You might be asking what would motivate the “not-my-President-elect” and Time’s person of the year, to double down on his false accusations that the intelligence community was making up its Intel that Russia was trying to impact the outcome of our election, we would guess it’s the same reason he won’t show us his taxes, because he’s financially in bed with the Russian oligarchs, like Putin.
We would call that being a traitor.
Trump: U.S. Intel’s Conclusion That Russia Hacked DNC Was Politically Motivated
This is an astounding thing for a president-elect to claim.
President-elect Donald Trump believes that American intelligence agencies were motivated by politics, and not hard evidence, when they determined earlier this year that Russian state-sponsored hackers were behind the theft and release of internal emails from the Clinton campaign and the Democratic National Committee.
“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe [Russia] interfered,” Trump told Time magazine in his “Person of the Year” interview, released Wednesday.
“That became a laughing point, not a talking point,” he went on. “Any time I do something, they say ‘oh, Russia interfered.’”
When Time reporters asked Trump if the conclusions reached by U.S. intelligence professionals who analyzed the hacks were “politically driven,” Trump replied, “I think so.”
The remark has received relatively little attention since the interview was published. But it is astonishing to hear an American president-elect accuse the nation’s intelligence community ― which comprises 16 separate agencies and thousands of employees, many of whom perform dangerous jobs with zero recognition ― of conspiring to lie to the country in order to bolster one political candidate over another.
Trump’s comments are likely to further alienate him and his incoming administration from career intelligence officers, who serve on the front lines of America’s most sensitive military and diplomatic endeavors.
Already, Trump has raised concerns among intelligence professionals for his decision to skip most of his daily intelligence briefings, widely considered to be the most significant daily meetings on a U.S. president’s calendar.
Trump also upset U.S. spies this fall when he publicly described his classified intelligence briefings. Specifically, Trump claimed that he could tell from the body language of national security staffers after one briefing that they “were not happy” serving President Barack Obama.
Those comments prompted former deputy CIA Director Michael Morell to say Trump had “zero understanding of how intelligence works.”
Trump’s willingness to repeat false information has also caused headaches at U.S. spy agencies. In August, Trump repeatedly claimed to have seen a new “top secret” video of U.S. currency being unloaded from an airplane in Iran.
Pressed by reporters to explain what Trump was talking about, his campaign soon acknowledged that the video Trump was referring to was a months-old public clip of U.S. citizens getting off a plane in Switzerland.
In other words, the video did not show currency, it was not “top secret” and it was not filmed in Iran.
Speaking to Time, Trump continued to sow doubts about who was behind the DNC hacks. “It could be Russia, and it could be China, and it could be some guy in his home in New Jersey,” Trump said.
This directly contradicts the findings of U.S. intel officers, who traced the data theft back to Russian state-sponsored hackers, who appeared to be trying to influence the outcome of the U.S. presidential election in Trump’s favor.
The president-elect has made no secret of his admiration for Russia’s autocratic president, Vladimir Putin, and his desire to strengthen U.S.-Russia ties, despite Russia’s myriad violations of international law.
Obama under mounting pressure to disclose Russia’s role in US election
Barack Obama is facing growing pressure from congressional Democrats in both houses demanding further disclosures regarding Russia’s role in the 2016 US elections.
The White House has not responded to a week-old letter signed by every Democrat and aligned member of the Senate intelligence committee seeking declassification of “additional information concerning the Russian government and the US election”.
Senators call for declassification of files on Russia’s role in US election
Now a group of senior House Democrats has also written to the president, seeking a classified briefing for colleagues on “Russian entities’ hacking of American political organizations; hacking and strategic release of emails from campaign officials; the WikiLeaks disclosures; fake news stories produced and distributed with the intent to mislead American voters; and any other Russian or Russian-related interference or involvement in our recent election.”
The letter was signed by Democratic whip Steny Hoyer of Maryland, as well as the top Democrats on the House judiciary, intelligence, armed services, foreign affairs and oversight committees.
Both communiques from the congressional Democrats, several of whom have access to classified intelligence, strongly implied that the Obama administration and the intelligence agencies know significantly more about Russian involvement in the election than they have disclosed. Alternatively, the politicians could be raising suspicions without evidence to weaken the incoming president, Donald Trump, whom his former opponent Hillary Clinton dubbed a “puppet” of the Russians.
On 7 October, the top US intelligence and homeland security officials formally accused the Kremlin of directing the hack of the Democratic National Committee and implied that the Russians used WikiLeaks, which published extensive internal communications among top Democrats, to launder responsibility for the release. The unusual public accusation held that the Russians were attempting to “interfere” in the election.
Yet it is unclear if or when the White House will follow through on the elaboration its Democratic allies seek.
A senior administration official said the October statement came into being after the FBI and the intelligence agencies developed a mosaic of information about culpability for the hacks and had extensive internal discussion of what they were comfortable saying publicly.
“Any further declassification would need to follow the same framework, consistent with law enforcement and intelligence equities,” the official said.
As yet, there is no scheduled classified briefing of the sort sought by the House Democrats, though the White House is said to be open to one.
The official said the administration had conducted regular legislative briefings in the past months “regarding malicious cyber-activity related to our elections infrastructure” and was “committed to working with Congress to brief members and staff as appropriate”.
For his part, Trump again absolved Russia of culpability for the hack on Wednesday, though it is unclear if the intelligence briefings he attends include internal attributions of responsibility beyond the October statement.
Trump told Time magazine that he believed US intelligence was accusing Russia of the hack because of politics and said he rejected their conclusion.
“I don’t believe it. I don’t believe they interfered,” Trump told the magazine, which bestowed its “person of the year” accolade on the president-elect.
The senior Democrat on the intelligence committee, Adam Schiff of California, took umbrage at Trump’s implication that “the intelligence community is lying” and said Trump was not acting presidentially.
“Notwithstanding the abundance of evidence that Russia hacked our political institutions during the presidential campaign and dumped documents in an effort to meddle in our political affairs, President-elect Trump’s comments this morning continue to contradict our intelligence professionals and carry water for the Kremlin,” Schiff said on Wednesday.