Trump Slams Russian Hack As “Political Witch Hunt”
Just hours before president-elect Trump receives the full intelligence briefing over the Russian hacking allegations, Nancy Pelosi is convinced – stating that the report is “stunning” and “of course” Russia disrupted the election, there is “no question.”
“It’s stunning in its conclusions and you’ll see some of it” though “I wish you could see the entire report”
“When you see this report you will see how intelligence has identified what we have seen” and “there is no question that the Russians disrupted and then they released information” on partisan basis
“The American people have a right to know what a foreign power did to disrupt the outcome”
However, after raising questions once again this morning about the legitimacy of the findings, Trump spoke out in a New York Times interview, raging that the storm surrounding Russian hacking during the presidential campaign is a political witch hunt being carried out by his adversaries, who he said were embarrassed by their loss to him in the election last year.
Mr. Trump spoke to The New York Times by telephone three hours before he was set to be briefed by the nation’s top intelligence and law enforcement officials about Russian hacking of American political institutions.
In the conversation, he repeatedly criticized the intense focus on the alleged cyber intrusions by Russia.
“China, relatively recently, hacked 20 million government names,” he said, referring to the breach of computers at the Office of Personnel Management in late 2014 and early 2015. “How come nobody even talks about that? This is a political witch hunt.”
“The D.N.C. wouldn’t let them see the servers,” Mr. Trump said. “How can you be sure about hacking when you can’t even get to the servers?” The D.N.C. has previously said the law enforcement agency had not asked to examine the computers.
NYT adds that Mr. Trump said he is looking forward to his meeting Friday afternoon about the hacking by James R. Clapper Jr., the director of national intelligence; F.B.I. Director James B. Comey and other intelligence officials.
He said that Mr. Clapper “wrote me a beautiful letter a few weeks ago wishing me the best.”
But he said that “a lot of mistakes were made” by the intelligence community in the past, noting in particular the attacks on the World Trade Center and saying that “weapons of mass destruction was one of the great mistakes of all time.”
Trump concluded with a jab at Obama’s current cybersecurity operation in America:
“With all that being said, I don’t want countries to be hacking our country… They’ve hacked the White House. They’ve hacked Congress. We’re like the hacking capital of the world.”
We look forward to seeing the unclassified report released later today.. and Trump’s initial reaction to his briefing.