Trump Tweets He is A ‘Massive Fan’ Of Intelligence As Congress Begins Russia Hacking Probe
By Dustin Volz and Patricia Zengerle
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – High U.S. intelligence officers will testify in Congress on Thursday on Russia’s alleged cyber assaults throughout the 2016 election, as President-elect Donald Trump described himself as a “large fan” of intelligence businesses regardless of casting doubt on their findings that Moscow orchestrated the hacks.
Trump is because of be briefed by intelligence company chiefs on Friday on hacks that focused the Democratic Get together. President Barack Obama can be briefed on Thursday.
Trump is heading for a battle over the difficulty with Democrats and a few fellow Republicans in Congress, a lot of whom are cautious of Moscow and mistrust the New York businessman’s reward of Russian President Vladimir Putin and efforts to heal the rift between america and Russia.
Director of Nationwide Intelligence James Clapper, Nationwide Safety Company Director Mike Rogers and Undersecretary of Protection for Intelligence Marcel Lettre are resulting from seem earlier than the Senate Armed Providers Committee, which is chaired by Republican John McCain, a vocal critic of Putin.
Within the afternoon, State Division and Division of Homeland Safety officers will transient the Senate International Relations Committee behind closed doorways on the Obama administration’s response to the hacking and harassment of U.S. diplomats.
Their testimony got here every week after Obama ordered the expulsion of 35 Russian suspected spies and imposed sanctions on two Russian intelligence businesses over their alleged involvement in hacking U.S. political teams within the 2016 election.
U.S. intelligence businesses say Russia was behind hacks into Democratic Get together organizations and operatives earlier than the presidential election, a conclusion supported by a number of personal cybersecurity companies. Moscow denies the hacking allegations.
U.S. intelligence officers have mentioned the Russian cyber assaults had been geared toward serving to Trump defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton within the Nov. eight election.
A number of Republicans have acknowledged Russian hacking throughout the election however haven’t linked it to an effort to assist Trump win.
Paperwork stolen from the Democratic Nationwide Committee and Clinton marketing campaign supervisor John Podesta had been leaked to the media upfront of the election, embarrassing the Clinton marketing campaign.
In a tweet on Wednesday, Trump mentioned: “(WikiLeaks founder) Julian Assange mentioned ‘a 14 yr previous might have hacked Podesta’ – why was DNC so careless? Additionally mentioned the Russians didn’t give him the information!”
Nevertheless, on Thursday, Trump mentioned in a submit on Twitter that he was not towards intelligence or in settlement with Assange.
“The media lies to make it seem like I’m towards ‘Intelligence’ when in actual fact I’m an enormous fan!” Trump tweeted.
Trump and prime advisers imagine Democrats try to delegitimize his election victory by accusing Russia of serving to him.
Some lawmakers, together with McCain, mentioned a firmer response was wanted to test Russian aggression in our on-line world and elsewhere, and to discourage different nations from attempting to affect extra U.S. elections.
McCain is amongst a handful of Republicans to affix Democrats in pushing for a particular committee to analyze Russia’s political hacking, though that effort faces opposition from Republican leaders in Congress.
Trump has nominated individuals seen as pleasant towards Moscow to senior administration posts, together with secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson, who was awarded Russia’s “Order of Friendship” in 2013 whereas Tillerson was Exxon Mobil chief govt.
Rogers, the NSA chief, visited Trump in New York in November and is amongst a handful of individuals being thought of by Trump to succeed the retiring Clapper as U.S. spy chief, along with former Republican Senator Dan Coats, in accordance with sources acquainted with the matter.
(Further reporting by Patricia Zengerle and Mark Hosenball in Washington; Modifying by Peter Cooney and Bernadette Baum)