Americans have less freedom now because of Trump and Russian election interference, a new report warns

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  • The United States now has less freedom because of the Trump Administration and Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to a democracy rights group.
  • Overall, the US’s freedom rating dropped from 89 to 86 because its political rights dropped from 36 to 33, according to an annual Freedom House report.
  • This was due to Robert Mueller’s investigation gathering force, and Trump repeatedly defying ethical standards set forth by predecessors and making major policy decisions with little consultation and transparency.

The United States has less freedom because of the Trump administration and Russia’s interference in the 2016 presidential election, according to an independent watchdog that measures political rights and democratic institutions around the world.

“The United States’ political rights rating declined … due to growing evidence of Russian interference in the 2016 elections, violations of basic ethical standards by the new administration, and a reduction in government transparency,”according to Freedom House.

Freedom House’s annual report, Freedom in the World, measures freedom in terms of civil liberties and political rights by collecting data from media, research articles, government documents, and other sources.

The collected data is then used to score a country’s political rights on a scale of 0-40 and its civil liberties on a scale of 0-60 (you can read about their methodology here).

Overall, the US’s freedom rating dropped from 89 to 86 because its political rights dropped from 36 to 33, making the Land of the Free only the 58th freest country in the world.

Freedom House said this was due to Robert Mueller’s investigation gathering force, and Trump repeatedly defying ethical standards set forth by predecessors and making major policy decisions with apparently little consultation and transparency.

In terms of defying ethical standards, Freedom House specifically mentioned Trump refusing to release his tax returns, “promoting his private business empire” in office, and “naming his daughter and son-in-law as presidential advisers.”

As for making major policy decisions with little consulation or transparency, Freedom House mentioned Trump’s January 2017 executive order banning seven Muslim-majority countries from travelling to the US, and his July 2017 executive order banning transgender people from the military.

Freedom House also mentioned other factors leading to the US’ drop in political rights, including Trump’s executive order forming the Presidential Advisory Commission on Election Integrity, which “was widely seen as an effort to follow up on Trump’s unsubstantiated assertion that between three and five million votes were cast illegally in the 2016 elections.”

Read Freedom House’s 2018 Freedom in the World report here, and its explainer of the US’s freedom here.

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