In Thursday night's broadcast, Rachel Maddow continued to use her platform to keep the spotlight where it should be – on Donald Trump's ties to Russia, and the fact that it looks like Russia's interference in U.S. affairs didn't end with his election.

That was just the beginning, Maddow said.

The MSNBC star said events that have unfolded during Trump's time in office show that "Russia may now be reaping its reward, maybe getting what it wants out of the United States government as payback for running the successful op that helped install the new head of the American government."

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During the opening of her show, Maddow said that it's one thing for the Trump campaign and its officials to meet and seemingly work with the Russians during the campaign – but it's becoming apparent that the election may have just been the opening act of Moscow's operation.

The new developments that Wikileaks – the same folks that worked with the Russians to expose hacked DNC emails last year – released a trove of classified CIA material is further proof, Maddow says, that the Russians are likely still trying to meddle in U.S. affairs at the direction of Vladimir Putin. Instead of influencing an election, the goal now seems to be disrupting and undermining U.S. intelligence agencies.

Like usual, there is a connection between the latest WikiLeaks release and the President of the United States.

As Maddow pointed out, Trump supporter Nigel Farage, who recently had dinner with Trump, met with Wikileaks founder Julian Assange just two days after the classified CIA information was reportedly released by the organization. When asked why he was visiting Assange, Farage said he "couldn't remember."

While the focus is rightfully on Russia's involvement in last year's election and what connection the Russians had with the Trump campaign, it's also important to consider that Moscow now may be influencing our government. In other words, the election may have just been the beginning.

The Russian government attacked our election. The Russian government was in contact with multiple Trump campaign sources while they were doing it. Russian nemeses in the American government – U.S. State Department, CIA – are not faring well since Donald Trump came to power. Is the operation that Russia started during the campaign, is it over? Or are they still running it? Are we still in this now?

It's unsettling to consider the possibility that Russia, after helping put Donald Trump in the White House, is still influencing U.S. affairs. But there is mounting evidence that Moscow's work didn't end on Nov. 8, 2016 – that was only the beginning.

Reprinted from Politicusa, March 9, 201

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March 10, 2017