a nightmare from which we can’t wake up”.

A poll conducted by national broadcaster ARD found that the majority of Germans don’t trust Mr Trump and that most believe his election will result in a deterioration of the transatlantic relationship.

It’s a relationship which, for some years now, has fallen into the “special” category.

Angela Merkel with Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier on 9 NovImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionWhile Angela Merkel offered to co-operate with Mr Trump, Foreign Minister Frank-Walter Steinmeier said US foreign policy would become more difficult

Chancellor Angela Merkel and the outgoing US President Barack Obama forged a strong and warm partnership, which survived the revelation that American spies had listened in to her mobile phone calls.

And it was a relationship that had implications for the rest of Europe.

When the US wanted to send arms to the Ukrainians, for example, Mrs Merkel weighed in and deterred them. And as the main interlocutor between Russia’s Vladimir Putin and the West, Mrs Merkel – and Germany – have wielded influence.

What will happen to transatlantic trade?

The problem now is that no-one knows what happens next.

As Germany’s rather shocked defence minister pointed out, we don’t really know where Mr Trump stands on foreign policy.

That uncertainty is not going down well with German business, finance and industry leaders.

“The self-destruction of the West continues,” noted Joerg Kramer, chief economist at Commerzbank.

America is Germany’s biggest trading partner. More than a million jobs are thought to depend on the export market.

Mr Trump’s comments about trade agreements have unnerved many here. TTIP – the controversial, planned trade deal between Europe and the US – was already struggling. Many believe it’s now finished.

Chancellor Angela Merkel with President Barack Obama in Hanover in April 2016Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionThe German chancellor has forged a close relationship with President Obama

But shock is turning to pragmatism.

“No-one really expected this result, so no-one had established communication with anyone on his team,” says Peter Beyer, spokesman for Mrs Merkel’s CDU party on transatlantic relations.

“What everyone is trying to do now is contact anyone we might know who might play a role in his team.”

It’s accepted in Berlin that Angela Merkel will have to make this relationship work.

Donald Trump was initially scathing about her – and her refugee policy – during his election campaign.

Nevertheless the chancellor – who spoke by telephone with the president-elect on Thursday – has offered her congratulations and co-operation, albeit on the condition that Mr Trump respects “shared values” like freedom and the rule of law, and applies them to all, regardless of gender, creed or background.

‘Fragile times’ ahead

But, as Mr Trump prepares to take office, arguably Mrs Merkel’s greatest challenge is how to hold her country – indeed the EU – together.

Because what’s really got German politicians so jittery is that in Donald Trump’s victory they see parallels with the sweep of right-wing and populist parties through Europe.

Germany itself goes to the polls next year. The established parties are losing votes to the anti-migrant, anti-Muslim Alternative for Germany (AfD).

A protest banner reads: Image copyrightGETTY IMAGES
Image captionA protest banner reads: “This Merkel is finished – vote for AfD now, so Germany will not be destroyed”

No wonder, perhaps, that some here see the US election result – following the Brexit referendum – as a wake-up call.

Wolfgang Schaeuble, the finance minister, told the tabloid newspaper Bild: “In politics, business and society the elites don’t always make a good impression. Decision-making processes are very often not transparent. Everyone must be prepared to learn – if we’re open to the perspective of others and to a change in the direction of our thinking then populism will have a hard time.”

Mr Trump’s victory has been described as a political earthquake.

The aftershocks will shift the German and European political landscape. Berlin wants to continue an important transatlantic relationship and maintain global influence while upholding values it holds dear. These are, as Peter Beyer puts it, “fragile times”.

“This will bring changes to the world. It’s not the same place as before 8 November. Someone with the character of Donald Trump has an effect not just nationally but internationally, globally.”

Mr Beyer speaks for many here as he adds: “Maybe he’ll prove us wrong. I hope so.”

US Election 2016: Are hate crimes spiking after Trump’s victory?

  • 11 November 2016
tweetImage copyright@SARAHKENDZIOR

Dozens of reports of alleged hate crimes have surfaced on social media in the wake of the election of Donald Trump.

“I was sitting down in the library in my school and a very big man wearing a Trump shirt walks up behind me. I start to turn around but before I can see who’s there, a hand is on my head… attempting to push my hijab back.”

The Muslim student at the University of New Mexico, who spoke to BBC Trending, says she ducked out of the way of her attacker.

“I told him that he has every right to believe what he wants and he can say whatever he wants but as soon as he puts his hands on me, then things get serious,” she says. “He then walked away saying ‘I’m going to sit down before you throw a grenade at me.'”

The incident is just one of dozens of alleged attacks motivated by religious and race hate which have been reported and shared on social media since Tuesday’s election. In many cases it’s impossible to verify the allegations and what connection, if any, they have with Tuesday’s vote.

In the case of the student in New Mexico, she reported the attack to university authorities but not to the police.

“I decided not to press charges because I’m not here to expose anyone,” she says. “He made a mistake and hopefully with all the publicity that this situation got, he has learned his lesson.”

University officials say they are investigating a number of incidents on the campus, but cannot comment on individual cases due to federal law.

In the aftermath of Tuesday’s election there have been a number of credible reports of hate crimes:

Violence and threats against Trump supporters have also been reported.

A still from the viral Facebook video showing men beating and robbing someone they accuse of being a Trump supporter after a traffic accidentImage copyrightFACEBOOK
Image captionA still from the viral Facebook video showing men beating and robbing someone they accuse of being a Trump supporter after a traffic accident

But beware – there are also hoaxes and false stories circulating. In Louisiana, a student who said she was robbed by two men who shouted racial obscenities turned out to have made the story up. And old stories about hate crimes and assaults against minorities are making the rounds on social media, masquerading as breaking news.

Several social media activists and accounts were sharing stories of incidents around the country, and individual users were also posting their own stories, some of which were shared thousands of times:

tweetImage copyright@MANIKRATHEE
tweetImage copyrightMAHA ABDUL GAWAD

The cause and effect around current events and hate crimes is complicated. In the UK, the Home Office recorded a 41% jump in racial and religious abuse in the month following the EU referendum in June. The sharp increase declined in August but has “remained at a higher level” than before the Brexit vote, the Home Office said. But major events also boost awareness of hate crimes and awareness of how to report them, along with media attention, and that could account for some of the spike.

It’s far too soon to tell to whether a similar increase will be recorded after the US election, and how large it might be. The US Federal Bureau of Investigation tracks hate crime statistics and releases an annual report, but the one covering this year won’t come out until late 2017.

Blog by Mike Wendling

More US election coverage from BBC Trending: Michelle Obama in 2020?

The First Lady is one of the most popular figures in American politicsImage copyrightGETTY IMAGES

The potential first shots of the next campaign were fired online in the hours after Donald Trump’s victory became clear when hundreds of thousands took to social media to urge Michelle Obama to run for President in 2020. READ MORE

You can follow BBC Trending on Twitter @BBCtrending, and find us onFacebook. All our stories are at

What Comes Next With President Trump

Mark Peterson for TimeThe Republican primary proved many of the party’s rising stars were no match for Donald Trump’s brand of populism

It turns out that Donald Trump was qualified to be President, after all. He was credentialed by the American people on Election Day. I’m still not sure he’s fit for the job, and I’m certain he’s not prepared for it, and his demeanor remains profoundly unpresidential–but make no mistake, it was his demeanor that won him the presidency. Every time he said something that “serious” people found unhinged, a vast swath of the country found it honest and refreshing and real, even if they disagreed with it. This should have been obvious from the moment he slagged Senator John McCain, a true American hero, early in the campaign. He didn’t suffer for the outrage; he gained strength from it.

And now the American political establishment has been toppled. As a longtime member of that clan, I am writing from beneath the rubble. The view from here is rather limited. I don’t trust myself to predict what happens next, although Trump’s victory speech set a far more gracious and sober tone than anything he said or did during the campaign. It is also impossible, given his frequent policy shifts, to say what Trump will actually do as President. But it is possible to catalog some of the pillars that have fallen: the entire political-consultant industrial complex has collapsed. Money raised and spent on advertising meant nothing. The use of market-tested language has become a liability, a sign of dull conformity on the part of the candidate. Focus groups, polling, the ground game, surrogates and–yes, sadly–truth have been shown to be irrelevant. Political parties have long been hollow vessels, but they now seem utterly archaic.

Several truths do remain. A successful candidate for the presidency needs a message and also the ability to sell that message. Trump didn’t need policies: his attitude was the message. He was distressingly effective at selling it; the fact that he could barely control himself was integral to what he was selling–spontaneity, authenticity, strut. Indeed, the greatest danger of his victory is that it will spawn a whole generation of candidates, in both parties, who believe that being obnoxious is the path to power.

Like Trump, Hillary Clinton was her message. She was the embodiment of the boring pillow fight that American politics had become. She was the embodiment of a system slouching toward dynasty–remember when we thought Clinton and Jeb Bush would replay that same old familial battle? It was appropriate that her closing argument became: I’m not him. That was, in the end, all she had. Clinton has been a fine public servant–let the silly investigations stop now–but she was a clueless candidate from start to finish, and her perpetual defensive crouch was the precise opposite of Trump’s offensiveness. He said some things that needed saying. The war in Iraq can now be acknowledged by Republicans for the terrible mistake it was.

But it also became permissible for a certain sector of people–white people without college educations–to say and think a lot of less savory things too. Trump empowered a brutal ignorance, especially about Latinos and Muslims and the world outside our borders. He attracted a dangerous, supremacist, sexist, lunatic fringe. He created scapegoats and encouraged his followers to exploit them.

And what now? The Republican Party suddenly has a shiny new populist identity, and the Democrats are in shambles. It is likely that both parties will now pursue the wrong road. Democrats, led by Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, will move left; Trump has liberated the Democrats to lift the taboo on the word socialism, a philosophy fundamentally at odds with the American spirit. The future of Trump’s Republican Party is harder to discern, and people like Paul Ryan may not have a place in it. But who knows? Trump didn’t mention the border wall in his victory speech. He did mention infrastructure. He promised to get along with all nations “willing to get along with us.”

It would be nice to think his revolution will be a gentle one. But he is not a gentle man. He is puerile, thin-skinned and crude. He is also 70 years old, and all those decades of bombastic hucksterism have now been ratified by the American people. His vision of a dark, declining country has been ratified too–but only by a momentary plurality that looks more to the past for answers than to the future. That has never been the American way. This is a dynamic country. Its only possible future is multiethnic and globalist. Donald Trump won’t succeed unless he learns how to keep up with it.
This appears in the November 21, 2016 issue of TIME.

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