Former CIA, National Intelligence heads warn Trump he's being played by Putin
Well, no shit, Sherlocks. Considering that Putin is basically evil genius Victor von Doom and Trump is basically a somewhat dumber version of Homer Simpson, it is not very surprising that Putin is manipulating him.
OK, I'm kidding-not-kidding, as they say, but to be serious for a moment:
If Trump has even average intelligence, which I think he does, he should know for a fact that Putin is lying. There is no question that Russia meddled in the US election, and there is no chance that it could have happened without Putin's knowledge and consent. That meddling may or may not have determined the outcome, but it is 100% certain that they meddled. If it were just a matter of our spy agencies' conclusions, there might be some room for doubt, but there actually is none because of the electronic trail they left. We know which social media accounts they used; we know which ads and memes they planted; we know precisely when they were planted; and we know the exact IP addresses where they originated. In fact, we even know the exact street address of the building in St. Petersburg that uses those IPs.
But I think the Intel community and the media are ignoring one very possible alternate explanation. They all assume that Putin lied to Trump and Trump is not smart enough to understand (1) the electronic evidence to the contrary, and (2) that none of that could happen without Putin's consent. But another interpretation would also explain the situation, and might in fact explain it better. Instead of assuming that Trump is a total idiot, we might consider the possibility that Putin has been completely honest with Trump, and Trump is simply lying to us about what Putin said.
The common explanation assumes that Trump is unbelievably stupid and naive, but truthful. My explanation assumes that Trump is smart enough, but a liar. Which of those alternatives do you think is more likely?