Local discussion on alleged Russian hacking held at SpeakEZ Lounge

Local discussion on Russian hacking

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - The relationship between the United States and Russia was a point of discussion at an event in Downtown Grand Rapids Thursday, July 6.

The event, at SpeakEZ Lounge, was hosted by an associate professor of political science at Grand Valley State University.

Although there has been no evidence so far that the hacking influenced votes in the November election, the professor presented the reasons she thinks Russia had to interfere, including that Russian leadership saw Clinton policies as an extension of Obama policies.

"Putin actually called out Hillary Clinton during the 2011-2012 protest for being a main cause for the reason why people went out into the streets in Russia to protest," said Heather Tafal, associate professor of political science GVSU. "So, there was concern among the Russian leadership that Clinton policies would not be good for Russia."

President Trump cast a skeptical eye on intelligence community assessments that Russia interfered with the 2016 presidential election, saying while on a visit to Poland (on the eve of his first face-to-face meeting Friday with Russian President Vladimir Putin) that "nobody really knows for sure" what happened.

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