President-elect Donald Trump has been forced to distance himself from US intelligence report findings linking the Russian state, it’s leader Vladimir Putin and allegations of foreign intervention in the electoral process of the United States. Ever since the November 8 election result was known, Russia has long been accused of attempting to influence the outcome. Mr Trump has argued there is absolutely no evidence pointing to Russian involvement.
In a statement released to the media not long after the report was made public he strongly refuted the intelligence community’s findings.
“I had a constructive meeting and conversation with the leaders of the Intelligence Community this afternoon. I have tremendous respect for the work and service done by the men and women of this community to our great nation. While Russia, China, other countries, outside groups and people are consistently trying to break through the cyber infrastructure of our governmental institutions, businesses and organizations including the Democrat National Committee, there was absolutely no effect on the outcome of the election including the fact that there was no tampering whatsoever with voting machines. There were attempts to hack the Republican National Committee, but the RNC had strong hacking defenses and the hackers were unsuccessful. Whether it is our government, organizations, associations or businesses we need to aggressively combat and stop cyberattacks. I will appoint a team to give me a plan within 90 days of taking office. The methods, tools and tactics we use to keep America safe should not be a public discussion that will benefit those who seek to do us harm. Two weeks from today I will take the oath of office and America’s safety and security will be my number one priority.”
Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
Donald Trump appears destined for a showdown with the intelligence community over the issue as his own media statement completely refutes the findings. Pointing to examples of foreign intrusion into US government servers from a range of other countries besides Russia, the President-elect has attempted to deflect attention away from the 2016 election. From the perspective of the intelligence community, Trump is reckless and foolhardy not only with the truth but also sensitive classified material.
Tom Wright is a fellow at the Brookings Institute who tweeted his alarm at the release of a classified report by the President-elect on Twitter.
He is also critical of the Republican party for their support of the President-elect and holds no punches when pointing out the double standards between the way they treat Obama vs Trump.
In a normal world, GOP wld blame Obama for Russian attack on US. Since the world is no longer normal, it's acceptable to back the attacker.
— Tom Wright (@thomaswright08) January 5, 2017
Donald Trump has hit back strongly (once again on Twitter which seems to be his preferred medium for attacking his opponents) questioning why, if the intelligence community is so sure hacking took place, did they not examine the DNC servers before releasing their findings?
So how and why are they so sure about hacking if they never even requested an examination of the computer servers? What is going on?
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 6, 2017
In another potential showdown there are conflicting reports coming out of Trump’s restructure team that a Trump presidency will not attempt to restructure the CIA despite Donald Trump’s assertion that he would in fact do so. The Wall Street Journal reported on January 4 that Donald Trump is planning a considerable slash and burn of the agency in an attempt to “de-politicise” the CIA and other agencies, particularly DNI. Sean Spicer who will serve as White House communications director refutes this claim.
Spicer said there is absolutely “no truth” to that story released by the Wall Street Journal.
You can read the full report released by DNI into allegations of Russian involvement in the 2016 election cycle here.
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